IMS was back in Hillcrest Union for the first time since the passing of sophomore teammate Teresa Cardenas. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community wore pink shirts in honor of Teresa. Many visiting attendees from Winfield Mt. Union wore pink as well, and mothers of the WMU girls’ team organized baked goods to be sold with all proceeds going to the Teresa Cardenas Memorial Fund. The IMS girls team joined Mireya Mendoza, Teresa’s mother, for a brief remembrance and prayer prior to starting lineups. It was a special moment for all involved.
IMS got off to a slow start and found themselves down 4-24 after the first quarter. IMS struggled to find a good flow on the offensive end, and was unable to slow down the strong interior play of the Lady Wolves. IMS went into the locker room facing its’ largest halftime deficit of the season, down 11-45.
“The first half was tough,” IMS head coach Kari Heusinkveld said. “We knew coming into the game Winfield would be a tough matchup inside, but we didn’t respond quick enough to game adjustments and let things get too far out of reach. We tried to make those adjustments clearer at the half on the defensive end and made a few adjustments for better ball movement on the offensive end.”
IMS would go on to outscore Winfield in the second half 16-9, but the damage had already been done. IMS was led by junior Suzanna Yoder with 19 points, two assists and five rebounds. Senior Avery Blauvelt chipped in three points and pulled down a team high seven rebounds, while classmates Alyssa Hershberger and Payton Hart added a bucket a piece. Freshman Yani Guiterrez-Larios rounded out the scoring with one point.
“Obviously there was a lot of emotion for our team surrounding tonight’s game,” Heusinkveld said. “I would be naïve to think that didn’t have an impact on our kids and the performance we showed this evening, but I know we will find a way to rally and finish out this week strong. WMU is a tough matchup for us and you have to give them credit for the way they executed and played to their strengths.”
IMS (1-3) returns to action at home on Thursday, December 12th against Wapello. Tipoff is set for 6 pm.