Cyclones conclude regular season with big win

Towards the end of the third quarter in Tuesday’s home game, the HCHS girls basketball team went on a 13-2 run, followed by a 6-0, leading to a dominant 54-36 win over the Atlantic Trojans. With this win, the Cyclones conclude their regular season with a 17-3 record.

“There were several games, like tonight, where we didn’t have the best half or we didn’t have a great quarter, but we found a way to pick it up and extend a lot of leads,” said Cyclone Head Coach Zach Klaassen. “We fought through a lot of illness, but when those opportunities have come for other players, we’ve had a lot of kids step up and make things happen.”

The Trojans opened the game on a 4-0 run with baskets from Paytn Harder and Claire Pellett, but the Cyclones responded back with free throws and a shot at the basket from Senior Erica Rust. The Cyclones took the lead on the next possession with a mid-range shot from Junior Aubrey Schwieso. The Trojans then tied the game at six points apiece, which was followed by a timeout from Daniel Vargason.

When play resumed, Lila Wiederstein gave the Trojans the lead back with a bucket, but Schwieso responded in a big way with a shot from 3-point range, putting her team up 9-8. Harder was fouled soon after, making both free throws, giving her team a 10-9 lead heading into the second quarter.

When the second quarter began, the Cyclones offense started coming alive with Schwieso making back-to-back shots giving the Cyclones a 6-point lead and a 7-0 run. Sophomore Trojan Makenna Schroeder put a stop to the Cyclone run momentarily with free throws, but right after Senior Cyclone Hannah Sonderman launched a 3-pointer, putting her team up by seven.

Cyclone Freshman Kenzley Bruck came off the bench making the next three Cyclone baskets, helping lead her team to a 25-20 lead at halftime.

“It just seemed like we were just a step slow,” Klaassen said. “Defensively, we weren’t getting any hands on balls, we weren’t getting steals or deflections, and we had to pick it up the second half. We had to have active hands.”

The third quarter started off as a back-and-forth affair with the first shot coming from Schroeder followed a shot at the basket from Rust, and soon after a 3-pointer from Junior Molly Swensen making it a 6-point game. Pellett made a bucket right after cutting the lead to 32-28, but after that, the Cyclones offense ran away with the game going on a run that took them into the fourth quarter, forcing a timeout from Vargason.

When play resumed, Rust made another shot, followed by a 3-pointer from Schroeder that temporarily ended the Cyclones run; Rust then took command of the offense, going on a 6-0 run putting the Cyclones up 51-31.

“They were fighting me inside, and I was doing a variety of moves,” Rust said. “Coaches were yelling sigma from the bench, and so I was really listening to them and getting a bunch of different moves in there, and kind of throwing the defense off with more than what I normally do.”

A few more shots were added by both sides, but the Cyclones cruised to victory. Their regular season has come to an end. Their first tournament game will be Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Class 3A – Region 7 game at home against the 2-17 OABCIG Falcons. The Falcons are led by Jenessa Kolar, averaging 8.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, along with Irelyn Wittrock, averaging 1.6 assists per game.

“Now it’s playoffs, so everybody’s record goes back to 0-0,” Rust added. “It’s anybody’s game, and we can’t overlook anybody. We have to take one game at a time, and we know where we want to be at the end of this season.”

 
 

 

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