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BCLUW girls pick up with league win

January 17, 2016
STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - Seniors Olivia Callaway and Hannah Sams, and a second-half performance from sophomore Kaylee Goecke helped BCLUW fend off Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Friday night in a 59-43 win.

Goecke tallied eight points in the second half, just one less than Callaway's nine second-half points, and the fast-paced offense was to thank for the Comets' (6-6, 3-3 NICL West) victory.

Head coach David Lee said he wasn't quite sure what to expect in the Comets' first game back after winter break. But the 16-point win proved his team is picking up right where it left off.

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Kate Goecke drives past a Gladbrook-Reinbeck defender and takes a shot at the basket before being fouled Friday night in Reinbeck. Goecke achieved one point on the road and the Comets won 59-43.

"We did a lot of good things. We tried to tweak the offense and the defense a little bit over vacation to see if we could make them a little stronger," Lee said. "And it looked like we really had some success with that."

The Comets held the Rebels (0-11, 0-6 NICL West) to just 16 points in the first half with a full roster that was back in action. Lee said before break, the Comets were battling injuries and illnesses when they lost three of their final five games.

But with healthy bench play and no one injured, Lee said his team can finally get rolling in the right direction again.

"I'm really happy with their effort, but [happier] with our kids that are our scorers, who were willing to give the ball up to people who were more wide open for a shot," Lee said. "That's a sign of becoming a better team when you're willing to do that."

The Rebels had opposite luck this week in facing three opponents in five days. Injuries have plagued the girls' basketball team, but head coach Eric Crandall said everyone is battling through the adversity.

"This time of year, there's going to be some injuries along the way," Crandall said. "But we're playing hard, trying to improve each game and stay competitive. It's a young group, a lot of inexperience players, but I've been really proud of them."

The Rebels only have three seniors on this year's squad. Led by senior Hayley Weber, who had 24 points of her own Friday night, the Rebels are working on learning from game-time experiences to continue with progress this season.

Weber was joined by freshman Tayor Gienger as the other double-digit scorer. Gienger had 10 points.

Crandall said even the players that are returning to the program this year didn't either play much varsity time or didn't play any varsity ball last year at all. With that in mind, Crandall has worked toward improving not only the physical nature of his team, but the mentality as well.

"It's an exciting group to work with," Crandall said. "There's a lot of growth potential with some of the strides they're making. The girls are picking up on the basketball experience and that's helping them improve. The longer we stay together, the better [the season will be]."

The schedule does not let up on the Rebels, with three of the next four games on the road. Gladbrook-Reinbeck returns to host East Marshall on Tuesday, and then travels to Columbus Catholic; to South Hamilton and to West Marshall on Jan. 14, 19 and 22.

For the Comets, they'll see No. 15 Grundy Center on the road Tuesday, then host South Hardin next Friday.



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