MONROE – A huge rally versus Prairie City-Monroe Monday kept the Nevada girls’ basketball team tied for the lead in the Heart of Iowa Conference.
The Cubs trailed the Mustangs by 11 points going into the fourth quarter. Then ,the final eight minutes saw the game do a 180 degree turn as Nevada dominated both ends of the floor to earn a 49-46 comeback victory at Monroe.
Nevada led after one quarter, but PCM dominated the second period to take a 31-23 lead at the half. The Mustangs held Nevada to seven points in the third quarter to build their lead before the Cubs completely took control down the stretch to improve to 8-1 in the HOIC and 8-2 overall.
The Cubs prevailed despite a rough night at the foul line; they only made 7 of 24 free throws as a team.
Nevada also struggled from the field, making just 6 of 23 3-pointers and shooting 36 percent overall.
Defense and rebounding were the difference makers for Nevada. Led by Megan Pringnitz and Kati Cassabaum, the Cubs ripped down 47 rebounds and totaled 12 blocks as a team.
Pringnitz and Cassabaum both posted a double-double and they combined for 11 blocks.
Pringnitz led Nevada in scoring with 13 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds, blocked four shots and dished out an assist.
Cassabaum finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She came up with an impressive seven blocks and also had two steals and one assist.
Claire Ausman chipped in eight points and two assists and fellow freshman Abby Stephenson added four points and assists apiece, along with one block. Alli Fey and Jessica Helton each scored five points and dished out three assists and Fey also had six rebounds and three steals.
Nevada 49, PCM 46
N 13 10 7 19 – 49
PCM 12 19 10 5 – 46
Nevada (49) – Claire Ausman 2-8 3-6 8, Abby Stephenson 2-6 0-0 4, Megan Pringnitz 5-14 0-4 13, Emma Lodestein 1-3 1-4 3, Ally Fey 1-7 2-5 5, Jessica Helton 2-3 0-1 5, Kati Cassabaum 5-9 1-4 11, Christine Ausman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-50 7-24 49. 3-point field goals (6): Pringnitz 3, Cl. Ausman, Fey, Helton. Rebounds (47): Cassabaum 12. Assists (15): Stephenson 4. Steals (6): Fey 3. Blocks (12): Cassabaum 7.
NEVADA – An aggressive defensive game plan helped Nevada roll past Gilbert by a 48-27 score in a key Heart of Iowa Conference matchup between two rivals Jan. 7 at the Nevada High School Field House.
Both teams entered the game tied with North Polk atop the conference. But thanks to a mixture of successful full-court presses Nevada looked like the much stronger team Jan. 7.
The Cubs went to a three-quarter court 1-2-2 press after they made a basket. When they missed and Gilbert got the rebound the Cubs went to "purple" on a miss – an attacking 2-2-1 press where they try to trap the person with the ball.
It resulted in multiple Gilbert turnovers as Nevada came away with an impressive 19 steals on the night.
"We worked hard on putting in a new press on misses over break along with running another press off makes," Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. "The girls worked really hard over break getting in shape and getting in the right positions. Tonight we just worked really hard on our presses and kind of got them frustrated and throwing the ball around a bit."
Nevada led 25-14 at the half and then blew the game open in the third quarter.
Kati Cassabaum scored off a putback and Alli Fey converted a basket off a steal to start the third quarter for Nevada. Abby Stephenson added a putback and then Megan Pringnitz hit a 3-pointer and found Claire Ausman for a basket to give Nevada a 36-17 cushion.
Cassabaum scored the next three points then found Ausman for a hoop. Jessica Helton capped the explosive quarter with a basket and she also drilled a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter that gave Nevada an overwhelming 46-19 lead to put the game away early.
Cassabaum and Stephenson were the keys to Nevada’s suffocating defense.
In addition to being a dominant force under the basket, the 6-0 Cassabaum constantly disrupted Gilbert as the Tigers were inbounding the ball.
"I always have the longest arms obviously," Cassabaum said. "Hopefully if I deflect the ball one of my teammates will come up and catch it. There are two people in the middle that are really important to our press."
Stephenson was often the one benefiting from deflected balls. Stephenson ended up with seven steals on the night and she also tallied six points, three assists and three rebounds.
"Abby is probably quicker than anyone I’ve coached," Meyer said. "She anticipates very well."
Cassabaum finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, one assist and one steal. She made 6 of 8 field goals as it was Nevada’s goal to get the ball inside and let her go to work.
"Over break we worked on her posting up hard," Meyer said. "We haven’t really thrown the ball inside to her a lot the first half of the season. That’s something we really stressed over break."
Cassabaum’s inside play provides the perfect complement to Nevada’s perimeter-oriented offense.
"It’s really nice because we have a lot of different threats," Cassabaum said. "If anyone has an off game we have another person to go to. We can work it inside and outside – it’s really easy to mix them together."
Helton finished with 11 points and two steals and Pringnitz added six points, five assists, five steals and three blocks for the Cubs. Emma Lodestein chipped in five points and Ausman added four.
Hillary Mosiman had nine points, Katie Reed finished with eight points, three assists and two steals and Elise Powers put up seven points and rebounds apiece for Gilbert. The Tigers were hurt by the loss of junior forward Paige Hoiberg, who hurt her ankle in the first half and was unable to finish the game.
Nevada 48, Gilbert 27
G 6 8 5 8 – 27
N 14 11 18 5 – 48
Gilbert (27) – Olivia Tibben 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Reed 3-4 1-2 8, Hillary Mosiman 4-15 1-3 9, Madison Blum 0-2 0-0 0, Kelly Anderson 0-2 0-0 0, Paige Hoiberg 0-5 0-0 0, Taylor Broshar 0-3 1-2 1, Elise Powers 3-6 1-2 7, Jacee Lenz 0-0 0-0 0, Jane Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Chase DeBont 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 11-39 4-9 27. 3-point field goals (1): Reed. Rebounds (39): Powers 7. Assists (6): Reed 3. Steals (9): Reed 2, Mosiman 2, Anderson 2. Blocks: None.
Nevada (48) – Claire Ausman 2-9 0-2 4, Abby Stephenson 3-5 0-1 6, Megan Pringnitz 2-10 0-0 6, Emma Lodestein 2-4 1-2 5, Alli Fey 1-6 0-0 2, Megan Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 4-13 0-0 11, Kati Cassabaum 6-8 2-6 14, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-0 0-0 0, Christine Ausman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-56 3-11 48. 3-point field goals (5): Helton 3, Pringnitz 2. Rebounds (29): Cassabaum 13. Assists (11): Pringnitz 5. Steals (19): Stephenson 7. Blocks (8): Cassabaum 5.