Turnovers hurt Royals in loss to Trojans: Despite mistakes C-N girls push WM hard

Joe Randleman
Nevada Journal
Colo-NESCO's McKenzie Niemeyer battles West Marshall's Avery Randall for a rebound during the first half of the Royals' 42-30 loss to the Trojans in their season opener Friday at Colo.

COLO - Colo-NESCO looked like a team with very little varsity experience and practice time against West Marshall in the season opener of the girls’ basketball season Friday.

But the Royals also played with the heart of a team that could be playing its last game, pushing the Trojans hard in the second half before falling, 42-30.

“(Coach) Cafferty says you have to get 1 % better everyday,” Colo-NESCO guard Izabell Voekler said. “Just know that everyday could be our last day so you just have to play your hardest like it’s your last game.”

With COVID-19 cases rising across the state, every game Colo-NESCO plays could be its last - at least a little while.

“We’re grateful that we get to play tonight because there are a lot of schools that don’t even get to practice,” Wayne Cafferty said. “We’ll just go a day at a time. That’s the way the whole year is going to be.”

So the Royals put it all on the line against West Marshall in the second half.

Turnovers and the inability to get anything set up in the half court hurt Colo-NESCO in the first half. The Royals trailed 25-11 early in the third quarter.

But then the Royals went on a 16-2 run sparked by an effective half-court trap to close within 27-25 a little over a minute into the fourth quarter.

“Our traps worked really well tonight,” Colo-NESCO guard Jenna Banks said. “Our defense helped us stay with them for most of the game.”

Banks scored the final five points of the run. She had two baskets off steals at the end of the third quarter and then made 1 of 2 free throws with 6:43 left in the fourth.

“It wasn’t just me, it was Izabell too,” Banks said. “We had our teammates behind us ready to steal the ball.”

Colo-NESCO guard Jenna Banks draws contact from West Marshall's Katy Reyerson on a drive during the Royals' season-opening loss to the Trojans Friday in Colo.

Voelker led Colo-NESCO with 12 points on the night. It was a great effort for her first varsity start.

“It’s a big step from JV to varsity,” Voelker said. “You think it’s going to be one pace faster, but it’s two or three paces faster on every play. You’ve just got to be ready for anything.”

The big comeback took a lot out of Colo-NESCO’s young team. 

After West Marshall scored five consecutive points Ayvarie Bappe hit a 3-pointer to pull Colo-NESCO within 32-28 midway through the fourth. The Royals only scored two more points the rest of the way.

Athletic sophomore forward Katey Reyerson took over for West Marshall offensively down the stretch. Reyerson took advantage of her size to score all 15 Trojan points in the fourth quarter and finish with a game-high 26 points.

“I think our biggest thing was not having a big post like they did,” Voelker said. “We’ve been working on our medium high post, but it’s just a big step from having Emma Stalzer and Gracie (Kettwig) down there.”

Turnovers also came back to haunt Colo-NESCO in the fourth quarter.

“I’m happy with our effort, it’s just that you could tell a lot of kids hadn’t played varsity ball before,” Cafferty said. “The speed of the game and our turnovers. It’s learning how to take care of the ball.”

If Colo-NESCO can figure out its turnover and ball-handling issues and get a little more consistent in the half court it has the potential to do some damage in the Iowa Star Conference South Division.

“We’ve got to work on trying to build our skills,” Cafferty said. “If we play that hard every night we’ll be in games and have a chance to win.” 

Banks finished with five points and four assists and rebounds apiece. Bappe hit two 3-pointers and finished with eight points, five rebounds and one block; McKenzie Niemeyer had four points and nine rebounds and Jenna Hill tacked on one point, eight rebounds and one block for the Royals.


West Marshall 42, Colo-NESCO 30

WM    10   11    6   15 - 42

CN       5     6   11    8 - 30


West Marshall (42) - Kiki Pfantz 2 0-2 4, Loren Solberg 1 0-0 2, Delaney Nichols 1 0-0 2, Lilly Burt 2 0-0 4, Katey Reyerson 12 2-4 26, Olivia Gradwell 0 0-1 0. Totals: 20 2-7 42. 3-point field goals: None. 


Colo-NESCO (30) - Ayvarie Bappe 3-12 0-0 8, Callie Kohlwes 0-0 0-0 0, McKenzie Niemeyer 2-5 0-0 4, Jenna Banks 2-6 1-1 5, Izabell Voelker 5-14 0-0 12, Jenna Hill 0-8 1-2 1, Emma Wilson 0-3 0-0 0, Riley Handsaker 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 12-50 2-4 30. 3-point field goals (4): Bappe 2, Voelker 2. Rebounds (32): Niemeyer 9. Assists (8): Banks 4. Steals (13): Voelker 3. Blocks (2): Bappe, Hill.