BARNARD, Mo. — The South Nodaway girls refused to quit fighting on ‘Senior Night’ Tuesday in Barnard.
Whether it was when the 22-2 East Atchison Wolves jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes and South Nodaway (10-13) responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead themselves. That spurt was fueled by one of the team’s four seniors with six points from Liz Turpin.
The teams went to the second quarter tied at 11-11. Sophomore point guard Kaylin LaMaster gave the Longhorns a brief lead at 17-16 midway through the period, but the Wolves were able to escape into the halftime locker room with a slim 22-20 advantage.
“They don’t quit,” South Nodaway coach Aaron Murphy said about his team. “They don’t go half speed on anything. They go as hard as they can. Tonight, they did that and went as hard as they can and went up against a superior opponent, but they didn’t back down.”
The Longhorns’ shooting stroke disappeared in the third quarter after Turpin tied the game at 22-22 early on. East Atchison ended the third with a 14-2 run and the lead became 36-24.
South Nodaway tried to make several rallies in the final quarter, but couldn’t overcome East Atchison’s hot shooting.
Turpin finished with a team-high 14 points for the Longhorns and LaMaster added 11.
“(Turpin) is coming on strong right when we need her,” Murphy said. “She is just a great kid and a hard worker.”
Senior Dolores Holtman and sophomores Eryn Kemper, Hannah Wilmes and Miya Wiederholt each had four points.
The game was the final home game for South Nodaway seniors Savannah Bennett, Alex Buckles, Turpin and Holtman. Murphy started all four alongside LaMaster for their ‘Senior Night.’
“This senior class has been one-of-a-kind,” Murphy said. “I got to coach then in seventh grade, I didn’t get to coach them in eighth grade, but I got to coach them freshman on up. It is a group that some of them didn’t get any varsity minutes starting out and some of them didn’t get any varsity minutes starting out. They have the best work ethic of a group of seniors that I’ve ever gotten to coach. All four of them have battled through adversity. The mental toughness that this group has is one-of-a-kind. I can’t wait to see what these girls accomplish down the road.”
The Longhorns conclude their regular season on Thursday at Stewartsville before preparing for districts next week in Ravenwood. South Nodaway is the six-seed and will face Northeast Nodaway on Monday at 8:15 p.m.
“I feel really good about our group,” Murphy said. “I know that we are going to work hard and we are going to give anyone we face a tough night.”