Spartans dominate Hawkeyes to return to win column

After two tough losses, the Exira-EHK Spartans got back in the win column with a dominant 71-30 win over the West Harrison Hawkeyes Friday night at home.

"It's something that the girls have earned," said Spartan Head Coach Tom Petersen. "We didn't play well on Tuesday. The girls knew that, and last night we probably played the strongest that we have mentally and physically against one of the premier teams in the state."

The Spartans came out of the gate on a fast start courtesy of Freshman Taryn Petersen scoring the first three of four buckets for the Spartans, all from 3-point range. Sophomore Jaelynn Petersen got back-to-back baskets later on in the quarter. Freshman Riley Miller capped off the quarter with a buzzer beater from 3-point territory, giving the Spartans a 26-10 lead heading into the second quarter.

"We're at our best when we're going up and down the floor," Petersen said. "We have to continue to improve our transition game. We're struggling with our rim runner that goes up the middle of the floor."

The Spartans continued their dominance in the second quarter with the first shot coming from Miller, with Senior Hawkeye Maclayn Houston responding with a basket, but the Spartans got a mid range shot and a 3-pointer later from Junior Mayne Jorgensen, putting them up 33-12.

Senior Hawkeye Mariah Bruning was fouled on a made shot, where she sunk the extra point to complete the 3-point play, making it a 33-15 game, but following that bucket, the Spartans didn't look back, going on a 17-0 run to close out the first half.

"We needed to focus more on the defensive end," said Sophomore Kadence Sporrer. "Our rotation was a little off. We needed to box out more, and continue to play hard."

The Spartans got off to a slow start in the third quarter as it took them several minutes to score, but Jaelynn Petersen was able to get them on the board. Junior Hawkeye Tylar Stirtz scored following Petersen's bucket slowly chipping away at the Spartans large lead, but the Spartans were able to get back on track on the offensive end closing out the quarter with a 3-pointer from Miller and a buzzer beater from Jaelynn Petersen.

The Spartans offense exploded in the fourth quarter as multiple players contributed on the offensive end of the floor including Taryn Petersen, Sporrer from 3-point range, making it a 66-21 lead. The Hawkeyes did manage to string together a 7-0 run with Houston scoring five of the seven Hawkeye points, but the Spartans easily rolled to victory earning their 11th win of the season.

The Spartans will begin the final week of the regular season before tournament time starting with the 12-3 Woodbine Tigers Monday night at home at 6 p.m., whom they lost to 58-50 Nov. 28 on the road. The Tigers are led by Charlie Pryor averaging 18.5 points and 5.6 assists per game, along with Danyelle Steinkuehler averaging 5.8 rebounds per game.

"You've got to be knowledgeable of what it is we're trying to do," Petersen said. "Carrying out a game plan is essential. Next week it's tough. Woodbine is a rated team in the state. It's that time of year. It's the last week, and if you can't get excited this time of year in the game of basketball, then there's something wrong with us."



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

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