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MCDONALD'S GAME OF THE WEEK (Girls Basketball): Iowa–Grant 54, Potosi/Cassville 47
Hubbard, Liddicoat lead Panthers' comeback win
Iowa–Grant senior Olivia Liddicoat hits a pull-up jumper during the Panthers' 54–47 comeback win over host Potosi/Cassville last Tuesday night. Liddicoat finished with 18 points. - photo by Jason Nihles

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Iowa–Grant 55, Potosi/Cassville 47

CASSVILLE — Junior Logan Hubbard and senior Olivia Liddicoat combined to score 27 second-half points to lead Iowa–Grant’s winning comeback last Tuesday night against host Potosi/Cassville.

Hubbard scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the final 13:32, while Liddicoat added 13 of 18 points in the final 14 minutes to lead the visiting Panthers to a 54–47 non-conference win at Cassville High School  Nov. 26. Hubbard also added six rebounds and five steals.

“We told the girls to stay true to the offense, penetrate their 1–3–1 zone and it helped us get to the free throw line,” said Iowa–Grant head coach Dan Liddicoat. “The girls were also hitting shots that weren’t falling in the first half. Making our free throws helped us take a lead.

“We have some girls on the floor that have played together the last three years and they understand that as long as they continue to work together and make shots, they can work themselves back into a game and win.”

Foul trouble and turnovers were too much to overcome for coach Brad Bierman’s Chieftains even with a nine-point

second half lead.

Potosi/Cassville (0–1) used an 8–0 run to grab an early 14–8 lead midway through the first half. The Chieftains maintained their advantage using their clear height advantage as junior forwards Anna Kartman (5’11”) and Lilly Post (6’0”) and six-foot sophomore Kylie Reuter.

Iowa–Grant’s tallest players are 5-foot-8 senior Annie Spurly and freshman Alexis Vavricka. 

Kartman and Post scored the first two baskets of the game and combined to scored 19 points in the first half to lead the Chieftains to a 25–19 lead at intermission.

Kartman scored 11 of her 16 in the first half, while Post scored eight of her 15.

Senior Kenzie Oakes drilled a 3-pointer to open the second half for Iowa–Grant, but Kartman scored on a drive, Post added a pair of free throws and a bucket in the paint, and Reuter added a basket at the 13:56 mark to extend the Potosi/Cassville lead to nine at 33–24.

Hubbard scored five straight points for I–G and Post picked up her fourth foul with 11:46 left in the game.

Kartman answered with a free throw and a putback but a few minutes later picked up her fourth foul and took a seat on the bench next to Post with 8:22 left.

“Anytime you lose your top two players for an extended period of time it is difficult,” said Potosi/Cassville coach Brad Bierman. “We are built to play through those two, so it changes who we are when they are not on the floor. This is a process and the have to learn to play without fouling so they can stay on the floor and help the team.”

The Chieftains did the best to weather the storm without their leading scorers, as Reuter made a free throw and Brooklyn Friederick made a lay up with 8 minutes left to give the home team its last lead at 39-37.

Liddicoat made a pair of free throws to tie the game, then drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Panthers in front at 43–39 with 5:29 left.

Spurley answered a basket by Potosi/Cassville’s Anna Kruser and I–G freshman Ashley Runde swished a long jumper to make it 47–41 with four minutes left.

The teams traded turnovers on each of the next six possessions and Iowa–Grant forced a jump ball with 59 seconds left.

The Chieftains were forced to foul and Hubbard made four straight from the line to make it a 10-point advantage, 51–41, with 29.5 seconds left.

Post hit a late 3-pointer, as did Lydia Reynolds for the home team, but Liddicoat made 3 of 4 from the line in the final 17 seconds to keep the Chieftains at bay and provide the final margin of victory. Liddicoat finished 18 points and six rebounds.

“Our fouling started their comeback,” Bierman said. “We had good control of the game before that. They did a nice job of recognizing the foul trouble and really started to drive the ball at us. I should have made an adjustment and gotten us into a different defense at that point.”

“This will be a learning experience for us,” Bierman added. “It is a long season and we need to take what we learned from this one and move on to Lancaster. We have a tough early schedule. A loss can be beneficial if you use what you learned and improve on it the next time out.”

Iowa–Grant improved to 3–0 on the season and will next open SWAL play at Darlington on Thursday.

Coach Bierman’s Chieftains hosted Lancaster on Tuesday and will now host Barneveld in a non-conference game at Potosi High School on Monday.

“We need to learn to play aggressive defense without fouling,” Bierman concluded. “The offense will come as we get more comfortable with what we are doing. The first game of any season is usually rough and you could tell that they had played a couple games already. This is a good group of kids and we will continue to get better.”

Iowa–Grant 54, Potosi/Cassville 47

(from Tuesday, Nov. 26 @ Cassville)

Iowa–Grant 19 35 —  54

Potosi/Cassville 25 22 —  47

Iowa–Grant (3–0) — Kenzie Oakes 5, Olivia Liddicoat 18, Logan Hubbard 24, Annie Spurley 3, Taylor Runde 2, Ashley Runde 2. Totals — 14 21-28 54.

Potosi/Cassville (0–1) — Jessica Noonan 5,Lilly Post 15, Lyida Reynolds 3, Anna Kartman 16, Brooklyn Friederick 2, Kylie Reuter 4, Anna Kruser 2. Totals — 14 16-20 47.

3-point goals — IG: 4 (Oakes 1, Liddicoat 1, Hubbard 2); P/C: 3 (Noonan 1, Post 1, Reynolds 1). Team fouls — IG: 17, P/C: 24. Fouled out — P/C: Noonan.