BLAIRSBURG - The minds were strong. But the legs were weak.
A tumultuous week that included a team-wide battle with the flu ended in disappointment for the Northeast Hamilton girls' basketball team Friday in a 35-34 Iowa Star Conference loss to Waterloo Christian.
The Trojets (2-5, 1-4 ISC) were forced to postpone a game against Dunkerton last Tuesday because the flu wiped out most of the team, and on Friday five of the seven girls in uniform were still feeling under the weather.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
Northeast Hamilton senior Jennifer Jeffers drives to the bucket during Friday’s ISC clash against Waterloo Christian in Blairsburg. The Trojets tumbled, 35-34.
"This has been one of the most difficult weeks just because we couldn't get anything done," NEH head coach Bret Schutt said. "The girls played as hard as they could and I was so proud of them, but they just didn't have anything left in the tanks."
Trailing 23-16 after three quarters, NEH clawed all the way back to tie it up at 32 with 44 seconds remaining. But Waterloo Christian (2-5, 2-5 ISC) received a traditional 3-point play from Anna Doering with 37 ticks left to jump ahead for good.
Molly Greenfield knocked down a shot with 18 seconds remaining to pull the Trojets within one, and they got the ball back in the waning seconds with a chance to win it, but they were unable to get a shot off.
Waterloo Christian 35, NE Hamilton 34
Waterloo Christian (2-5, 2-5 ISC) - Heather Garmon 0 0-0 0, Whitney Smith 1 1-2 3, Katlin Armbrecht 1 0-1 2, Maddy Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Anna Doering 3 3-5 9, Ashley Tiller 0 0-0 0, Emily Wynthein 6 1-1 13, April Hall 4 0-2 8, Aubrey Grant 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 5-11 35.
Northeast Hamilton (2-5, 1-4 ISC) - Jennifer Jeffers 1 2-6 4, Andi Anderson 0 1-2 1, Whitney Schutt 0 0-1 0, Sarah Elm 4 0-0 11, Molly Greenfield 4 7-8 15, Lillian Chamness 1 0-0 3, Leah Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 10-17 34.
Quarter scores - WC led 8-6, 14-13 and 23-16. 3-point field goals - WC 0; NEH 4 (Elm 3, Chamness). Rebounds - NEH 18 (Anderson 5, Greenfield 4, Jeffers 4). Steals - NEH 13 (Jeffers 6). Assists - NEH 8 (Jeffers 3). Fouls - WC 16, NEH 14. Fouled out - none.
"We got a couple nice looks at the basket late, but we just didn't knock down the shots and that's because we had no legs to do anything," Schutt said.
Greenfield and Elm - two of the afflicted with the flu earlier in the week - led the way with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Elm drilled three 3-pointers.
Jennifer Jeffers added four points, six steals and three assists in a losing effort.
Waterloo Christian received 13 points from Emily Wynthein and nine from Doering.
NEH played without starting point guard Jenn Willems because of a concussion, and key reserve Kaylee Massman also sat out with a knee injury. Ironically, they were two of the players not to be hit by the flu.
The Trojets have a difficult week in front of them, starting with a home game against 12th-ranked (Class 1A) Meskwaki Settlement on Tuesday, followed by a road trip to face No. 15 (1A) Colo-NESCO on Friday.