BLAIRSBURG - Northeast Hamilton girls' basketball coach Bret Schutt thought his team played its best game of the season here last night.
There was just one glaring problem: the Trojets were facing the best team on their schedule.
With South Tama High School transfer Dia Keahna doing pretty much whatever she wanted, the 12th-ranked (Class 1A) Meskwaki Settlement School raced past Northeast Hamilton, 60-45, in Iowa Star Conference action.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
NEH guard Kaylee Massman (22) challenges Meskwaki’s Jadyn Davenport for a rebound during last night’s ISC clash in Blairsburg. The Trojets dropped a 60-45 decision.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
Northeast Hamilton senior Molly Greenfield (24) is fouled by Meskwaki Settlement’s Tiana Thompson as Greenfield goes to the basket last night in Blairsburg. She scored 25 points in the Trojets’ 60-45 loss.
Keahna buried a pair of 3-point baskets and led all scorers with 27 points to help the Warriors (9-1, 6-1 ISC) stay in the thick of the chase for league gold.
Keahna was the second leading scorer on South Tama's team a season ago that produced a 21-3 record against mostly 3A competition.
"(Meskwaki) pushed the ball constantly and (Keahna) puts the ball on the floor with either hand and just goes by people," Schutt said. "She's good ... she's the best player I've seen."
Meskwaki 60, Northeast Hamilton 45
Meskwaki Settlement (9-1, 6-1 ISC) - Essence Bear 1 0-0 2, Serena Jefferson 0 2-2 2, Ryan Roberts 1 0-0 2, Dia Keahna 8 10-12 27, Tiana Thompson 2 0-0 4, Kadyn Clark 4 1-4 9, Jaden Davenport 6 2-5 14. Totals: 22 15-21 60.
Northeast Hamilton (2-6, 1-5 ISC) - Jennifer Jeffers 2 0-0 4, Andi Anderson 0 2-2 2, Whitney Schutt 1 0-0 2, Kaylee Massman 4 0-0 10, Molly Greenfield 8 7-9 25, Lillian Chamness 1 0-0 2, Sarah Elm 0 0-0 0, Leah Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 9-11 45.
Quarter scores - MS led 16-11, 30-18 and 49-36. 3-point field goals - MS 1 (Keahna); NEH 4 (Massman 2, Greenfield 2). Rebounds - NEH 22 (Greenfield 6, Jeffers 5). Steals - NEH 3. Assists - NEH 6 (Elm 2, Jeffers 2). Team fouls - MS 11, NEH 17. Fouled out - Jeffers, Massman.
Even with Keahna's exploits, NEH (2-6, 1-5 ISC) was down only 10 early in the fourth quarter, but point guards Jennifer Jeffers and Kaylee Massman eventually fouled out and the Warriors closed on a 10-5 spurt.
"We were right there and we battled with them," Schutt said. "We shot the ball well, we really didn't turn it over much, and this is the best game we've played all year. It's just too bad it came against the best team we've played all year."
Molly Greenfield kept the Trojets within striking distance with a strong offensive performance. She popped off for 25 points to go along with a team-high six rebounds. Massman chipped in 10 points before she was banished to the bench. Greenfield and Massman accounted for all four of the Trojets' 3-point field goals.
NEH continued to play without point guard Jenn Willems, who remained sidelined with a concussion she suffered two weeks ago.
The Trojets will finish off the pre-holiday portion of their schedule on Friday with a road trip to face 15th-ranked (1A) Colo-NESCO at 6:30 p.m.