CASCADE - Through the early portion of the 2019-20 campaign, offense has seemed to come in waves and spurts for the Anamosa girls’ basketball team.
That same scenario played out again in Cascade Tuesday, Dec. 3, as solid first and third quarter performances by the Raiders were overshadowed by scoring droughts in the other two frames.
“We just flat-out didn’t shoot the ball well and when you factor that in with all the turnovers we had, it made for a pretty long night in Cascade,” said Anamosa girls basketball coach Doug Arnold, as his team was handed a lopsided 73-38 setback in a game that saw the Raiders hang right with the talented Cougars in the first and third quarters.
“We might have set the conference record for turnovers in a game. We just couldn’t handle Cascade’s pressure and with us being such a young and inexperience team, things just kind of snowballed out of control.”
But, it wasn’t that way early on as Anamosa (0-4, 0-4) scored 11 first quarter points and trailed Cascade just 18-11 after one frame.
It didn’t stay very close for long however, as the Cougars went on a 22-7 second quarter spurt to take a commanding 43-19 lead into the halftime break.
“We’ve shown flashes with our offense this year, but for the most part that facet of the game is where we’re most likely going to struggle this year,” Arnold said. “We just lack consistency on the offensive end. With youth will come inconsistencies, and we’ll work on that. We’ll be a better team offensively by the end of the year than we are right now. We’ll be a better team in a few weeks than we are right now.”
The Raiders came out of the break and once again displayed those brief glimpses of greatness out-scoring the Cougars 14-13 in the eight-minute third quarter stretch before the hosts closed the game going on a 19-6 fourth quarter run.
Anamosa came back Friday, Dec. 6, and against a talented Bellevue team once again saw their offense struggle dropping a tough 54-23 final.
“It’s getting to be a broken record, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Arnold said. “The girls ran the offense well and got some open looks, they just wouldn’t fall. The tone was set early too. We missed four point-blank lay-ups in the first quarter and instead of leading 8-3, we were down 3-0 and could just never climb up out of that hole all game long.”
The Comets raced to a 16-5 first quarter lead as the Raiders were held to just one field goal in the frame, a Venenga 3-pointer while Maggie McQuillen and Joslin Banowetz added free throws.
“Defensively the girls were working hard and created some turnovers, we just couldn’t take advantage of those Bellevue mistakes.”
The Comets added a 13-5 second quarter run to take a 29-10 lead into the halftime break.
“Bellevue was consistent with their offense all game long, and I guess we were too, we just didn’t score enough to be able to keep up with them,” Arnold said. “We’ll keep plugging away. There are some good shooters on this team. We just have to get come confidence that we can do it on a consistent basis.”
A five-minute scoring drought from the end of the third quarter until mid-way through the fourth allowed Bellevue to extend their lead to as many as 33 points before Banowetz tallied three fourth quarter field goals for the hosts.
Banowetz finished with a team-high 11 points while Venenga added five more. Heims chipped in with four points.
Anamosa came back less than 24-hours later hosting West Branch Saturday, Dec. 7, and scoring drought once again proved to be an issue in a tough 62-23 loss to the Bears.
“We played well in the first half,” said Arnold, as his team trailed just 27-18 at the half, out-scoring the visitors 10-8 in the second stanza.
“We were doing some things and looking pretty good, then in the second half we only scored five points, including no field goals in the fourth quarter. It’s tough to beat anyone when that happens.”
Heims (6), McQuillen (6) and Grace Lubben (4) combined to score 16 of the Raiders’ 18 first half points, but after being out-scored 29-4 in the third quarter, Anamosa saw things get out of hand quickly as Lubben and Ava Claussen-Tubbs tallied the only field goals for the hosts in the final two frames.
Lubben’s seven points paced the Raiders while while McQuillen and Heims finished with six each.