Central girls lose defensive battle at MFL MarMac

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Delaney Scherf leads the fast break against MFL MarMac. (Photo by Bev Hamann)

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

It was another close loss for the Central girls basketball team on Dec. 22, as the MFL MarMac Bulldogs held on to win 35-32. Central was not without its chances to win the game, however. 

In fact, the Warriors led 25-21 heading into the fourth quarter, but were out-scored by the Bulldogs 14-7 in the final period, leading to the defeat. 

The defensive battle had the Warriors shooting just 24.3 percent from the field and a season-low 13.3 percent from the three-point line. They also shot 54.5 percent from the free throw line, making just 12 of 22 shots. 

Central was led in scoring by Delaney Scherf with 16 points—11 of those points in the first half. Haley Frieden had 10 points in the game, Hannah Asche had three, Abby Cummer two and Grace Kuehl one. 

“It was a defensive game on both sides. We did a good job defensively of shutting down MFL MarMac’s top scorer and holding her to three points,” coach Mark Wiley said. 

However, the defense did allow junior Miranda Lang, to score a game-high 20 points. 

As for other statistics, Carly Kluesner led the team with two assists. Delaney Scherf, Kuehl, Lexi Loan and Frieden each had one assist. 

Frieden had six rebounds, all on the defensive end. Cummer grabbed five rebounds and Delaney Scherf had four. 

“We gave up nine second-chance points in the game and, in comparison, we only had two second-chance points. This was a major difference in the game,” Wiley said. 

Along with rebounding, another area the team needs to make improvement is in turnovers, where they committed 18 for the game, while the Bulldogs only had nine. 

“We distributed the basketball pretty well in the first half. We unfortunately didn’t hit a few open field goals and missed some free throws that we have the capability of making. We turned the ball over too much in the fourth quarter, and MFL MarMac hit some perimeter shots allowing them to extend the lead to 33-25,” Wiley said. “We battled back by attacking the rim, driving and passing to teammates, and playing solid defense the last two minutes of the game. The team showed a lot of fight in the game, even when things weren’t necessarily going our way on the offensive end.” 

After starting the season with three straight wins, the team finds itself mired in a 1-4 stretch. The Warriors are 5-3 in the Upper Iowa Conference and 5-5 overall. They look to right the ship in the new year, starting with a game at Edgewood-Colesburg on Jan. 4, followed by a home match-up against Postville on Jan. 8. 

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