IMS faced the Louisa Muscatine (L-M) Lady Falcons on senior night and came up just short, falling 46-56. Seniors recognized were Avery Blauvelt, Payton Hart, Alyssa Hershberger, Angela Marcelino and manager Joya Schrock.
IMS jumped out to an early lead and maintained a slight edge over the Lady Falcons through the first quarter. Over the final three minutes of the first and the first three minutes of the second, IMS went cold from the field and allowed L-M to go on a 7-0 run. A Suzanna Yoder steal at the top of the key turned into a fast break layup bringing IMS within two at 14-16, but L-M continued attacking the offensive glass and sent IMS into the locker room down 18-26 at the half.
“We played an excellent first quarter,” IMS head coach Kari Heusinkveld said. “We executed our sets, moved the ball well and knocked down shots early on. Our success on the offensive end helped our intensity and focus on the defensive end. We gave up too many offensive rebounds that led to put backs in the second quarter and that’s what gave L-M the advantage. At the break we addressed the glass as well as half court execution and being aggressive looking for shots.”
IMS struggled through the opening minutes of the third quarter and saw the deficit swell to as many as ten. But the small squad dug in for stops and closed the gap to 33-35 heading into the fourth. IMS regained the lead during the opening minute of the fourth quarter and the two teams traded buckets until the four-minute mark. L-M made one last push and went on a 7-1 run over the next two minutes which forced an IMS timeout. IMS looked to execute sets for buckets and brought full court pressure through the final minutes of play, but L-M took care of the ball and closed out the game from the charity stripe.
“This was a game we felt like we should have won,” Heusinkveld said. “L-M is a good team and they did a lot of things well tonight, but ultimately we beat ourselves. We played hard though, I loved our energy and effort throughout the game. Avery made two of the best interior moves I’ve seen her make all season, Hersh was attacking and getting to the line early on and recorded her second double-double of the season. Payton stepped up and took good shots early on, and Angela gave us great minutes. It would have been nice to send our seniors out with a win on our home court, but we’ve still got winnable games ahead of us over the next couple of weeks.”
Yoder led IMS with 25 points, five assists and five steals. Hershberger finished with a double-double recording 13 points to go with 12 rebounds. Blauvelt chipped in four points, while Yani Gutierrez-Larios and Hart rounded out the scoring with a bucket each. Hart pulled down five boards.
IMS (3-14) heads to Pekin (19-1) on Thursday, February 1st for its final conference game of the season. Tipoff is set for 6pm.
IMS will be back on the road 24 hours later for a cross conference matchup with Waco on Friday, February 2nd. The game will be played at Winfield Mount-Union with tipoff set for 6pm.