A second encounter between North Nodaway and Northeast Nodaway's girls occurring almost exactly a month apart yielded a strikingly similar result.
After trouncing NEN by 30 in pool play of the Northwest Missouri Tournament back on Dec. 13, the Lady Mustangs were even more convincing on the scoreboard in a 55-21 win over the Ladyjays Monday night.
North Nodaway outscored NEN by 17 points in each half and its 2-3 zone defense held the Jays to six points or less in all four quarters.
The Lady Mustangs did their most extensive damage in the second and fourth quarters, winning those by a combined score of 37-11.
North Nodaway improved to 10-7 on the year and halted a two-game losing streak from last week's Fairfax Tournament. The Lady Jays fell to 7-9.
"I was impressed with the hustle we had on our press even though we didn't always get steals," said North Nodaway assistant coach Jesse Birkenholz who was filling in for head coach Doug Freemyer. "We always had our hand on the ball deflecting them. I think it kind of frustrated them. We hustled the whole game. Shooting wasn't the best for us. I thought we fought through that and played a good game."
North Nodaway had nine players contribute to its point total, with three of those scoring their first baskets in the fourth quarter.
Despite sitting with four fouls part of the second half, junior guard Cambry Schluter led all scorers in the game with 18 points. She was 7-8 at the foul line and made a pair of three-pointers.
Senior guard Leslie Birkenholz nailed five perimeter shots and a pair of free throws to finish with 12 points. Erin Greeley added six points.
NEN's high scorers were junior Taryn Farnan and freshman Jill Spire with five points apiece.
Farnan scored all five points at the foul line where she was just 5-13.
The Ladyjays made just six field goals in the game, turned the ball over 20-plus times and went 9-24 at the foul line. Their 21 point output was three fewer than the Jays scored last time against North Nodaway.
"We're struggling to score at all right now and when we get good shots we're not making them," said Northeast Nodaway head coach Vance Proffitt. "Most of the time, we're not even getting good shots or shots at all. That can't happen. I've got to figure out a way to improve our guard play and get the ball up and down the floor and run the offense. I'll get it done hopefully."
NEN got off to a promising start, scoring the game's first three points on a bank shot by Kristan Judd and a free throw from Kerrigan Adwell to lead 3-0.
Page 2 of 2 - However, the Jays made just one more field goal the rest of the quarter and scored three more points.
After missing its first five shots, North Nodaway scored seven straight points to gain a lead of 7-3 it never relinquished. Schluter, who had seven first quarter points and 12 in the first half, scored on a putback to increase North Nodaway's lead to 11-4.
A buzzer-beating shot by Adwell and a free throw from Farnan 30 seconds into the second quarter pulled the Jays back within four.
Up by five, North Nodaway blew the game open with a 13-1 run to close the quarter.
Schluter scored five of the first seven points with a three and a pull-up to make it 22-10. Four straight Mustang free throws in the final eight seconds by Birkenholz and Sam Frueh gave them a 28-11 halftime lead.
NEN was just 1-5 from the field in the second quarter and turned it over 11 times.
The only made field goal came from Spire.
NEN scored the opening basket of the third quarter on a jumper by Wiederholt, then hit another field goal drought that lasted until the fourth quarter.
North Nodaway only scored seven third quarter points but increased its lead to 35-15 on a jumper by Birkenholz.
The Mustangs opened the fourth quarter with six straight points and went ahead 41-15 on Schluter's second three. North Nodaway's lead hit 31 points on a three by freshman Jordan Wymore. She also scored North Nodaway's final basket of the game.
NEN's only two fourth quarter field goals were scored by Holly Redden and Spire.
"It got away when our effort went down," said Proffitt. "I've got to find ways to help these girls when it gets tough. Our effort is there, but our basketball wasn't there. That one is on me. It just got out of hand."
Northeast Nodaway is back in action tonight against South Nodaway in Barnard. The Mustangs are off until Friday when they square off with Nodaway-Holt in Graham.
North Nodaway lost to Nodaway-Holt in the finals of the Northwest Missouri Tournament. This one counts in the 275 standings.
"It's an important game for us," said Birkenholz. "We know we're right there with them. I know it didn't always show there when we played them the first time. We didn't shoot very good then either. We've had time to get better. We know what we've got to do to beat them. You got to play or you don't win."