Comets maul Mustangs, repel Rams

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Rachel Zimmermann scored eight points in No. 7 North Polk’s 63-53 victory over Greene County Friday in Alleman. Photo by Joe Randleman
Hannah Becker attempts to shoot against Greene County as Rachel Zimmermann looks on. Photo by Joe Randleman
Macy Gill goes up against three Ram defenders. Photo by Joe Randleman
Maddy Hill dribbles around a Greene County player. Photo by Joe Randleman
Miranda Murphy races down court against the Rams’ Emily Christensen. Photo by Joe Randleman
Riley Murphy fights for the ball against two Greene County players. Photo by Joe Randleman

MONROE – A dominant second half lifted the North Polk girls’ basketball team to a 62-44 road victory over Prairie City-Monroe Saturday in Monroe.

The game was knotted at 26-26 through one half of play. The Comets – ranked No. 7 in Class 2A – then scored 20 points in the third quarter to build a seven-point lead.

In the fourth quarter defense took over for the Comets, as they held the Mustangs to only five points over the last eight minutes to pull away. The victory put North Polk at 16-4 on the season and 15-2 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.

North Polk shot 42 percent from the field (19 of 45) and 40 percent from 3-point range (4 of 10). The Comets also made 20 of 27 free throws and dominated the boards, finishing with 47 rebounds.

The twin sister tandem of Miranda and Megan Murphy combined for 45 points on the night for North Polk.

Miranda posted a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds and she also blocked two shots. Megan netted 22 points and she chipped in two assists, two steals and one block.

Macy Gill was a perfect 4 of 4 from the field, totaling nine points. She also had three rebounds and two steals.

North Polk 62, PCM 44

NP 12 14 20 16 – 62

PCM 12 14 13 5 – 44

North Polk (62) – Macy Gill 4-4 0-0 9, Megan Murphy 4-17 12-13 22, Hannah Becker 2-6 0-0 4, Maddy Hill 1-4 0-0 2, Riley Murphy 1-3 0-1 2, Miranda Murphy 7-11 8-11 23, Rachel Zimmermann 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 19-45 20-27 62. 3-point field goals (4): Me. Murphy 2, Gill, Mi. Murphy. Rebounds (47): Mi. Murphy 13. Assists (3): Me. Murphy 2. Steals (7): Gill 2, Me. Murphy 2. Blocks (4): Mi. Murphy 2.

ALLEMAN – A tremendous third quarter made the difference for North Polk in a 63-53 home victory over Greene County Friday.

In the first half the Comets sputtered offensively and struggled to slow down Greene County’s perimeter game. As a result, North Polk trailed 27-20 going into the locker room.

But in the third quarter, everything changed - North Polk began to assert its will on offense and clamp down defensively.

Greene County still led 32-25 early in the third quarter. North Polk then turned everything upside down for the Rams by going on a 17-0 run.

Rachel Zimmermann started the spurt with a 3-pointer and Megan Murphy followed with a basket off a steal. Macy Gill then found Riley Murphy for a basket and followed with a coast-to-coast basket of her own to put North Polk on top, 34-32, and force Greene County’s coach, Chad Morton, to call timeout with 4:24 left in the third quarter.

The timeout did nothing to slow North Polk’s momentum.

Miranda Murphy scored a basket for the Comets following the timeout. She then found Megan for a 3-pointer after hustling for an offensive rebound in the corner.

Maddy Hill hit 1 of 2 free throws and Miranda converted another offensive rebound into a basket to give North Polk a 42-32 lead. Leading Ram scorer Kayla Mobley finally stopped the bleeding for her team by scoring a basket with 1:32 left in the third.

“We had a tough first half, but then everyone stepped up their tempo and just worked hard on defense,” Miranda Murphy said. “Everyone was working really hard on the boards and gave that little extra effort and got it done.”

North Polk led 44-36 at the end of the third. Green County continued to hang around early in the fourth as a Mobley basket pulled the Rams within 48-41.

But the Comets pushed their lead back to 13 points midway through the final period and Greene County was never able to make a serious run down the stretch.

Miranda and Megan Murphy continued to lead North Polk offensively the senior twins combined for 31 points.

Miranda had 16 points, five rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals. Megan tacked on 15 points and two assists.

But several younger players also stepped up for North Polk.

Gill, Hill and Zimmerman – two freshmen and a sophomore – scored eight points apiece and Riley Murphy and Hannah Becker – both freshmen – each tacked on four points as all seven Comet players who saw the floor scored. Gill also had four assists and one steal; Hill tallied two steals; Zimmerman added four rebounds, two assists and one steal and Becker pulled down seven rebounds.

“We are energetic and we try and keep the team up,” Gill said of North Polk’s younger players. “We also play big defense.”

North Polk struggled from the line, making just 12 of 24 free throws. But the Comets shot at a solid 44-percent clip from the field (24 of 54) and outrebounded Greene County by a 27-23 margin.

Greene County also shot 44 percent from the floor and the Rams were 6 of 12 from 3-point range. They didn’t get to the line much, only attempting 11 free throws.

Mobley finished with a game-high 20 points for Greene County and she also had seven rebounds and two assists. Tressa Rasmussen was a perfect 3 of 3 from 3-point range to score nine points, and Emily Christensen and Jolee Wessling added eight points apiece for Greene County.

North Polk 63, Greene County 53

GC 14 13 9 17 – 53

NP 8 12 24 19 – 63

Greene County (53) – Emma Saddoris 1-3 0-0 2, Thea Ballard 0-1 0-0 0, Allie Stoline 1-1 0-0 2, Tressa Rasmussen 3-3 0-0 9, Abby Bravard 0-1 0-0 0, Stacy Mears 0-1 0-0 0, Marissa Promes 1-1 0-0 2, Emily Christensen 2-7 2-2 8, Jolee Wessling 2-7 4-7 8, Kayla Mobley 9-18 1-2 20, Hannah Onken 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 20-45 7-11 53. 3-point field goals (6): Rasmussen 3, Christensen 2, Mobley. Rebounds (23): Mobley 7. Assists (13): Wessling 3. Steals (4): Christensen 2. Blocks (1): Rasmussen.

North Polk (63) – Macy Gill 3-9 2-5 8, Megan Murphy 5-11 4-4 15, Hannah Becker 2-5 0-6 4, Maddy Hill 3-7 2-4 8, Riley Murphy 2-6 0-0 4, Miranda Murphy 6-10 4-5 16, Rachel Zimmermann 3-6 0-0 8. Totals: 24-54 12-24 63. 3-point field goals (3): Zimmermann 2, Me. Murphy. Rebounds (27): Becker 7. Assists (11): Gill 4. Steals (7): Hill 2, Mi. Murphy 2. Blocks (3): Mi. Murphy 3.

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