IMS lost a tough one Tuesday night at Hillcrest Union to the Wapello Arrows, 43-47.
IMS jumped on the board first behind a long two from sophomore guard Yani Gutierrez-Larios and controlled the game from there. IMS executed set pieces in the half court with senior guard Suzanna Yoder and she knocked down three first half threes, but it was their defensive presence throughout the second quarter that sparked a 19-5 run. With 2:37 left in the second Wapello was forced to use its third timeout of the half as IMS took a commanding 27-17 lead. The Arrows regained composure and rattled of six unanswered points to close out the half. IMS went into the locker room with a 27-23 lead at the break.
“This was one of our most complete first halves,” IMS head coach Kari Heusinkveld said. “I thought we were taking good shots and executed well, but what I was most pleased with was our defensive effort. It’s something we’ve really emphasized the last couple of weeks as it’s the key piece to help us with our transition game. We were able to force tough shots, secure the rebounds and take off. The message at the break was to continue to push the tempo when possible but in the half court to slow down and be strong with the ball.”
IMS continued to push the tempo in the second half and led by as many as nine mid-way through the third quarter, but Wapello chipped away at the lead and tied the game during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. IMS used a timeout with just over five minutes to play when Wapello tied the game for the second time at 38-38. “Basketball is a game of runs,” Heusinkveld said. “It felt like we just needed a reminder that when another team goes on a run that’s okay, we just need to keep the run within check and then we can go on one of our own.” Out of the timeout Yoder found junior forward Mia Graber in the high post who ripped through two defenders and finished through contact. The following possession IMS got a stop and Yoder drove through traffic to the basket. Yoder finished through contact and completed the three-point play at the line.
During the final minute of play IMS lost their lead and eventually the game as they gave up three crucial offensive rebounds that led to put backs. “This one hurts,” Heusinkveld said. “There were a handful of spots throughout the game where we missed wide open shots and if we make those, we’re not even in this position at the end of the game. Nonetheless, we were in the perfect position to close it out just like we did this past Saturday but instead we handed it right back to them. We didn’t make good enough decisions down the stretch and you can’t give up offensive rebounds on free throws and expect to win. We did this to ourselves which is disappointing but at the same time it’s encouraging because we can fix it. I thought we played hard tonight and overall this was a nice game for us.”
Yoder led all scorers with 28 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds. Graber added 11 points to go with five rebounds while Gutierrez-Larios chipped in a bucket and pulled down a team high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Meredith Blossom rounded out the scoring with her first varsity bucket.
IMS (3-5, 1-4) hits the road for a matchup with the Winfield Mount Union Wolves Friday, December 14th at 6 PM.