Building an early lead and weathering the storm, the Lady Haymakers were able to etch out a 38-37 victory over Chase County in a season opening hoops clash held at the Barn in Cozad on Thursday evening.
The scoring was at a premium in the opening quarter as a result of good, solid defense and offensive systems trying to gain continuity. In transition and with great athleticism, the Cozad slashers were able to attack the basket and gain the early edge 5-4 at the end of the first eight minutes of play.
During the second quarter, the Lady Haymakers were able to go on the offensive and it became contagious for all dressed in Red and Black, as Cozad surged ahead on a 15-7 scoring run. When all the smoke cleared, the Lady Haymakers held a nine-point lead, 20-11 at the halftime break.
Coming out of the intermission, the Lady Longhorns and the Cozad hoopsters, had their momentum swinging scoring surges that kept the contest close, but it was the Lady Haymakers that stood strong and kept their decisive nine-point lead, with the score now being 30-21 with just one quarter or regulation remaining.
Using a pressure defense, the Chase County offense was helped dearly with the stifling efforts of the Longhorns to create scoring opportunities in transition and climb back within contention on the scoreboard. The Lady Haymakers were able to handle the pressure in the waning seconds of the contest and flex the net from the charity stripe to earn the hard-fought 38-37 victory.
“Our big leaders, Courtney (Geiger) in the middle and Samantha (Carlson) and Emily (Reyes) stepped up big time in this game and were the difference in this game,” expressed Cozad head coach Seth Ford.” They did an excellent job of calming things and slowing things down on the floor, despite Chase County’s pressure defense.”
Emily Reyes did an outstanding job of shooting from the wing and attacking the hoop to net a team-leading effort of 12 points.
Senior guard Samantha Carlson contributed greatly with nine points and was a clutch ball handler when the game was in the balance.
In the paint, Courtney Geiger and Hannah Thramer were key for the Red and Black with six and five points, respectively.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Chase County 4 7 10 16 37
Cozad 5 15 10 8 38
Cozad: Emily Reyes 12, Samantha Carlson 9, Courtney Geiger 6, Hannah Thramer 5, Sarah Yocom 5, Rebecca Etherton 1.