COLO - A huge run spanning most of the second quarter into the start of the second half lifted Colo-Nesco to a convincing 59-21 victory over Ankeny Christian Academy in the opening round of Class 1A regional girls’ basketball Feb. 11 at Colo.
The Royals (19-3) only led the Eagles by a 13-7 score early in the second quarter. But that quickly changed on the strength of a quick burst three minutes into the quarter.
"That’s why I wanted to have a first round game," Colo-Nesco head coach Wayne Cafferty said. "I knew the kids would be a little wound for sound and they were. You could see a couple of those shots took chips out of the (backboard), but we settled down. We were able to get a couple runs in there, string a couple 3s together and get the W."
With five minutes, 12 seconds left in the second quarter, veteran forward Makaelyn Neuendorf was fouled on a shot and hit both free throws for Colo-Nesco. She then stole an inbounds pass and fed Rachel Vincent for a basket; Kassie Robinson scored off another inbounds steal and suddenly the Royals were up 19-7.
"Once you hit a shot a relief is lifted and you’re ready to start getting in the game," Neuendorf said. "After I hit two free throws, I was ready to start going and I think that’s what everybody else does too."
Neuendorf added a 3-pointer and another basket, Robinson hit two free throws, Faith Vincent drained a 3-pointer and Grace Stalzer scored inside as part of Colo-Nesco’s big run to give the Royals a 31-7 lead at the half. Molly Barten capped a 20-0 run with a basket inside to start the third quarter.
Three players scored in double figures for Colo-Nesco in the win. That was good news for the Royals, considering they will be without versatile guard Mackenna Ruffcorn for the rest of their playoff run.
Ruffcorn tore an ACL early in the Royals’ double-overtime win at Janesville last Friday.
"She’s our best athlete," Cafferty said. "She’s our best perimeter defender so it’s a big loss for us, but luckily we’ve got depth so we can fight through it."
With Ruffcorn on the sidelines, Robinson stepped up with a game-high 15 points versus ACA. She did most her damage when the game was being decided - netting 10 points in the first half.
"Since Kenna got hurt, we all figured out we have to step it up a little bit," Robinson said. "I just kind of have been stepping up lately."
Colo-Nesco loses Ruffcorn just after getting Neuendorf back from an ACL injury. Neuendorf hit two 3-pointers and ended up with 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists versus ACA.
Faith Vincent provided the early offense for Colo-Nesco. She ended up with 10 points and seven assists.
Rachel finished with six points, Barten had four points and five steals and Stalzer pulled down 11 rebounds against ACA.
ACA ended the season at 5-15. Michaela Crider scored eight points and tallied seven rebounds and two blocks and Bekah Smith finished with five points and six rebounds for the Eagles against the Royals.
Colo-Nesco 59, ACA 21
ACA 5 2 10 4 - 21
CN 13 18 19 9 - 59
ACA (21) - Bekah Smith 2-9 0-1 5, Mason Cambri 0-2 0-0 0, Nicole Howe 0-7 0-0 0, Michaela Crider 4-12 0-0 8, Jen Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Kenna Laib 1-10 0-0 2, Diane Cronk 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Pals 1-2 0-0 2, Cathy Cronk 0-1 0-0 0, Payton Davis 1-6 0-0 2. Totals: 10-53 0-1 21. 3-point field goals (1): Smith. Rebounds (34): Crider 7. Assists (2): Mason, Laib. Steals (7): D. Cronk 2. Blocks (3): Crider 2.
Colo-Nesco (59) - Faith Vincent 4-7 0-0 10, Rylie Reischauer 1-2 0-0 2, Grace Stalzer 1-6 0-0 2, Kassie Robinson 5-11 4-5 15, Chelsea Henze 1-2 0-0 3, Rachel Vincent 3-10 0-0 6, Peyton Hall 1-1 0-0 2, Morgan Dunahoo 1-2 0-0 3, Makaelyn Neuendorf 3-12 4-4 12, Madison Lundquist 0-0 0-0 0, Delaney McGill 0-2 0-0 0, Hallie Riese 0-0 0-0 0, Molly Barten 1-5 2-2 4. Totals: 21-60 10-11 59. 3-point field goals (7): F. Vincent 2, Neuendorf 2, Robinson, Henze, Dunahoo. Rebounds (37): Stalzer 11. Assists (17): F. Vincent 7. Steals (22): Barten 5. Blocks (2): Hall, Barten.