Three more huge wins for the Garner-Hayfield/Ventura girls basketball team brought them closer to the goal of being North Iowa Conference champions.
GHV 43, Osage 39
It was a big win for GHV on Tuesday, Jan. 28, when the Cardinals hosted Osage.
GHV came out sluggish and let the Green Devils take a 19-8 lead in the first quarter. The Cardinals figured it out in the second quarter, holding Osage (7-2, 12-3) to four, while collecting 12 points, to trail 23-20 at halftime.
We didn’t get off to a good start in this one,” said Coach Matt Erpelding. “We had seven first quarter turnovers, which led to 13 of their 19 first quarter points.”
The Green Devils led by five heading into the final quarter, but the Cardinals dug deep and took the lead behind a two-pointer by Shelby Rayhons, 38-37. With under two minutes to play, GHV’s full court defense forced a turnover, which was converted to a basket and a fifth foul on Osage’s strong post player, Jadee Walsh. The Cards ran down the clock and some outstanding free throw shooting by Bri Bier and Emily Spilman sealed the 43-39 victory for the Cardinals.
“This was an outstanding effort from my girls. We never lost our composure, but rather stayed focused and locked down defensively,” said Erpelding.
Spilman led the offensive effort with 11 points, followed closely by Hannah Lau with 10 points. Maddie Tusha added eight and Rayhons had seven points.
Tusha had seven rebounds to lead the team, while Lau grabbed five and Spilman had four boards.
Spilman and Tusha had four steals apiece, while Lau and Bier had two steals each. Tusha also led the team in assists with seven. Lau had two blocked shots and Mackenzie Van Gerpen and Mackenzie Haag had one blocked shot apiece.
The Cardinals will face Osage again in the opening round of Regionals on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Osage.
GHV 57, North Iowa 32
Solid defense and well executed offense helped the Cardinals win a lopsided contest at North Iowa on Friday, Jan. 31.
“For the first time in several games, we had a solid first quarter on both ends of the floor. Our defense stepped up from the opening tip and our offense executed for quality shots,” said Coach Matt Erpelding.
GHV garnered a big 27-11 first half lead. The third quarter was also strong, as the Cardinals stretched the lead to 23 points, while holding the Bison to eight points. The bench took over in the fourth quarter for the 57-32 team victory.
“The one disappointing area of the game for me was the fact that we had 23 turnovers, which I felt was too many as many of them were the unforced type,” said Erpelding.
Emily Spilman had another outstanding game for the Cardinals, collecting 14 points, four rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot.
Maddie Tusha contributed seven points, while Bri Bier, Mackenzie Haag, Mackenzie Van Gerpen and Sydney Younge all had six points apiece.
Hannah Lau led the team under the boards with seven rebounds. Grace Tusha grabbed five, while Maddie Tusha, Bier and Courtney Younge had four boards apiece.
Bier led the team in assists with five. Haag led in steals with three. Grace Tusha picked up two steals and one blocked shot. Sydney Younge had two blocked shots.
GHV 51, Bishop Garrigan 17
Bishop Garrigan got rolled by GHV’s defense on Saturday night in Algona. The Golden Bears were held scoreless for nearly 11 minutes in the second half and caved to the Cardinals, 51-17.
GHV started the game hot, outscoring Bishop Garrigan 14-5 in the first quarter. The Cardinals let up in the second quarter and only managed four points, for an 18-10 lead at halftime.
“I was very disappointed in our second quarter performance,” said Coach Matt Erpelding. “I challenged the girls at halftime and they responded tremendously with an outstanding defensive effort in the second half.”
The Cardinals held the Golden Bears to just three points until the last minute of the game, when Bishop