West women get first win, men struggle
A victory is officially in the books for the Minnesota West Lady Jays basketball team. The women defeated Ellsworth Community College 75-69 Sunday afternoon at the Center for Health and Wellness. The men, however fell to the Panthers.
WORTHINGTON -- A victory is officially in the books for the Minnesota West Lady Jays basketball team. The women defeated Ellsworth Community College 75-69 Sunday afternoon at the Center for Health and Wellness on their Worthington campus, and after five losses to start the season, head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka sounded as relieved as she was excited.
“Obviously, to get that first win is very nice. It’s kind of a monkey off the back. Hopefully it gives (our players) a little more confidence,” she said.
The men’s game that followed didn’t go quite as well. Although the Bluejays got off to a good start, they were eventually swamped by a hot-shooting Panthers team, 84-53, dropping them to 1-5 on the young campaign.
West will host two games on Friday, as Dordt JV plays the Lady Jays at 5:30 p.m. and the men host Vermilion at 7:30.
Lady Jays 75, Ellsworth 69
Dannyn Peterson, a 5-9 freshman forward from Tulare, S.D., had a strong game for the home-standing Jays, scoring 10 points in the first half and finishing with a game-high 19. She also contributed seven rebounds and two steals.
The win, she said, was “much needed.”
She added, “We were very determined to get a win, that’s for sure. I feel like we definitely hustled. We had to work through our tiredness and beat ‘em down the floor.”
If the Lady Jays had to deal with fatigue, it probably had something to do with the defense they employed against the Panthers in both halves. It was a new kind of defense, Peterson said, called a “double fist,” where they waited until Ellsworth reached the 3-point line before they really stepped it up.
Mostly, it worked. The Lady Jays led for most of the game, holding a 10-point cushion as late as 2:52 remained in the contest.
Tia Murray added 14 points to the Minnesota West cause and Madisyn Huisman scored 10. Kassidy Weeldreyer led the Jays in rebounds with eight, and point guard MacKensie Post dished out four assists.
Hayenga-Hostikka said that she was especially pleased that her team out-rebounded Ellsworth 54-47 after being out-rebounded by 10 at halftime.
Ellsworth 14 36 53 69
Lady Jays 24 38 57 75
ELLSWORTH (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Chambers 1-5-4-17, Robinson 0-3-0-6, Leavy 2-3-0-12, Miller 0-1-2-4, Shull 0-5-0-10, Winter 0-2-2-6, Maria 1-0-2-5, Paulsen 0-3-3-9. Totals 4-22-13-69.
LADY JAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Lessman 0-0-2-2, Breske 0-1-0-2, Murray 0-5-4-14, Post 0-3-0-6, Huisman 0-5-0-10, Zebe 1-1-2-7, Garcia 0-1-2-4, Werdel 1-1-0-5, Weeldreyer 0-1-4-6, Peterson 0-7-5-19. Totals 2-25-19-75.
Ellsworth 84, Bluejays 53
One thing you can say about the Bluejays on Sunday: They were ready to play at the start.
Freshman guard Tyvorus Lawton thrilled the home crowd early in the first half with a dunk to give his team a 9-4 lead, and West led 13-6 a little bit later.
But the Panthers are very good, and they eventually showed it. With 9:30 left to play in the half, the score was tied 21-21 as some poor passing on West’s part and an increasingly porous defense led to some easy Cat scores. Ellsworth, in fact, outscored the Jays 19-2 over the last 10 minutes to take a 40-23 lead into intermission.
“They got after us a little, and that changed everything,” said first-year West head coach Brian Stoebner. “We moved the basketball really well (at first). As soon as they got after us, that’s something we’ve gotta grow at.”
Minnesota West needed a spark to begin the second half, but instead of a spark it was more like a stalemate. As the game wore on, the Panthers began to dominate.
Four Ellsworth Community College players scored in double figures, led by Andres Arellano with 17 points.
West’s Amos Alford, a 6-4 freshman from Wichita, Kan., led all players with 19 points. Lawton finished with 13.
But the Panthers were too fast, and the coordination of their parts was clearly advanced after the beginning of the first half. For much of the second half, they worked together like a well-oiled machine while the Jays, in contrast, couldn’t get anything going on a consistent basis.
It has happened several times already, said Stoebner, where his team went six or seven minutes “where we just can’t score.”
That will have to be fixed.
“Offensively, when teams get after us, we gotta be a lot tougher. If we can grow with that, we’ll get a lot better,” said the coach, adding, “The biggest thing is, translating from practice to the game. We can be in practice and hit all our shots.”
West connected on 34.5 percent of their field goals on Sunday.
Ellsworth 40 84
Bluejays 23 53
ELLSWORTH (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Scott 1-5-3-16, Warren 0-2-3-7, Bodden 0-5-1-10, Ashu 0-5-1-11, Smith 2-1-0-8, Arellano 4-1-3-17, Vannini 0-1-0-2, Watson 0-1-0-2, Lucas 2-0-0-6, Kopunovic 1-1-0-5. Totals 10-22-10-84.
BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Lawton 1-2-6-13, Ligon 0-1-0-2, Sohn 0-1-0-2, Alford 2-4-5-19, Bassi 0-1-3-5, Dorian 1-0-2-5, Feit 0-1-1-3, Bennett 0-2-0-4. Totals 4-12-17-53.