How do you heat things up on a cold November evening?
If you’re the Mount Vernon girls’ basketball team, you torch the nets with a 10-of-22 performance from beyond the three-point arc to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit on the way to a 45-38 win over Western Dubuque, in the season opener for both teams, in Mount Vernon, Nov. 19.
The Bobcats played well early, leading 16-4 after eight minutes, and 28-16 at the half.
“We had a great first half of basketball,” said coach Amy Ostwinkle. “We moved the ball well against their zone, getting outside looks (three threes) and inside looks (9-of-15) in the first half. I thought our different defenses rushed Mount Vernon at the start of the game, forcing 11 turnovers in the first half.”
The Mustangs outscored Western Dubuque 20-4 in period three to take the lead and held on in the fourth quarter to win in a series that is always competitive.
“Mount Vernon responded in the third quarter and heated up behind the arc. We were not able to get on their shooters quickly enough,” said Ostwinkle. “It was back and forth through the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarters. Mount Vernon hit a contested three late in the fourth to take the lead and our shots just didn’t fall to regain the lead back at that point.”
The Bobcats had a chilly shooting night, hitting 12-of-38 from two-point range, 3-of-18 three-pointers and 5-of-11 free throws on the night.
Still, Ostwinkle saw plenty of positives from her team and is optimistic looking ahead.
“We are excited to have all of our players on the court again after some injuries last season,” she said. “We will continue to improve and our players will work for our ultimate goal. This is our starting point and now we know more of where we are at and what we need to continue to improve on.”
Western Dubuque’s statistical leaders against Mount Vernon were: scoring — Carson Koerperich and Karrington Asp nine, Brooklyn Firzlaff eight, Kaitlyn Thole seven, Lucy Ehlers three, Hailey Wulfekuhle two; three-point shots — Firzlaff two, Ehlers one; rebounds — Asp nine, Koerperich eight, Thole six, Firzlaff and Ellah Rolwes four, Wulfekuhle and Ehlers three; steals — Koerperich, Wulfekuhle and Asp three; blocked shots — Asp one.