Riley Kay scored 27 points, as Hempstead won its fifth game in a row, improving to 9-7 on the season, with a 65-40 win over Western Dubuque, in Epworth, Jan. 31. Sophomore Madison Maahs led the way for the Bobcats, with 16 points, but a sixth consecutive loss dropped Western Dubuque to 4-13 on the year.
After Maahs opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Hempstead went on a 16-0 run the remainder of the quarter on the strength of eight points from Morgan Hawkins, who hurt the Bobcats on the offensive glass.
A pair of scores from Kay stretched the lead to 20-3 to start the second period before a free throw from Maahs ended an eight-minute scoreless streak for Western Dubuque. Emma Gile and Abigail Kluesner scored inside on consecutive possessions to make it 24-8 midway through the quarter, but a 13-2 run by the Mustangs sent the teams to the break with Hempstead on top 37-10.
“At halftime, we talked about playing hard and playing for each other,” said Western Dubuque coach Amy Ostwinkle. “They killed us on the boards in the first half.”
Maahs hit a three out of the break, but three baskets in a row from Kay saw the lead move to 47-13. After the Bobcats got scores from Kluesner, Gile and Maahs, Jenna Fiedler’s first field goal of the night made it 49-22.
Maddie Goodman and Fiedler scored in the late stages of the period, but Hempstead still maintained a 56-26 lead after three.
Five points from Maahs to start the final period made it 58-31. A free throw and two post moves by Ashley Costello were followed by a hoop and two throws from Jordyn Thole to end things at 65-40.
“Hempstead has some very smart players with the size to take away things inside and they put a lot of pressure on our guards,” said Ostwinkle. “We essentially have two weeks left in the regular season. We’re focusing on building as a team, wanting to play for each other, and digging in and challenging each other.
“Right now we have moments we look good, but sometimes we backslide a little. Everybody wants it so bad and they try so hard that it backfires a bit. They just need to relax and play.”
Western Dubuque’s statistical leaders were: scoring Maahs 16, Costello eight, Fiedler five, Thole, Kluesner and Gile four, Goodman two; rebounds — Costello, Maahs and Gile four, Kluesner and Fiedler three, Goodman and Leah Digmann two, Teresa Petsche and Haylee DeLong one; assists — Gile two, Costello, Maahs and Goodman one; steals — Goodman, Thole, Costello, Kluesner, Maahs and Gile one.
In Cedar Rapids, Jan. 28, Xavier took advantage of a cold-shooting night from the Bobcats to cruise to a 57-30 win. The Saints led 20-10 after eight minutes and extended that advantage to 31-16 at the half.
“Honestly we lost by quite a few, but I thought we competed,” Ostwinkle said. “They got some fast breaks on us, but we got shots. We had 50 shot attempts, and we didn’t shoot it well, but that’s where we need to be.”
Western Dubuque shot 27% from the field (13-of-49) and made 1-of-4 free throws on the night. Fiedler led the Bobcats with 10 points but shot only 4-of-17.
Western Dubuque’s statistical leaders were: scoring — Fiedler 10, Maahs seven, Maddie Harris five, Costello and Gile four; rebounds — Maahs nine, Gile six, Costello three, Kluesner two, Harris one; assists — Fiedler two, Harris, Goodman, Costello and Maahs one; steals — Costello and Maahs two, Goodman, Fiedler, Kluesner and Gile one; blocks — Fiedler, Costello and Gile one.