Eagles struggle in second half, but hold off HLV
KEOTA — Keota may have played its worst half of basketball of the season, but the Eagles held off visiting HLV in the fourth quarter of Monday’s South Iowa Cedar League contest for a 49-41 win.
“We did just enough to win instead of taking care of business,” Keota head coach Jenny Hobbs said.
After trailing by 21 points at halftime, HLV (2-9, 2-9 SICL) closed to within eight points late in the game. But the Eagles made some free throws and timely baskets to hold off the Warriors, who Keota had beaten 60-26 in Victor on Dec. 10.
Senior Lauren Dursky’s 3-pointer trimmed Keota’s lead to 41-32 with 1:40 remaining, but Keota sophomore Brooke Sieren knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end. HLV junior Abby Schafbuch made a pair of free throws to pull her team within nine again, but the Eagles broke HLV’s full-court press and sophomore Maggie Baker scored a layup.
HLV junior Taylor Tanner nailed a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining to trim Keota’s lead to eight, but the Eagles again broke the press, and senior Logan Woltering scored a layup. Schafbuch made two free throws to again trim the lead to eight, but Keota sophomore Madison Sheetz answered with a pair of foul shots, and time ran out on the Warriors’ comeback effort.
“We ran out of time, but I’m pretty pleased with the overall effort,” HLV head coach Stew Timm said. “To be in the game with three minutes to go after what we had at halftime was pretty encouraging.”
Leading 29-8 at halftime, Keota (7-5, 6-5 SICL) looked in control of the contest. But then the Eagles went ice cold. Keota went 0-for-14 from the field in the third quarter and got outscored 12-2.
“In the third quarter all of a sudden we started launching threes,” Hobbs said. “It was like we were the Iowa State women or something. We said that was how we were going to win the ballgame, by launching threes, so I had to remind them at the end of the third quarter that we shoot about 20 percent [from beyond the arc] on the year, and that’s not going to win too many ballgames.”
HLV junior Dani Kunz knocked down a jumper to open the fourth quarter and trim Keota’s lead to nine, but Keota junior Kelsi Sieren answered with the Eagles’ first field goal of the second half. Senior Megan Olson added a layup after a steal, and Sieren scored another basket as Keota stretched its lead back to 15 points.
But the Warriors kept cutting into the lead. Luckily for the Eagles, they went 6-for-9 from the free-throw line in the game’s final four minutes to hold on for the win.
“I was happy with our free-throw shooting,” Hobbs said.
Kelsi Sieren had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six steals to lead the Eagles, who were 18-for-68 from the field in the contest. Baker added eight points, six rebounds and six steals. Olson had a whopping nine thefts in the game.
Schafbuch, who scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, had a steal and a layup at the first-quarter buzzer to trim Keota’s lead to 10-6. But the Eagles opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run and outscored HLV 19-2 in the frame.
“We got our press going, and we were getting easier shots,” Hobbs said. “Our press basically gets our offense going. And we finished in the second quarter, whereas all the other quarters we struggled with bunnies. We didn’t shoot really well tonight. We never do, but this was especially bad.”