BCLUW fends off frantic North Tama comeback

CONRAD — Sometimes victory is as simple as survival.

The BCLUW girls basketball team rode the razor’s edge last Friday night against North Tama but outlasted the Redhawks, 31-28, in Iowa Star South action at BCLUW High School.

The Comets improved to 2-2 overall and North Tama dropped to 1-1.

Sydney Anderson had 12 points to lead BCLUW coming on four 3-point baskets. Klayre Gallentine, Callie Swanson and Savannah Moeller all scored five points each.

A frantic final quarter saw BCLUW surrendering turnovers to North Tama’s pressure defense that led to quick Redhawk buckets.

Trailing 27-16 after the third quarter, a Jamie Jacobs steal and score got North Tama to the 31-28 margin, and the Redhawks swiped BCLUW’s inbounds pass again but couldn’t get another shot to fall before time ran out.

“It’s like we did everything we could to make it closer than it had to be,” BCLUW head coach Joel Johnson said. “We haven’t really worked on those late-game situations enough. We had a comfortable lead and we kind of let them get back into it.”

BCLUW was outscored 12-4 in the quarter, and finished 2-of-9 from the free-throw line. But Moeller’s steal and free throw with 20 seconds left pushed the margin to three, taking a little pressure off the final scrum.

With Grace Farnsworth out of the lineup due to illness, Moeller and Morgan Bergman stepped up well for the Comets, Johnson said.

“Savannah gave us some nice minutes, and Morgan was able to go out there and do a great job,” Johnson added. “Our defense played pretty well and we outrebounded them, and that all comes down to hustling.”

Rylee Ridout finished with eight points to lead the Redhawks. Ava Breakenridge added seven points.

“The girls’ effort in the fourth quarter was outstanding,” North Tama head coach Harold Youngblut said. “They didn’t give up, and we were pressing those last few minutes and that’s poor coaching on my part – if we start pressing maybe a minute earlier we win that game. But man, the kids just played hard.”

BCLUW started with a 9-2 advantage and expanded to 18-7 at the halftime horn, where the margin stayed for most of the third quarter until the Redhawks fired up in the fourth.

“It was a physical game and their guards were aggressive and getting our shooters out of rhythm,” Youngblut said. “Very low percentage for us, and it was all because of their tough defense. We’ve got a good team, our athletic ability is a huge key for us, but we’ve just got to get our shooting down and continue to play as a team.”