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Defense gets Ballard past Nevada

HUXLEY – Defense did the job for Ballard in its annual rivalry game with Nevada Monday in Huxley as the Bombers prevailed by a 48-37 score in the non-conference affair.

Ballard (13-2) had suffered its first-ever 5-on-5 loss to Nevada last season. The Cubs, ranked fifth in Class 3A, entered Monday’s game fully capable of making it two in a row, but the Bombers – rated No. 4 in 4A – had other ideas.

The Bombers held the Cubs to 4 of 19 shooting from 3-point range. They also forced 18 turnovers and only committed nine.

That defensive effort combined with a strong 17 of 24 showing at the line helped Ballard control most of the game.

The Bombers led 25-17 at the half, thanks to a big first quarter on offense. Ballard was a little sluggish coming out of the gate in the second half as Nevada’s Megan Pringnitz got hot from outside to get the Cubs within three points.

But Ballard regrouped in the fourth quarter. The picked it up defensively and hit their foul shots down the stretch to pull away.

“Overall (we) had a good game,” Ballard head coach Kelly Anderson said. “We came out and were pretty aggressive on the defensive end.”

Ballard prevailed despite shooting just 37 percent from the field.

“At times we looked very good on offense and at times we tried to force things,” Anderson said. “We also gave up too many offensive rebounds.”

Gabie Doud and Emily Knittel both scored in double figures for Ballard in the win.

Doud netted a game-high 20 points after making 7 of 13 field goals and all six of her free-throw attempts. Doud also pulled down eight rebounds and came away with three steals and one assist.

Knittel ended up with 12 points after making 2 of 7 field goals and 8 of 10 free throws. She added five rebounds and three steals.

Abby McGee, Taylor Larson, Jenna Moody and Kenzie Ihle scored three points apiece and Meredith Ossian and Alanna Dubberke each scored two for Ballard. McGee also had three steals, Ihle finished with two assists and steals apiece and Dubberke came up with three blocks.

With the loss, Nevada dropped to 10-3.

Kati Cassabaum had a big game inside for the Cubs as she finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, four steals and three assists. Pringnitz hit 4 of 10 3-pointers to finish with 12 points and she also had five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Ballard 48, Nevada 37

N 11 6 12 8 – 37

B 18 7 7 16 – 48

Nevada (37) – Claire Ausman 2-5 1-5 5, Abby Stephenson 2-2 0-0 4, Megan Pringnitz 4-10 0-0 12, Emma Lodestein 0-0 0-0 0, Alli Fey 0-3 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 0-8 2-2 2, Kati Cassabaum 6-10 2-5 14. Totals: 14-38 5-12 37. 3-point field goals (4): Pringnitz 4. Rebounds (22): Cassabaum 7. Assists (11): Helton 3, Cassabaum 3. Steals (6): Cassabaum 4. Blocks (6): Cassabaum 4.

Ballard (48) – Charcey Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Meredith Ossian 1-6 0-2 2, Abby McGee 1-1 1-2 3, Taylor Larson 1-1 0-0 3, Gabie Doud 7-13 6-6 20, Emily Knittel 2-7 8-10 12, Jenna Moody 1-4 0-0 3, Kenzie Ihle 1-2 0-0 3, Alanna Dubberke 0-1 2-4 2, Sheridan Gealow 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 17-24 48. 3-point field goals (3): Larson, Moody, Ihle. Rebounds (23): Doud 8. Assists (6): Ihle 2. Steals (14): McGee 3, Doud 3, Knittel 3. Blocks (3): Dubberke 3.

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