The Greene County Rams both basketball games Thursday night against the Saydel Eagles in Des Moines. Even this late in the season, it was the first meeting for the two teams, as their first games were postponed due to winter weather.
The boys played a tight game at a slower pace than most of their games but lost by two points in overtime, 66-64. The Rams led 10-4 with 1:35 to play in the first quarter, only to see the Eagles score six unanswered points, including a 3-pointer on the buzzer to tie 10-10 at the end of the quarter. The Eagles scored four more points to make it a 10-point run before the Rams scored again to make the score 12-14 two minutes into the second quarter.
The teams were tied at 16 and again at 18. Score at halftime was 23-21 for the Eagles. That was despite the fact that Ram lead scorer Trey Tucker, who entered the game averaging 25.4 points per game, was held to only five points for the half.
Tucker opened the second half with a bucket that tied the score 23-23. Tucker’s shots fell better in the second half, after going only two of nine in the first. He scored 12 points in the third quarter, but Max Neese was the only other Ram to score that quarter with two field goals. The Rams held a four point lead, 35-31, with less than three minutes to play in the quarter, only to see the Eagles snatch the lead with a 3-pointer on the buzzer, just as they had two quarters earlier.
The Rams reclaimed the lead with a free throw by Reid Lamoureux and a 3-point shot by Landon Braun, 41-38, to start the fourth quarter, but the Eagles went on another 10-point run before the Rams scored again. The quarter ended as it started, with Lamoureux sinking two foul shots to tie the game at 49.
It was free throws that made the difference in the overtime. The Eagles were only six of 16 at the line during regulation time, but a surprising nine of 11 during overtime. The Rams used a conventional strategy of committing fouls to change possession of the ball, but the Eagles got hot at the line. The Rams had only four foul shots in the OT and made two of them. The score was 66-61 until the final buzzer. Then it was Tucker’s turn to put in a 3-pointer to narrow the final margin to two points, 66-64 in favor of the Eagles. That was Tucker’s only 3-point shot and the second tres for the team.
Saydel’s Zach McBride was key in the game. He averages three points a game but scored 18 against the Rams.
Tucker scored 34 points for the game. No other Rams scored in double figures. Neese scored eight, Matthew Gordon scored six – four of them in overtime, Riah Nelson scored six, Lamoureux scored five before fouling out in overtime, Braun scored three and Tyler Beger scored two points with two for two shooting at the foul line.
The teams had nearly identical records going into the game. The Rams’ loss put them 6-7 in the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference and 6-9 overall. The Eagles are now 6-7 in the HOIAC and 7-8 overall.
The girls more than doubled their points from their Tuesday night loss in Nevada but were on the short end of a 60-32 score. The Eagles entered the game with a 13-3 overall and 10-3 HOIAC record, rated 15th in class 3A. Their defense managed to keep enough pressure on the Rams to create 33 turnovers by an unofficial count and to keep all players to 10 points or less.
The first score of the game was a 3-point bucket by Ram senior Jolee Wessling. Senior Stacy Mears ended the quarter with a 3-pointer, with baskets by seniors Kayla Mobley and Hannah Onken in between. Score after one quarter was 11-10 for the Eagles.
The Rams scored first in the second quarter to take the lead 12-10, but that was the last time they led in the game. The Rams turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter and scored only seven points, while the Eagles turned the ball over twice and scored 15 points. Score at halftime was 26-17.
Fouls were a factor in the third quarter. The Rams were whistled for eight fouls while the Eagles were called for only one, and it wasn’t a shooting foul. The Rams mustered only eight points for the quarter and the Eagles’ lead grew to 20 points at 45-25. The trend continued in the fourth quarter. The Rams scored only two points until the Eagle starters finally left the game when the score was 56-27. Final score was 60-32. All Rams players who suited for the game played.
For the game, Kayla Mobley scored 10, Marissa Promes scored seven, Jolee Wessling scored five, Hannah Onken and Sunny Mobley scored four each, Mears scored three, Nicole Rohner scored two and Taylor Wessling scored one.
The Rams were two of six at the free throw line while the Eagles were 11 of 17.
The loss puts the Ram girls team at 7-7 in the HOIAC and 7-9 overall.
The Rams are back on the road Friday night in Gilbert and the boys play at home Saturday afternoon against Panorama. Greene County faces the Saydel Eagles again next Friday, Feb. 6, at home.