GRUNDY CENTER - A decided advantage at the free-throw line helped the Class 1A No. 6-ranked Grundy Center girls' basketball team hand West Marshall its first loss of the season in Tuesday's 63-59 NICL West Division showdown in Spartan Country.
Riley Ackerman finished one point shy of her career high, leading Grundy Center (3-0, 2-0) with 19 points. Heather Hook added 14 points and Katie Lindeman had 11 for the Spartans, who shot 13-for-16 at the charity stripe.
West Marshall (4-1, 1-1) finished 6-for-17 at the line in suffering defeat despite Rachel Freland's game-high 20 points. Freland made five 3-pointers in the second half as the Trojans erased a 29-19 halftime deficit in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter.
Sydney Beals had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds for West Marshall, while Jennifer Davis and McKenna Hotopp both had eight points and six boards. Hotopp also had seven assists, and Victoria Pothast added seven points.
West Marshall starts a three-game homestand with South Tama on Friday and Colo-NESCO on Saturday. Grundy Center goes on the road for its next four, three of which are this week. The Spartans take on 2A No. 4 Aplington-Parkersburg on Thursday, East Marshall on Friday and North Tama on Saturday.
South Tama 53, East Marshall 37
TAMA - South Tama outscored the visitors 15-2 in the second quarter to take a 20-point advantage into halftime on its way to a 53-37 victory Tuesday in NICL West girls basketball.
Kaleigh Sieck and Megan Wanatee scored 11 points apiece to lead South Tama. Jade Rohach added 10 points, Paige Van Dyk had seven and Trisha Walz six for the Trojans.
East Marshall got 11 points and five rebounds from Taylor Fricke, and 10 points and seven boards from Ashley Allen in the loss. Meriel Leavy added eight points and Kristen Amendt had six more for the Mustangs (0-5, 0-2), who host Class 1A No. 6-ranked Grundy Center in league play Friday.
Meskwaki 40, North Tama 33
TRAER - The Meskwaki girls' basketball team survived its own season-low output to remain unbeaten with Tuesday's 40-33 triumph over Iowa Star Conference foe North Tama.
Dia Keahna and Kadyn Clark both scored 14 points to lead the Warriors, who improved to 4-0 overall with their third conference win. Tiana Thompson added seven points and Jaden Davenport had five more for Meskwaki, which goes to Don Bosco on Friday night.
Emma Knoop paced North Tama (0-4, 0-2) with six points while Allison Zobel and Sam Zobel had five points apiece. Abi Watson, Shayla Kopriva and Josie Youel chipped in four points each for the Redhawks, who play Friday at Waterloo Christian before hosting Class 1A No. 6 Grundy Center in a non-conference game Saturday.
Colo-NESCO 49, Don Bosco 23
COLO - The Colo-NESCO girls' basketball team turned to its bench to turn back Don Bosco in Tuesday's Iowa Star Conference clash, 49-23.
Makaelyn Neuendorf helped to spark the Royals back from a 10-9 deficit in the second quarter with her 3-pointer, and Sam Riese contributed six points during the 11-3 surge that gave Colo-NESCO (4-1, 3-0) a 20-13 halftime lead.
The game stayed close until the Royals outscored Don Bosco (2-1, 2-1) by a 20-6 margin in the final period.
Madison Eley led Colo-NESCO with 12 points and eight rebounds to go with five steals. Caitlyn Riese added 10 points and four boards, while Shayla Dean had nine points, six steals and four rebounds.
Brittany Hickson led the Dons with a game-high 14 points.
Colo-NESCO hits the road on Friday to face GMG in league play.
Waterloo Christian 39, GMG 38
WATERLOO - The GMG girls' basketball team was denied its first win of the season as Waterloo Christian held off the Wolverines, 39-38, in Tuesday's Iowa Star Conference match.
Sara Hinson scored a career-high 12 points for GMG (0-5, 0-3), which rallied from a nine-point deficit entering the fourth quarter with a 17-9 advantage in the fourth.
Mikaella Koster added eight points while Olivia Barritt and Autumn Rosacker both had seven points. Cheyenne Wurr chipped in four points, Barritt led with seven rebounds and Hinson had four steals for the Wolverines, who host Colo-NESCO on Friday.
Anna Doering led Waterloo Christian (1-2, 1-2) to its first win with a game-high 13 points and Katlin Armbrecht added 10 for the Regents.