By KALEB CARTER
A 3-0 start might not have been the expectation for those outside of Greenfield for the Nodaway Valley girls basketball team after losing one of the strongest classes in school history this past spring, but don’t tell NV’s young squad.
The Wolverines are too busy picking up wins with relentless defense while counting on numerous players to contribute on the offensive end.
A season-opening 72-46 win over West Central Valley as reported in last week’s Observer and Free Press was followed by wins of 56-32 over Clarinda and 45-33 over Bedford.
NV has now swiped 52 steals, good for 17.3 per game, and is making opponents pay for those mistakes with buckets on the other end of the floor.
By employing both a press and a pressure-filled half-court defense, the Wolverines are flat out getting the job done.
Annie Herr’s 11 steals lead the team, certainly a nice compliment to her team-leading 12.3 points per game.
A total of 10 Wolverines have at least one steal and nine have at least two. McKynli Newbury and Alyssa Davis have each contributed seven swipes of their own.
Rebounding has been an advantage for NV as well, as Corinne Bond, Lexie Shike, Addie Lamb and Davis all average at least five rebounds a game. Bond has also used her length around the hoop to deter shots and block seven total.
In the win over Clarinda, the Wolverines pulled down 50 rebounds in all.
NV’s staunch defense held Bedford to just three points in the first half of the 12-point win, as Herr led the way with six steals.
Players young and hold are getting the job done, with Lamb and Herr leading the way as seasoned and experienced varsity starters, while the young group of sparky freshman and sophomores provide much of the energy to the defensive success.
Boys sit at 1-1
Three scorers have stepped above the rest early on in the Nodaway Valley boys basketball season.
Spencer Thompson (36 points), Tyler Vandewater (28) and Brady Hilpipre (27) have led the way as the Wolverines picked up an opening win over Clarinda, 67-46 before falling at Bedford 83-62.
Aryll Shantz has also tossed in 16 points to the Wolverines’ benefit.
Thompson reached the free throw line for 10 freebies and sunk all of them on his way to scoring 16 against Clarinda. A 27-point outburst in the third quarter of that game boosted them way ahead on a night where they shot 53.6 percent from the floor.
NV created 21 steals, led by Vandewater’s six and Thompson’s five in the win over the Cardinals.
In the loss to the Bulldogs, Thompson put up 20 points, while Vandewater (15), Shantz (12) and Hilpipre (10) all reached double figures, but the defense wasn’t enough as Bedford had four players score at least 16.
NV had an encouraging 16 assists as it moved the ball well in the loss. The Wolverine defense will seek improvements to continue pushing forward against Pride of Iowa competition.