The IMS girls basketball team pulled away late to eliminate Calamus-Wheatland 47-29 in the first round of the class 1A Regional tournament Thursday night at Hillcrest Union in Kalona. The first half was a defensive battle, as IMS got good looks but couldn’t get them to fall. Iowa Mennonite was up just 11-10 after the first quarter and 17-13 at the half, led by Olivia Yutzy’s 12 first half points.
The tempo and scoring continued to favor the Warriors through much of the third quarter as the two teams see-sawed back and forth with the lead. IMS got some breathing room for the first time on the night when they ended the quarter on a 10-3 run, highlighted by a Kristin Davis three at the buzzer to take a 30-23 lead into the fourth quarter. In the final frame IMS poured it on, forcing the Warriors to speed up their tempo and turn the ball over. IMS ended the game on a 17-6 run to pull away for the win. After the game Head Coach Aaron Gingerich talked about his team’s second half run.
“That three by Kristin was huge. I think at that point in the game, it was so low scoring, going from a four point lead to seven, that is such a big difference going into the fourth quarter with some momentum, and I think that was huge for Kristin too, to see a shot go down, and then I think she hit another one soon after in the fourth quarter,” Gingerich said. “We were trying to get a lead there, speed them up and maybe apply a little more pressure and see if they make some decisions that they wouldn’t normally make if they were playing as fast. I thought we did a good job or taking advantage of some steals and converting, and then I thought we knocked down free throws in the fourth quarter to build that lead.”
IMS was led by Olivia Yutzy’s 24 points, Kristin Davis added 13 and despite the height disadvantage Riley Schmeider patrolled the inside and collected five blocked shots. Following the game Yutzy talked about her offensive night.
“Knowing that there were big girls out there, I looked for my jumper, which I work on a lot in practice, and that seemed to work for me,” Yutzy said. “It was a little difficult to post tonight, but I got a few looks inside and got fouled and just played how I knew how to play.”
With the win IMS improves to 13-9 on the season and will be in action Tuesday night in the regional quarterfinals when they host Prince of Peace who was a 45-26 winner over Lisbon. You can hear all of the action Tuesday night live from Hillcrest Union with pregame at 6:30 and tipoff at 7PM on KCII.