The Bunceton Lady Dragons basketball team withstood everything La Monte threw their way Thursday night while prevailing by a score of 55-38.
As for the Bunceton boys, they weren’t so fortunate as the Vikings overcame a shaky first half to beat the Dragons 58-45.
The Lady Dragons, improving to 8-11 on the season, outscored La Monte in every quarter but the fourth and led by as much as 28 going into the final period.
Bunceton coach Brian Emde said after a slow start the girls caught fire and started to shoot better. “We held La Monte scoreless in the third quarter,” Emde said. “Chloe Moser had her second double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.”
Although the Lady Dragons wound up winning by 17, the first quarter was shaky to say the least as Bunceton converted on only 5 of 17 shots while turning the ball over five times. Of course La Monte wasn’t much better while scoring only six points and turning it over 10 times.
Add it up and it’s no wonder Bunceton led La Monte 12-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was more to Emde’s liking as Bunceton again outscored La Monte 16-11 to lead at the break by a score of 28-17. However after leading by as much as seven (18-11) midway through the period, the Lady Dragons may have let their guard down as La Monte came storming back to cut the lead to three at 18-15 with 3:48 left.
Bunceton dominated the rest of the quarter by outscoring La Monte 10-2, which was mainly fueled by senior Lauren Wieland and junior Taylor Burnett, who combined for eight of the 10 points. Chloe Moser had the other two.
The Lady Dragons never let their foot off the gas after that while reeling off 17 straight in the third to extend the lead to 28 at 45-17. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter with most of the starters on the bench, La Monte had its best quarter of the ballgame by outscoring Bunceton 21-10.
Wieland wound up leading Bunceton in scoring with 19 points along with six steals, five rebounds and two assists.
Moser finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists while Taylor Burnett added 12 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals, Madelynn Myers four points, two rebounds and one steal, Emily Clevenger two points, three steals, two assists and one rebound and Skyler Shuffield with two points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist.
The Lady Dragons also finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field and 42 percent from the foul line.
For La Monte, Maleiah Parker had 16 points and Rocio Rodriquez with 10.
As for the Bunceton boys, they also had their ups and downs early on while leading La Monte by as much as seven points (17-10) only to have the Vikings close the gap on a last second three to end the first to make it 17-13.
Bunceton, who was going for its second straight win of the season, also led La Monte by as much as six (22-16) in the second period only to watch the Vikings storm back again to tie the game on three different occasions at 25-25, 27-27 and 29-29.
La Monte also outscored Bunceton 16-12 in the second while outscoring the Dragons 10-5 in the final four minutes and 24 seconds.
The Dragons led only once in the second half after two free throws by freshman Dillon Alpers to make it 31-29 with 6:53 left. However it was pretty much all La Monte after with a 12-7 advantage in the period and a 41-36 lead after three.
La Monte also outscored Bunceton 17-9 in the final period, which included eight in a row during a one minute span to extend the lead to 11 at 49-38. The Dragons never got any closer than seven for the rest of the game while La Monte closed out the game on a 9-3 run for the victory.
Bunceton coach Cass Keene said the boys came out very strong to start the game and played excellent defense during the first six minutes of the opening quarter. “We were missing Braxton Kempf, so we shortened our rotation, and our conditioning wasn’t as good last night as our opponents. We slowly let the game slip away. I was sure we had a rebounding edge in the game, but we were out-rebounded on the offensive glass. Our perimeter defense failed repeatedly after the first quarter.”
Kieran Rich led three players in double figures for La Monte with 18 points. Gavin Johnson chipped in 14 while Antonio Villagomez added 12.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 1-18 on the season, Dillon Alpers tossed in 12 while Jason Burnett added 11, Hunter Shuffield nine, Brayden Doyle eight, Landon Petree three and Hunter Griffin with two.