GRAHAM, Mo. — Last season, the Nodaway-Holt girls basketball team didn’t win its fifth game until February. This season they captured their fifth victory before the holiday break and will celebrate Christmas with a winning record for the first time since the 2015 season.
The Trojans (5-4) picked up that fifth win on Friday night with a 57-34 victory over North Harrison (7-3).
“We’ve been working really hard and this is a big accomplishment for us,” Nodaway-Holt sophomore Shaina Culp said.
The game featured two of the top scorers in northwest Missouri With Nodaway-Holt senior Breanna Day and North Harrison sophomore Emma Craig — the younger sister of former Shamrock standouts Haley and Payton Craig.
“It makes you work even harder because you know that their best player is on you,” Day said.
The first quarter belonged to Day and the Trojans. North Harrison opened the scoring with a basket by senior Mason Cracraft, but Nodaway-Holt answered with a 15-0 run as Day had 11 points with a pair of ‘and-one’ plays, a three-pointer and a steal and layup.
“I was not making anything from the outside so I just started driving in,” Day said.
One of Day’s three-point plays came off a missed free throw, where she grabbed the rebound and scored through contact. The play was just one example of the hustle plays the Trojans routinely turned in with both rebounding and steals.
“We saw on tape that they didn’t do a good job boxing out so we talked to our girls about making sure we got second and third chances,” Trojan coach Shawn Emerson said. “We got some transition points too.”
Craig scored her first points of the night to end the first quarter and added two more to start the second and cut the lead to 15-6.
“We knew we’d have to focus on her (Craig), but they have some other girls that have been scoring for them,” Emerson said. “For us to hold them to three field goals in the first half — they had some free throws, but to hold them to six points on field goals was really good for us.”
Day quickly answered and the teams traded points until Culp scored all five Trojan points in a 5-1 run for a 26-13 lead late in the second quarter. Nodaway-Holt took a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Craig led an 8-0 Shamrock run to begin the third quarter and sliced the deficit to 28-22, but again the Trojans had the answer and again Day got it started. This time though, the entire team got involved in an 18-0 run to put the game away.
During the run, Day had six points, while Kloe Jenkins, Amanda Bohannon and Culp each had four points. By the end of it, the Trojans held a 46-24 advantage.
Craig had four-straight points to spark an 8-2 run to get back within 16, but baskets by Culp and Bohannon and a three by Jenkins got the lead back to 55-32 and led to a curtain call for the senior starters — Day and Bohannon.
Day finished with a game-high 25 — all in the first three quarters to put the game away. She was nearly matched by Craig’s 23 points, but the depth of the Trojan roster provided the difference.
Culp finished with 15 points while Bohannon had 10, Jenkins had seven and Halle Clement had one. No other Shamrock had more than six points.
“We felt like we are a team that should have more even scoring,” Emerson said. “Having 23 or 25 from Breanna is great, but we talked about being more even so they can’t just focus on Bre and Shaina. (Jenkins) came in and got some offensive boards and had a three in the corner. Her game is coming along as a freshman. Amanda really hasn’t scored much for us and it was good to see her confidence tonight with some steals and layups. She is a hustler.”
The Trojans will open the second-semester slate with a road game at DeKalb (5-4) on Jan. 4 before the Fairfax Tournament the following week.
“We are just going to keep trying to build off our success,” Emerson said.
North Harrison boys 82, Nodaway-Holt 26
GRAHAM, Mo. — The Trojan boys continued to take their lumps this season with an 82-26 loss to North Harrison (6-3).
“You have to see the growth with the little things and find a way for each kid to succeed,” Nodaway-Holt coach Derek Lemon said. “Especially when you are getting beat like that, you have to build and it isn’t about focusing on the score, it is focusing on the progress they are making and letting them see that."
Nodaway-Holt (0-8) was led in scoring by senior Zane Weston with 12 points while sophomore Brilyn DeVers had six, junior Will Peter had five and freshman Noah Farnan had three.
The Trojans only suited six players for the game, but Lemon was proud of the way his group competed throughout the game despite the score.
“It says a lot about a person to be able to play 100 percent of the game with a score like that,” Lemon said. “I am proud of each and every one of them and that shows the type of character I have with these kids.”
North Harrison (6-3) was led by senior Logan Craig with 21 points while the bench was led by junior Steven Wilhite with 17 and sophomore Collin Briggs with 11.