Strong start gets No. 3 Ballard girls past ADM

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Ballard’s Abby McGee dribbles near the free-throw line as she tries to set up a play during the second half of the Bombers’ Raccoon River Conference game with Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday in Huxley. McGee helped the Bombers avenge an earlier loss to the Tigers with a 52-39 victory. Photo by Joe Randleman
Ballard’s Taylor Larson tries to poke the ball away from ADM’s Sydney Bertman during the first half of the Bombers’ 52-39 victory over the Tigers. Larson provided a huge spark off the bench, finishing with 11 points. Photo by Joe Randleman

HUXLEY – A great first half on defense was enough to get the Ballard girls’ basketball team past Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday in Huxley as the Bombers picked up their ninth-consecutive win with a 52-39 triumph.

Ballard, the No. 3 team in Class 4A, was fresh off a 49-39 road win over then-No. 2 Perry the previous Tuesday. There was no chance of letdown versus ADM after the Tigers upset the Bombers in the first meeting between the two teams in December.

“We were bound and determined to beat them,” Ballard forward Gabie Doud said. “They somehow slipped in on us the first time we played them. We didn’t play to our strengths that first game, so we just really wanted to come out and prove to them and the conference that no one is going to get us twice.”

The first half saw Ballard hold ADM to just three field goals, building a 23-7 lead by halftime.

“We made them do stuff they weren’t comfortable doing,” Doud said. “We knew who their good shooters were and who their drivers were; we worked on stopping them in practice and just executed really well.”

Ballard struggled offensively in the first quarter, but Taylor Larson provided a big spark off the bench in the second quarter to get the Bombers going.

With the Bombers holding an 8-5 lead, Larson drained consecutive 3-pointers early in the quarter to push her team’s lead out to nine points. Larson added another 3-pointer later in the quarter to give Ballard its biggest lead of the half at 23-5.

“When I first went in I was thinking we need to get some points,” Larson said. “I just worked hard to get myself open and then they ended up going through.”

Ballard maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half. ADM got within 10 points early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Brianna Mueller, but Kenzie Ihle followed with a 3-pointer to spark a 10-1 Bomber run.

A Meredith Ossian 3-pointer capped the Bomber spurt to give Ballard its biggest lead at 50-31. ADM did manage to finish the game strong to outscore Ballard in the second half, which didn’t please Ballard head coach Kelly Anderson.

“We can’t let them outscore us in the second half and they did,” Doud said. “We let up a little bit and we can’t do that because good teams will come back and get us.”

Ballard shot at a strong 50-percent clip for the game (20 of 40). The Bombers held ADM to 30-percent shooting (13 of 42) and also posted a 29-18 rebounding advantage.

ADM did win the turnover battle. The Tigers gave up the ball 10 times and Ballard had 12 turnovers.

Doud finished with 18 points as Ballard’s top score. She had another strong all-around game, also recording nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.

Larson and Emily Knittel each finished with 11 points. Larson went 4 of 5 from the field and Knittel ended up with three rebounds and two assists.

Ossian delivered five points and four rebounds and Ihle had three points and six assists. Abby McGee put up two points, three rebounds and one steal; Sheridan Gealow netted two points and Alanna Dubberke chipped in three rebounds and two blocks and assists apiece for the Bombers.

The victory put Ballard at 15-2 overall and the Bombers remained atop the Raccoon River Conference with a 9-1 conference mark.

ADM dropped to 7-10 overall and 4-6 in the conference. Sydney Bertman had 14 points, two steals and one block; Molly Jacobsen finished with 13 points and five rebounds and Mueller added 10 points and five boards for the Tigers.

Ballard 52, ADM 39

ADM 3 4 16 16 – 39

B 8 15 13 16 – 52

ADM (39) – Allie Cook 0-1 0-0 0, Kendra Chapman 0-1 0-0 0, Madi Bertman 1-4 0-2 2, Mackenzie Sutton 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Bertman 4-6 4-8 14, Molly Jacobsen 5-11 0-1 13, Emily Hofmann 0-4 0-0 0, Haley Canney 0-2 0-0 0, Brianna Mueller 3-11 3-6 10. Totals: 13-42 7-17 39. 3-point field goals (6): Jacobsen 3, S. Bertman 2, Mueller. Rebounds (18): Mueller 5, Jacobsen 5. Assists (9): Hofmann 3. Steals (6): S. Bertman 2, M. Bertman 2. Blocks (1): S. Bertman.

Ballard (52) – Charcey Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Moody 0-1 0-0 0, Gabie Doud 7-12 3-3 18, Abby McGee 1-3 0-0 2, Emily Knittel 4-8 3-5 11, Kenzie Ihle 1-5 0-0 3, Meredith Ossian 2-4 0-1 5, Alanna Dubberke 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Larson 4-5 0-0 11, Sheridan Gealow 1-1 0-2 2. Totals: 20-40 6-11 52. 3-point field goals (6): Larson 3, Doud, Ihle, Ossian. Rebounds (29): Doud 9. Assists (17): Ihle 6. Steals (3): Doud, McGee, Larson. Blocks (5): Dubberke 2.

PERRY – In a confrontation between two top-five Class 4A teams, Ballard moved to the top of the Raccoon River Conference with a 49-39 road victory over Perry Jan. 28 in Perry.

The Bombers, then ranked fourth in 4A, completed a season sweep of the then-No. 2 Bluejays. The two Bomber victories over Perry account for the only Bluejay losses for the season.

Ballard built a lead at the half and then gradually gained separation in the fourth quarter.

The Bombers led 23-19 at the break. Both teams put up 13 points in the third quarter, but in the fourth, Ballard limited Perry to just seven points to pull away.

Ballard struggled from the foul line (15 of 28) and didn’t make a 3-pointer (0 of 6). But the Bombers shot at a solid 45-percent clip from the field (17 of 37) and held Perry to 25-percent shooting (14 of 51).

Ballard also won the rebounding battle by a 36-28 margin.

Gabie Doud made 7 of 11 field goals and finished with a team-high 19 points for Ballard. She added six rebounds and two assists.

Emily Knittel also scored in double figures for Ballard as she put up 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Meredith Ossian tacked on nine points, five rebounds, two assists and one block. Abby McGee ended up with four points and two steals; Alanna Dubberke had two points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal and Kenzie Ihle chipped in six rebounds and two assists for the Bombers.

All-state Perry forward Claire Marburger scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots. Maggie Lowe tacked on nine points, eight rebounds and five assists and Grace Marburger finished with seven points for the Bluejays, who fell to 14-2 overall and 7-2 in the conference.

Ballard 49, Perry 39

B 7 16 13 13 – 49

P 6 13 13 7 – 39

Ballard (49) – Charcey Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Moody 0-0 0-0 0, Gabie Doud 7-11 5-10 19, Abby McGee 1-1 2-3 4, Emily Knittel 4-9 7-12 15, Kenzie Ihle 0-3 0-0 0, Meredith Ossian 4-9 1-3 9, Alanna Dubberke 1-2 0-0 2, Taylor Larson 0-2 0-0 0, Sheridan Gealow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-37 15-28 49. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (36): Knittel 8. Assists (12): Knittel 3, Dubberke 3. Steals (4): McGee 2. Blocks (1): Ossian.

Perry (39) – Victoria Hegstrom 0-1 0-0 0, Maggie Lowe 3-12 2-4 9, Claire Marburger 8-21 4-5 21, Emma Olejniczak 0-1 0-0 0, Erica Tenold 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Marburger 2-7 2-2 7, Julie Diw 0-8 0-0 0, Amy Marckres 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 14-51 8-14 39. 3-point field goals (3): Lowe, C. Marburger, G. Marburger. Rebounds (28): C. Marburger 10. Assists (11): Lowe 5. Steals (6): Olejniczak 2, G. Marburger 2. Blocks (4): C. Marburger 3.

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