Without its top scorer, IMS falls to Lone Tree
KALONA — When the IMS girls’ basketball team ran onto the Hillcrest Union court for its game against Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division rival Lone Tree on Friday night, junior Olivia Yutzy followed by hobbling over to the team’s bench with an ice pack taped to her left ankle.
Without its top scorer and rebounder, who had badly twisted her ankle during the team’s shootaround on Friday afternoon, IMS was out-rebounded 44-27 and lost to the Lions 47-34.
“Olivia is a big part of us rebounding the ball,” IMS head coach Aaron Gingerich said. “She’s so athletic. When she comes out, you can really see our weakness is rebounding the ball.”
Even without Yutzy, who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season, IMS hung with the Lions. IMS trailed by just five points at the end of the first quarter, and by eight at halftime. Junior Kristin Davis hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the third quarter to trim Lone Tree’s lead to six, but that was as close as IMS would get.
In Yutzy’s absence, IMS sophomore Riley Schmieder took the ball hard to the basket, and she finished with a season-high 11 points and five rebounds.
“I think that as a team we all knew that [Olivia] was a big scorer and that we all needed to step up a little bit to try to get back those points,” Schmieder said.
Davis hit three 3-pointers and added nine points for IMS (5-10, 5-9 SEISC North). Sophomore Hannah Miller chipped in eight points.
Junior Madelyn Flemr had 12 points, 15 rebounds and three steals for Lone Tree (7-7, 6-7 SEISC North), and senior Ella Feldman had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Lone Tree head coach Travis Pierson was pleased that his team was able to win at IMS after losing to IMS 58-57 in Lone Tree on Nov. 30.
“I thought we came in and did exactly what we were wanting to do,” he said. “We were doing what we could to take good shots and uncontested shots. Layups are definitely the best shots we wanted to take. We had some different girls taking those shots. Then, when we didn’t hit them, we were in good position to put them back.”
IMS was without its tallest two players. Anya Slabaugh, a 5-foot-8 senior, was not in uniform after she had experienced concussion-like symptoms after knocking heads with Highland’s Bridget Murphy last Tuesday night. Reserves Lauren Swantz, Larissa Wyse and Stasia Majerick were also out with injuries.
“It was kind of weird to look down the bench and only see three girls sitting there,” Gingerich said.
But his shorthanded squad battled for 32 minutes against the rival Lions.
“I felt like we really played hard and competed,” Gingerich said. “Even without our leader, we really made it a competitive ballgame, and that’s all I can ask of the girls. I’m really proud of them for how hard they played. They didn’t let that be an excuse. They still came out ready to play their best.”