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Nevada girls to use Newton loss as fuel for regionals: Cubs host PCM in 3A quarterfinals Saturday

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

With Class 3A regionals looming in five days, the Nevada girls’ basketball team learned a valuable lesson Monday. 

The Cubs ended the regular season with a 37-34 loss to Newton. They had chances to take down the Cardinals late, but in the end couldn’t shake a huge 19-4 deficit to start the game. 

Sydney Mosinski scored 19 points in Nevada's 37-34 loss to Newton Monday at Nevada. Cubs are looking to take momentum from strong second half into the 3A regional quarterfinals against Prairie City-Monroe on Saturday.

“The learning moment is you’ve got to play defense at the beginning of the game,” Nevada head coach Jordan Bentley said. “Defense is what fuels this team’s offense. If they can get stops and cause a couple of turnovers they’re going to become a team that shoots in the 40% to 50% because they know they’re stopping the team on the other side and are pretty confident they can score.” 

Nevada fought its way back behind the inspired play of senior post Sydney Mosinski. Mosinski went for 19 points — 15 of those coming in the second half. 

“During the second half, the team moved the ball around more, which gave me more open looks,” Mosinski said. “As soon as they started doubling down on me, the ball movement would give other people more open looks.” 

Mosinski said better communication was key on both ends of the floor for Nevada in the second half. 

“We need to talk more,” Mosinski said. “In the first half we didn’t talk a lot and in the second half it really showed how much that can change our defense.” 

Nevada needed Mosinski’s production Monday. The Cubs were without leading scorer Shelbi Hazlitt, who is a little banged up and was kept out of action to rest her for regionals. 

“It seems we haven’t played a game here in the last five games where we've played at our full strength,” Bentley said. “We will get there by Saturday. “ 

With players in and out of the lineup due to health issues and Bentley looking for the group with the best chemistry together, it’s given several Cub girls a chance to show what they’re capable of doing on the court.  

Bridget Cahill has come on from 3-point range in recent games after seeing limited playing time early. Alexandria Arnaud is settling in at point guard, Tessa Borwick has been a huge lift off the bench, Maddie Dunham is starting to step up in the post and Mayzi Weig is getting more and more comfortable. 

Mayzi Weig is one of several players that have provided quality minutes for Nevada this season.

“A lot of times almost our whole bench gets in,” Mosinski said. “I think that gives us a lot of confidence knowing that if someone does get hurt we’ll have someone off the bench playing just as hard as the starters.” 

Entering Monday’s game Hazlitt was averaging 11.6 points and five rebounds and Mosinski 10.4 points 7.6 rebounds. Dunham and Borwick were both putting up 4.6 points apiece, Cahill 4.5 and Arnaud 4.1. 

Nevada (11-9) will host Prairie City-Monroe (3-16) in the 3A regional quarterfinals Saturday at 7 p.m. Seventh-ranked Des Moines Christian is the top team in Nevada’s region, which also features No. 9 Roland-Story.   

“We’ll make a nice little run here,” Bentley said. “When this team is full strength I think we can go up against anybody in our region.”