AFTON — East Union’s girls basketball squad continues to be able to hang, but it can’t quite finish the deal just yet.
Southwest Valley blanked the Eagles in the fourth quarter on its way to a 56-36 victory in Pride of Iowa Conference action.
“I thought the effort was great the whole game but it seemed like our intensity really amped up in the second half,” Southwest Valley coach Allen Naugle said.
East Union led 34-33 late in the third and trailed just 41-36 going into the fourth. Southwest Valley’s press had allowed it to snatch away what had been a 26-19 East Union halftime lead by frazzling the Eagles from even getting past half court for much of the third quarter.
“We’ve been having problems all year closing out,” East Union coach Mike Cooley said. “We’ve been in that situation about three or four games where we’re in pretty good shape at halftime or we’re in pretty good shape in the third our fourth quarter and we don’t finish.”
Danica Sunderman hit a 3-pointer coming out of the locker room and Miah Hummel scored four straight of Southwest Valley’s points to pull within two, 28-26.
The Timberwolves’ frantic press turned East Union over repeatedly. Southwest Valley took the lead after it scored on consecutive possessions, first on a loose ball assists from Katie Taylor to Morgan Shuey and then a Shuey steal and layup to go up a point.
After an East Union timeout, a Callie Gossman 3-pointer put the Eagles back on top.
Southwest Valley regained the lead on two Jentry Schaefer free throws and extended it to three with a Shelby Nelson steal and assist to Shuey for an easy bucket.
Schaefer ended the night with 13 points and her second half play was big for the visitors.
“She was very patient... She showed a lot of maturity for a freshman,” Naugle said.
Mara Weis hit a short jumper from beyond the paint to the left of the basket, to pull it back to 37-36.
Then came Miah Hummel’s spurt.
Hummel scored off an offensive rebound, two drives to the rim shortly thereafter and on two free throws. With the Timberwolves outscoring the Eagles 15-0 in the fourth quarter, Hummel led the way with eight of those points.
“She’s got a lot of ability to come in and play for us,” Naugle said. He believes Hummel overthinks her play at times.
“She finished the year like that last year and hopefully that’s the way she’s going to finish out this year.”
Sidney McFee’s 10 first-half points led the way for East Union.
SW (56) — scoring — Miah Hummel 4 6-10 14, Jentry Schaefer 5 3-3 13, Morgan Shuey 5 0-0 10, Katie Taylor 3 0-0 8, Danica Sunderman 2 0-0 6, Payton Thomas 1 0-0 3, Hailey Thomas 1 0-0 3. 3-point goals — 5 (Katie Taylor 2, Danica Sunderman 2, Payton Thomas 1). FG Shooting — 21-56 (38 percent). Rebounds — 34 (Jentry Schafer 9, Miah Hummel 7, Morgan Shuey 7 Katie Taylor 5). Assists — 16 (Morgan Shuey 6, Jentry Schaefer 2, Miah Hummel 2, Payton Thomas 2, Shelby Nelson 2), Steals — 21 (Katie Taylor 6, Miah Hummel 4, Morgan Shuey 4, Danica Sunderman 3, Jentry Schaefer 2). Blocks — 5 (Danica Sunderman 5) — Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — None.
EU (36) — scoring — Sidney McFee 12, Callie Gossman 6, Olivia Eckels 6, Ashley Malone 4, Kendra Kirkland 4, Mara Weis 4. Totals — 3-point goals 0. Team fouls — 15. Fouled out— None.
SW (56) — 8 11 22 15
EU (36) — 8 18 10 0