OREGON, Mo. — The West Nodaway girls basketball team traveled to face the South Holt Knights Tuesday night. The Rockets left Oregon with a 55-16 loss in a game that saw more than its fair share of turnovers.
The Rockets had little to nothing go right for them in the first half and their first possession foreshadowed what would be the first 16 minutes for West Nodaway. The Rockets won the ball from the jump, but an immediate turnover led to a layup for South Holt’s Grace Cotton.
The second possession for the Rockets showed much of the same, a turnover and a basket for the Knights. Junior Lexi Moore was the first to score for West Nodaway and then a stolen pass and foul led to two free throws for Erin Cook. Cook made one of two and pulled the Rockets to within one. That would be as close as West Nodaway would get in the first half.
South Holt then went on a 4-0 run with baskets from Reese Morris and Rayleigh Guyer. West Nodaway’s Abigail Bragg ended the run with a layup, but a quick basket from the Knights gave them a 10-5 lead after the first quarter.
The Knights took control quickly to start the second period behind the strong defense of Guyer. Guyer drew a shooting foul that led to two free throws and then a steal led to another two points for Guyer. Chloe Schimming ended the run with a layup to make it 14-7, but eight-straight points (six from Guyer) gave the Knights their biggest lead of the game.
The Rockets missed shots on their next three possessions before two free throws from Moore ended the 8-0 run by South Holt. South Holt’s Grace Cotton ended the half with a 3-pointer to give the Knights a 25-9 lead at halftime.
The second half was one to forget for the Rockets. West Nodaway started the second half with two-straight turnovers, a problem they had throughout the entire game.
“We have to get better at boxing out, ball handling and energy,” Rockets coach Skyler Zimmerman said.
The Knights took advantage of the mistakes made by West Nodaway and went on another run, this time, 11-0. Moore again ended the run with a two-point field goal to get the Rockets to double digits. Moore led West Nodaway with seven points.
South Holt finished the game with a 19-4 run. Guyer led the Knights with 23 points in their regular-season opener. The Rockets have struggled in their regular-season openers. West Nodaway has not won a season opener in more than a decade.
“We just have to find each positive from the game tonight, we had a couple of press-breakers and that’s something we hadn’t done this season,” Zimmerman said. “So to that point, we have improved, we just have to bring energy.”
The Rockets will travel to Albany on Friday to face the 0-2 Warriors. Zimmerman said the team will have to try and stay positive.
“You have to point out every little thing to them, because a lot of times they don’t recognize when they do something good,” Zimmerman said. “You have to point those things out, make sure they don’t take offense to the constructive criticism.”