After capturing the third place trophy in the Otterville Holiday Classic last weekend, the Bunceton Lady Dragons basketball team pulled off yet another stunner Monday night at home by knocking off previously state-ranked Higbee 56-52.
The Lady Dragons, who improved to 5-8 overall and 1-1 in the CCAA Conference, opened the game with a 16-11 lead against Higbee only to have the Tigers rally back with a 13-10 advantage in the second to cut it to two at 26-24. Of course neither team strayed far from there as Bunceton again outscored Higbee 12-11 in the third to go up 38-35. Meanwhile, in a wild fourth quarter, the Lady Dragons had their best quarter of the ballgame, as did Higbee, as the two teams combined for 35 points in eight minutes of basketball. Fortunately for Bunceton, they were on the high side with a 18-17 advantage.
Bunceton coach Brian Emde said this was a great game that went down to the wire in shooting free throws.
“The team shot 78 percent by hitting 14 of 18 shots,” Emde said. “Taylor Burnett hit some crucial free throws by making 3 of 5 attempts while Cara Bishop converted on 2 of 4 shots at the end of the game. Another great team effort. Lauren Wieland was triple teamed most of the night, having a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Taylor had four three-pointers and was 5 of 6 from the foul line. Chloe Moser was in foul trouble but still managed 10 points. She also finished 6 of 6 from the line. This was a big conference win, which moves us to 1-1 with another big game coming up against Calvary Lutheran.”
Taylor Burnett and Lauren Wieland each had 17 points in the game for Bunceton. Wieland also finished the game with 12 rebounds, four steals and four assists while Burnett added five rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Chloe Moser tallied 10 points and seven rebounds while Emily Clevenger had eight points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal, Cara Bishop two points and two rebounds, Madelynn Myers two points, one rebound and one assist, Skyler Shuffield six rebounds and two assists and Jenna Kahle with one rebound and one steal.
If the Lady Dragons are to beat Calvary Lutheran, they will need to improve on their shooting after hitting only 17 of 58 shots from the field for 29 percent. From the foul line, however, Bunceton converted on 14 of 18 shots for 78 percent.
For Higbee, Sam Nelson had 12, Jillian Huddleston 11 and Grace Westfall with 10.
Higbee (B) 56
Bunceton 44
The Bunceton Dragons basketball team may have lost the battle Monday night on their home floor against the Higbee Tigers. But if you consider the Dragons fell by 55 last year and only 12 on Monday, head coach Cass Keene sees progress from his young squad.
Of course the Tigers led from the opening tip against Bunceton while taking a 25-17 lead into the half and then outscoring the Dragons 19-15 in the third to make it 44-32. Both teams scored 12 points in the fourth.
“This was a fun game and our guys competed with a team that is over .500 on the year,” said Bunceton coach Cass Keene. “Last year Higbee won 83-28, so we played them much better this year. That being said, better ball movement and free throw conversions would have given us a win. We were 10 of 21 from the foul line, which is the only game this year where we’ve shot under 50 percent from the line. We played too selfishly with the basketball on offense, and were unable to get any flow going due to that. Brayden Doyle needs recognized for controlling the glass the past two games.”
Josh Schnell had 15 points to lead all scorers for Higbee. William Gibson chipped in 14 while Wade Spilman added 12.
For Bunceton, 0-14 on the season, Jason Burnett tossed in 18 while Hunter Shuffield added 10, Dillon Alpers seven, Rylee Knapheide five and Brayden Doyle with four.