Rams lose both games to Nevada Cubs at Wells Fargo Arena

The Ram girls basketball team’s struggles to find the hoop and the boys team’s team struggles to find a solid defense following them to Wells Fargo Arena Dec. 18 for games against the Nevada Cubs. The girls lost 47-10 and the boys lost 77-69.

Senior Lance Hughes played well, scoring 31 points with 13 field goals and five of six free throws. As in recent games, that wasn’t enough. Twenty of Hughes’ points came in the first half. His shooting slowed in the second half, as did his teammates, and after Trey Hinote left the game due to an ankle injury with 22 points and just less than a minute to play in the third quarter, the Cubs were in charge.

The teams played tight ball in the first quarter. Hughes and Hinote scored 10 points each and Carter Morton added two. The Cubs scored 21 points, ahead of their usual scoring pace (the Cubs average 53 points per game), but it was a one point game, 22-21, at the end of the quarter. Hinote had limped off the floor with 41 seconds to play, but he returned for the second quarter.

The Rams dominated the second quarter, adding another 22 points and holding the Cubs to only 13. The Cubs shot poorly and the Rams led the entire quarter, sometimes by as many as 12 points. The score at half-time was 44-34 in favor of the Rams.

The Rams have lost other games by sending their opponents to the free throw line too many times, and that was the case Tuesday at The Well. The Cubs took the lead in the third quarter, making seven of eight free throws while the Rams’ only trip to the line resulted in one of two for Morton. Hughes made only four points in the quarter. Hinote, who missed four of the Rams’ eight games due to a severely sprained ankle, injured his other ankle and left the game with 31 seconds to play in the quarter. This time, he didn’t return. The Rams were on the short side of a 61-58 score at the end of the third quarter.

The score was tied at 61 after Hughes was fouled in the act of shooting a made basket and then added a point from the line. The Cubs put up a 3-pointer on their next possession to take the lead. The led the rest of the game, but not by more than five points, leaving a victory within the Rams’ reach. The Rams were down by one, 7-69, with 1:36 to play. The Cubs’ next possession ended with a made free throw. On their next possession Nick Breon was whistled for charging and was then tagged with a technical foul. The Cubs made three points from the free throw line, and in the last minute of play they added three more for good measure to hand the Rams the 77-69 loss.

The most telling stats for the game were free throws. The Rams made 70 percent of their free throws, making seven of 10. The Cubs made 76 percent of theirs, scoring on 25 of 33 free throws.

In addition to the 53 points scored by Hughes and Hinote, Morton scored seven, John Rosado scored four, Cael Fisher scored three points on a tres, and Caden Lowmiller scored two points.

Hughes and Breon had eight rebounds each and Morton had seven.

The Ram boys are 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference. The Cubs are also 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the conference.

The boys play one more game before the winter break. They host the Boone Toreadors for boys-only JV/V action Dec. 21.

The girls were scoreless until Lily Muir made the second of two free throws with 6:24 to play in the second quarter. That was the Rams’ lone point at intermission, while the Cubs had 36 points on the board. The clock began running continuously with 6:45 to play in the third quarter.

Muir totaled four points for the game, putting up a 3-point basket to start the third quarter. Izzy Bravard scored three points, Brianna Habben scored two, and Bailey Cunningham scored 1. The Rams shot at just 9 percent from the floor while the Cubs shot at 31 percent. The Rams made two off five free throws; the Cubs made 10 of 13. The Rams committed 20 turnovers for the game; the Cubs committed five.

The game was the last of 2018 for the girls. They take a 0-9 record into the holiday break. The Cubs are 4-7 overall and 4-3 in the conference.

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