The Greene County Rams hosted the Roland-Story Norse for basketball Friday and split the varsity games. The boys improved their record to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Heart of Iowa Conference, while the girls remained winless, 0-7 overall and 0-5 in the conference.
The boys teams were pretty evenly matched statistically coming into the game, and the Rams claimed their victory by only a three point margin. Lance Hughes scored first, and it took Trey Hinote only two minutes after returning from a two-week lay-off due to an injured ankle to score a tres. The defense was quicker than in recent games, allowing the Rams to build an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter. The Rams were ahead 17-10 after one quarter, with Hughes accounting for 10 points.
The Norse used a six-point run midway in the second quarter to shorten the Rams’ lead to six points, 27-23 with less than three minutesto play in the half. John Rosado scored his only points of the game to put the score at 29-23, but the Norse finished the half with two 3-point shots to tie the score at 29.
The Norse scored first in the second half and were up by two points, 31-29, with one minute off the clock. Carter Morton answered quickly with a field goal to tie the score, and then made back-to-back long buckets to put his team up 37-31 with 5:10 to play. The Rams were ahead most of the remainder of the game, but not by much. It was a two-point game, 40-38, when Hinote made another 3-point basket with 1:25. That was the last score of the third quarter and the score was 43-38 when the buzzer sounded.
The Rams’ shooting chilled in the fourth quarter. They missed lay-ups that often look effortless, and although their season free throw percentage was 80, they twice missed the first basket of a 1 & 1 at the free throw line. The Rams were ahead 47-45 when Hinote fouled Norse Kade Faga. Faga made both free thows and the score was tied with 1:04 to play.
Hughes scored two points with 39 seconds left. The Norse missed two free throws and Hughes was fouled on the next possession. He made the first free throw, putting the Rams up 50-47, but missed the second free throw. Ram guard Nick Breon got an offensive rebound but was fouled and missed both free throws. With 7.5 seconds to play Ram coach Chris Nelson called a time out. The Norse inbounded the ball mid-court after the timeout. The Ram defense held the Norse away from an easy bucket. Dylan Ihle lobbed the ball from 3-point range but missed the shot on the buzzer, and the Rams had the hard-fought win.
Hughes led the Rams in scoring with 20 points. Hinote scored 14 points with four 3-pointers, including one from close to 28 feet. Morton scored 14 points with a pair of 3-pointers, and Rosado had his lone field goal for two points.
The loss puts the Norse at 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the HOIAC.
The girls are still winless on the season, but they can take heart from keeping the game close enough against the 11th-rated Norse to avoid a continuous clock until only four minutes remained in the game.
Ram Lily Muir made the first basket of the game, and the brief 2-0 lead was the Rams only lead of the game. They were down 13-2 before the Muir scored again with a 3-pointer. Brianna Habben made a pair of free throws for the Rams’ other two points in the quarter. The Rams were down 18-7 after one quarter.
The Rams didn’t put up many shots and didn’t score in the fourth quarter; the score at intermission was 34-7. For the half, the Rams shot at less than 10 percent and committed 13 turnovers while the Norse shot at 59 percent and committed 10 leftovers.
Kassie Lamoureux scored at the start of the second half but the course of the game didn’t change. The Rams managed to score 10 points in the third quarter; the Norse scored 13 points.
With four minutes left to play a Norse 3-pointer put them up 55-17 and the clock ran continuously the rest of the game The Norse didn’t score again. The final score was 55-23.
Lily Muir led her team with 10 points including a pair of 3-point baskets. Habben and Izzy Bravard scored four points each, with both making two of two free throws and a field goal. Bailey Cunningham scored a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter and Lamoureux scored two points.
Unofficially the Rams made eight of 40 shots from the floor for 20 percent. They made three of 11 3-point shots and four of five free throws. The Norse made 20 of 48 shots from the floor for 42 percent. They made eight of 25 3-point shots and seven of 12 free throws.
The Rams committed 20 turnovers for the game and the Norse committed 11.
The Rams are 0-7 on the season and 0-5 in the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference. The Roland-Story Norse are 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference.