It doesn't get any easier
Tough opponents extend H-M-S girls' losing streak
February 11, 2021
Facing three girls' basketball teams with at least 13 wins, and two that were ranked in the Top 20, proved to be a daunting task for Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn last week. The Hawks lost all three contests, extending their losing streak to nine games.
"It says a lot for the competition in northwest Iowa and the competition in the whole area," said Hawk coach Lester Tessum.
The first team H-M-S faced was MMCRU (1A No. 6), which established a commanding first-half lead en route to an 81-44 win on Feb. 2 at Marcus.
The Royals broke out to a 19-10 advantage in the first quarter and led 45-18 at the half. H-M-S scored 17 points in the third quarter but still trailed 66-35.
According to Tessum, the Royals' big second quarter (26 points) was more about them making shots than poor defense by the Hawks.
"There was that much difference defensively [from the first quarter]. The change was that they were hitting their shots," he said.
Jasmine Lux scored 12 points, Lydia Harders scored 10, Elise Haack scored five, and Olivia Grooters, Taya Mason and Emily Otto all scored four. Thirty-one turnovers hampered one of H-M-S's better shooting nights (46 percent).
Lux also had six rebounds and two steals; Harders had five rebounds and three steals; Mason had four rebounds; and Grooters had three rebounds.
MMCRU (15-2) was led in scoring by Taylor Harpenau with 22 points and Emily Dreckman with 21.
• vs. Sibley-Ocheyedan
The Hawk girls faced another rated team when they traveled to Sibley on Feb. 4 to take on Sibley-Ocheyedan (2A No. 12). After a tight start to the game, the Generals pulled away to earn a 70-51 non-conference win.
H-M-S led early and trailed 11-6 at the end of the first quarter. Once S-O's lead reached double digits the Hawks could not get any closer than eight, and trailed 32-17 at half time
A late run in the third quarter put S-O in front 55-33. The Hawks finished with their best scoring quarter (18 points) but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
"I was fairly pleased with the amount of points we scored," Tessum said. "To score 51 points against a rated team is pretty good."
Harders scored 16 points and Lux scored 12 to lead H-M-S. Darby Mastbergen scored seven points, Mason scored six, Grooters and Haack each scored four, and Otto added two. The Hawks made 28 percent of their 61 field goal attempts.
"We get a lot of shots in the paint. We just don't make them," Tessum noted. "We tell the girls they have to be strong with the ball and be patient."
Harders recorded eight rebounds and two steals; Lux had six rebounds and two steals; Grooters had six rebounds; and Emily Mutombo had four.
Madison Brouwer led the Generals (16-3) with 23 points.
• vs. Akron-Westfield
Akron-Westfield built a double-digit advantage in the first half and never looked back during a 57-35 victory over H-M-S on Feb. 5 in Hartley.
Neither team burned the nets in the first quarter which finished with the Westerners in front, 10-3. As the scoring picked up, the Hawks fell farther behind and trailed 23-11 at half time. The Westerners led 44-24 at the end of the third quarter.
Mastbergen topped the scoring for H-M-S with 12 points. Mason scored nine and Harders added seven.
Harders pulled down 11 rebounds, Mason had six and Grooters finished with three rebounds and two steals.
Scoring leaders for Akron-Westfield (14-6) were Chloee Colt and Natalie Nelson with 14 points each and Elise Knapp with 13.
H-M-S (4-16, 2-7) wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday at Harris-Lake Park.