Redhawks fall to Regents in round one

Senior Rylee McLean (left) drives to the hoop past Waterloo Christian’s Allison White during the Redhawks opening round playoff game on Feb. 11. Darvin Graham/North Tama Telegraph

TRAER–The North Tama girls had the opportunity and also the misfortune of facing the same team twice in one week.

After a 46-32 loss on the road against Waterloo Christian on Feb. 9, the Redhawks hoped the friendly confines of the North Tama gymnasium in Traer would give them a spark against the Regents two nights later during the opening round of the Class 1A regional playoffs.

It was cold outside and North Tama came out cold to start the game, allowing the Regents to go up by 11 points before getting on the board.

“We dug ourselves in a hole right away being down 17 after the first quarter,” coach Shawn Larmore said. “We stress to the girls that basketball is a game of runs. Waterloo Christian made a big run right away to start the game but we continued to fight and made a few runs of our own.”

Early in the second quarter senior Jadyn Rausch hit a three pointer followed soon after by a baseline jumper by Abby DeBoef to give the Redhawks some life.

North Tama managed to outscore Waterloo Christian in the second and third quarters and looked poised to make a comeback.

In the fourth quarter Jules Breakenridge got hot, hitting multiple three-pointers. But the Redhawks also got into foul trouble with Lainey Willenbring working with four fouls much of the last quarter and Aubree Monat and Rylee McLean each fouling out.

The Redhawks whittled the Regents’ lead down to four points with one minute to go in the fourth but Waterloo Christian was able to hang on for a 49-39 win.

DeBoef was the scoring leader for the Redhawks and finished her final high school game with a double-double on 12 points shooting and 12 boards.

Breakenridge was the only other player for North Tama to surpass double-digit scoring. She finished with 11 points, most of which came from beyond the three-point line.

“Coach Breakenridge and I took this program over two years ago after five different head coaches in four years,” Larmore said. “It’s been a slow progress and isn’t anywhere close to where we want it to be, but we are moving forward and the girls continue to get better. We lose two very valuable seniors that have played a lot of varsity minutes since they were sophomores but we are excited with the nucleus coming back. We feel that we should be able to take another big step as a program next year with our six returners. Some off-season work is going to be expected for us to get to where we want to go which is towards the top of our conference. We’ve got the athletes and they have the potential to be pretty good.”