Union girls host No. 1, reigning state champ Dike-New Hartford

Union’s Lauren Youngblut (12) looks for an opening to pass around Dike-New Hartford’s Camille Landphair (11) during last Saturday’s home game in La Porte City. Photo by Soren M. Peterson

The Union girls hosted the No. 1 team in Class 2A girls basketball – Dike-New Hartford – last Saturday evening, just barely making it to double digits before succumbing to the Wolverines 69-16.

The game had been previously scheduled for Friday night but was rescheduled due to the snowstorm.

In addition to being the current No. 1, D-NH is also the reigning Class 2A state champion and from the tipoff, it was clear the Wolverines are again a formidable force this season.

D-NH played disruptive and smothering defense, holding Union’s starting five of Lauren Youngblut, Reagan Sorensen, Ava Mills, Dena Robb and Brigitte Rohrer to a combined eight points.

The offensive highlight for the Knights came from Mills who sunk two 3-pointers while Rohrer made two free throws.

Union sophomore Emily Petersen (left) readies a pass against No. 1 Dike-New Hartford last Saturday evening in the Union High School gym. Photo by Soren M. Peterson

Sophomore forward Emily Petersen was a bright spot off the bench for the Knights, coming in the second quarter to rapidly sink a 3-pointer. Petersen also had the most rebounds for the team – three, all on defense.

Guard Lily Lorenzen and center Sydney Schmuecker also came off the bench and put up points – Lorenzen with a 3-pointer and Schmuecker with a field goal – to round out Union’s offense.

Schmuecker logged the Knights’ only offensive rebound against the Wolverines. Union as a team managed 11 rebounds total to D-NH’s 29.

Turnovers were a massive issue for Union, giving the Wolverines opportunity after opportunity to score. The Knights turned the ball over 27 times in the first half.

With a pack-like mentality, the Wolverines’ defense picked off the Knights’ passes again and again, often converting the turnovers into breakaway layups and easy transition buckets on the other end.

Although the Wolverines’ pace slowed a bit in the second half as their second and third string players took over, Union was unable to mount any sort of a comeback and fell for their eighth loss of the season.

D-NH has only lost one game thus far – to Class 3A No. 5 Center Point-Urbana, 42-45.

With the loss to the Wolverines, the Knights are now 3-8 for the season.

The girls will next see action Friday at home against Oelwein beginning at 6:15 p.m. Oelwein’s record going into the week was 1-11. The Huskies have not taken a win over Union since 2012.

Union will follow up their Friday night action with a Saturday afternoon game, hosting Benton Community beginning at 1:00 p.m.