Grove joins 1,000-point club in win

Audrey Grove became the most recent local player to join the 1000-point club as she spurred the Lady Bears to another victory, when they beat Moravia 54-15 on February 3.

The Lady Bears were hoping to end their regular season off on a high, after taking a tough loss to North Mahaska the night previous. They were able to do just that, as they came out firing early and often throughout the game. The first quarter provided enough offense on its own for the Lady Bears, as they put up 19 points, while allowing only two from Moravia.

While the offense continued to score throughout the first half, it was the defense that was making more of a statement on the floor. Moravia had very few shot attempts, many of which were heavily contested by the smothering defense from E.V. The Lady Bears scored another 13 points in the second quarter, while Moravia scored four, giving E.V. a 32-6 lead at half.

"The last time we played North Mahaska we had a Saturday afternoon game as well and didn't come ready to play. That was a big emphasis for us this time, to get off the bus from a long ride and be ready to play," Lady Bears coach Becky Becker said. "The girls did an excellent job at this. Sydney Olson ran the team very well, and Moravia threw a ton of different looks at us."

The Lady Bears put together another big quarter by scoring 18 points in the third, while giving up two points by Moravia. The final quarter of play was mostly played by reserves, as the scoring took a hit but the defense still held strong. Four more points were tacked on in the fourth by the Lady Bears, while Moravia added on another seven.

"We moved the ball around the perimeter well, which allowed for inside looks or drives from the weakside," Becker said. "Defensively, our rotations were much better, especially the weakside. That allowed us to really control the boards, and we played a very complete game."

Grove had 19 points on the night, and Madison Trimpe had 15 points to help lead the way, a majority of their points coming from their post-play. Maleah Ackerman had six points, Karyssa Westfall and Ellie Ayers had three points apiece and a slew of Lady Bears wrapped up the scoring. Isabel Schneider, Cheyenne Conrad, Isabella Fisher and Aly Warwick all had two points, as nine of the 12 varsity players who got on the floor scored.

The Lady Bears next play Tri-County in the first-round of district play on February 8, which will be their second game against the Lady Trojans in as many weeks.

"Tri-County is much improved and it's always tough to play someone three times," Becker said on playing them in districts. "We will spend the week preparing for our interior game to be taken away and work on shoring up our defense."

Earlier in the week, E.V. went into Tri-County and beat them 51-34 on January 30.

Though it wasn't the soundest game, the Lady Bears got off to a big start, putting together a 13-point quarter while holding Tri-County off the scoreboard. The second quarter was rockier for the Lady Bears, they still outscored the Lady Trojans 11-8, which allowed them to go into the half with a 24-8 lead.

The second half was much more competitive, in which Tri-County had chances to take the lead but couldn’t. The Lady Bears extended their lead by five more points in the third quarter, but then got outscored in the final quarter 16-12. Still, the first quarter provided the main difference in the 51-34 win for the Lady Bears.

"I honestly don’t think we played very sharp, especially defensively," Becker said. "We didn't identify their offensive threats well. Offensively, we were getting to the basket and getting fouled. We made 18 of 23 from the line, that was a big part of the game for us."

Trimpe led the Lady Bears with 15 points, seven of which came from the free throw line. Grove was right behind her with 13 points and shot one of three from behind the arc. Westfall provided eight points, Ayers had seven, Ackerman had six, and Schneider had two points for the Lady Bears.