Even though they hung tough with the Cardinals, Jan. 7, at Maquoketa, the Blazer girls fell behind in the third quarter and lost, 65-51, to add another game to their losing skid, now five straight and settling them at 6-6.

It was an even game through much of the first half, with the teams tied at 7-7 to start the second quarter. The Cardinals edged ahead in that frame, up 20-16 at halftime, but the third quarter doomed the Blazers. They got outscored 24-7 and never caught up.

Coach Chad Thomason added, “I thought our effort was great again tonight. We have had a tough schedule with some very good 4A teams but I feel we are competing with them. The third quarter killed us again tonight. We let them have some open shots and they capitalized. We did a fairly good job of taking care of the ball and I thought we attacked the basket well. We shot 24 free throws, which is what we want, but we just need to make more (14-of-24) of them.”

Beckman’s leaders were: scoring — Kennedy Arens 20 (one trey and 11-of-14 at the line), Lauren Osterhaus and Olivia Pirc nine (one), Makayla Koelker four, Ashley Engelken and Paige McDermott three (one), Kristi Bries two, Keeley Schmitt one; rebounds — Arens, Osterhaus and Pirc seven, Schmitt four, McDermott three, Bries two; steals — Arens five, Osterhaus four, McDermott three, Engelken, Koelker, Schmitt, Bries and Pirc one; blocks — Schmitt two, Koelker and McDermott one; assists — Osterhaus four, Engelken, McDermott and Pirc two, Arens one.