INWOOD-Boyden-Hull’s defense was able to keep it within striking distance in the first quarter, but Class 2A 13th-ranked West Lyon quickly got its fast-break offense going and the Comets could not overcome a poor shooting night in a 59-36 Class 2A Region 1 girls’ basketball tournament game Tuesday, Feb. 14.
The Wildcats began the contest on an 8-0 run before Boyden-Hull got on the board with a free throw from Kaylee Anderson with 4:17 left to go in the first. That free throw sparked what ended up being a 5-0 run for the Comets and shrunk the deficit to 8-5 with 2:59 left in the frame.
Boyden-Hull continued to hang with West Lyon for the rest of the quarter, with the Wildcats only holding an 11-7 lead with under 2 minutes to play. But West Lyon got one free throw and a fast-break layup off a steal to make the score 14-7 heading into the second period. That said, coach Nathan Alexander felt good about how his team was playing after the first eight minutes of action.
“We felt pretty good. Obviously we still had some things to improve on, but we felt alright,” Alexander said. “We felt like we were taking good shots. They just didn’t fall all night for us.”
The Wildcats soon started to pull away, going on a 7-2 run to begin the second quarter and make the score 21-9 with six minutes to go until halftime. West Lyon got one more basket to fall before Mallory Nilles ended the run with a shot from the post, making the score 24-11. But Boyden-Hull was unable to hit shots on a consistent basis, allowing the Wildcats to go on another run and hand Boyden-Hull a 31-12 deficit into the locker room. Alexander felt his team was playing well against West Lyon’s fast-break offense, but the poor shooting night limited any momentum his team was trying to build. The Comets went 13-of-51 from the field for 25 percent and were 2-of-12 for 17 percent from the 3-point line.
“I thought we did a pretty good job against that, especially in the second half, to limit them in transition. We were able to sprint back and stop the ball,” Alexander said.
The Comets had a decent start to the second half, using two jump shots from the post by Anderson and Erika Pottebaum to shrink the deficit to 31-16, but the shooting troubles continued and West Lyon ended the third quarter on a 13-3 run for a 44-19 lead heading into the final period. That last run sealed Boyden-Hull’s fate as the Comets were only able to outscore the Wildcats 17-15 in the fourth quarter.
“There were two four-minute stretches in the second half where we limited West Lyon to zero points. But we still allowed some smaller runs because we couldn’t score the ball,” Alexander said. “So in the future we need to be able to put the ball in the hole in those situations. But it was encouraging to see us hold a team like that to without a point for so long.”
Despite coming up short, Alexander felt his team gave a good effort in its final game and for the entire season. The Comets ended the year with a 7-16 overall record and were 5-13 in the Siouxland Conference.
“They have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a good season and it was a lot of fun,” Alexander said. “I was really excited this past season about how hard the girls worked. That was really encouraging. As we move forward we have some young and talented girls coming up. I think those girls will be willing to put in the work to be a good basketball team.”
Points:Kaylee Anderson 12, Mallory Nilles 9, Brianna Kleinwolterink 7
Rebounds:Kaylee Anderson 8, Mallory Nilles 5, Whitney Anderson 2
Assists:Brooke Zylstra 1
Steals:Brooke Zylstra 3, Brianna Kleinwolterink 3