The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

February 8, 2013

Irish overcome slow start to win postseason opener

CLINTON — If Prince of Peace could play the entire game the way it played the last minute of the first half on Thursday night, there’s no telling how far the Irish can go in the girls basketball postseason. If they play the way they did in the first quarter, though, the tournament road will have a dead-end finish.

The Irish overcame a slow start against winless Calamus-Wheatland and defeated the Warriors 56-29 in a Class 1A Region 4 first-round game at Central Catholic Auditorium.

“The girls didn’t come out quite as focused as we wanted,” Prince of Peace coach Maggie Furlong said. “It kind of took us until the last 90 seconds of the first half. Then, we took off from there.”

The Irish (13-10) led for all but the first 2 minutes, 34 seconds, but the first quarter was far from impressive.

Calamus-Wheatland (0-21) scored first on a basket by Stephanie Petersen, but it trailed just 7-4 after one quarter.

Megan Mulholland tied the game with a steal and layup, then a 3-pointer from the right corner by Jackie Kokjohn (11 points) put the Irish ahead to stay with 5:26 remaining in the quarter. Julia Isenhour scored in traffic in the lane for a 7-2 lead, then the Irish went the final 4:14 of the quarter without a score.

“We just needed to pick it up as a team, and we decided to do it,” Prince of Peace junior Karli Atkinson said.

Atkinson helped jumpstart the offense.

“Our gameplan was to focus on Julia (Isenhour’s, Prince of Peace’s top scorer this season) and make others beat us,’ Cal-Wheat coach Alan Seabrooke said.

Atkinson took care of that, scoring 10 of her game-high 16 points in the second quarter.

“It’s been happening a lot lately that people step up when we need points,” Furlong said. “It’s nice to have second and third options when people take Julia out of the equation.”

Atkinson played a key role as Prince of Peace took Cal-Wheat out of the game late in the first half.

She had scored half the points in an 8-2 run that gave the Irish a 15-6 lead with 5:54 left in the half, but the Warriors pulled within 19-13 when Ramsie O’Neill scored in the lane with 1:20 left in the half.

But the Irish turned up the intensity in the final minute.

“We had to get the momentum going our way, and we created opportunities,” Atkinson said.

The opportunities created a 9-0 run to close the half and extend the Irish’s lead to 28-13 at the half.

Atkinson got it started scoring from the free-throw line on an inbounds play with 56 seconds left. Isen-hour scored on a transition layup, then added a free throw 11 seconds later to make it 24-13 with :18.9 left.

Mulholland made a steal in the backcourt and found Atkinson for a layup with :15 left, then the Irish got the ball back on another turnover and Mulholland found Atkinson inside for a basket with a second left.

The Irish’s defense continued to create problems in the second half, when they pushed the lead to as large as 28 points.

“Their pressure helped them a lot,” Seabrooke said.

“I’m very happy with our defense,” Atkinson said. “We’re talking, communicating and playing team defense.”

They’ll need more of the same Tuesday when they face 14th-ranked Preston (15-6) in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal-round game in Preston.

“I think (Thursday’s game) helps get the nerves out a bit,” Furlong said. “It didn’t start out the way we wanted, but, hopefully, we’ve got that out of the way.”

The entire season didn’t go the way the Warriors wanted, but Seabrooke said progress was made.

“We improved quite a bit throughout the year,” he said. “We have a lot of young kids (there was one senior on the team), and we’re going to stress working hard in the offseason, and, hopefully, we can change the culture in the offseason.”

Text Only
Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Evers: For love of the green CLINTON - Conner Evers calls The Oaks Golf Course his home. There isn't a day where Evers won't visit the golf course on the city's west side. "I spend a lot of time here," Evers said with a laugh. "This is my second home. I love golf, and there's no

    April 24, 2014

  • LumberKings score bizarre run CLINTON -- Rain was the only thing that could have saved the Clinton LumberKings from losing Wednesday to Quad Cities 7-1. The run that the LumberKings got, however, came on a bizarre play. In the bottom of the first inning, Tyler O'Neill singled o

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 1B-photo, Ladehoff signs CCC right for Ladehoff DEWITT - Joe Shovlain says Clinton Community College has a great selling point: opportunity. For Central DeWitt senior Ellie Ladehoff, there was another key factor in her decision to attend the school. Ladehoff, who joined 11 of her classmates on sta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Blackhawks even series CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen. What Kane got back on Wednesday night was his legs, and the result was a familiar one. Kane scored his s

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24-14 1B-Photo, Drake story Youngsters take on oval

    CLINTON -- One of the biggest track meets in the nation begins today, and the youngsters will kick off the event at Drake University in Des Moines. The high school portion of the Drake Relays begins at 3 p.m. with the field events, and Clinton senior

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Semien hits a late slam DETROIT (AP) -- On the night he became the franchise's career leader in total bases, Paul Konerko liked what he saw from some of the younger Chicago White Sox. Marcus Semien's seventh-inning grand slam lifted the White Sox over the Detroit Tigers 6-4

    April 24, 2014

  • Hammel, Olt lead Cubs past D'backs CHICAGO (AP) -- Jason Hammel is certain the Chicago Cubs are better than their record so far. Hammel pitched seven strong innings, Mike Olt hit a three-run home run and Nate Schierholtz drove in a pair of early runs to lead the Cubs to a 9-2 victory

    April 23, 2014

  • Schreiber wins dual; Coppess 2nd at tri BETTENDORF -- To be the best, you have to beat the best. Brittany Coppess came close to doing that Tuesday at Hidden Hills Golf Course in a triangular meet between North Scott, Clinton and Pleasant Valley. Coppess finished with a nine-hole 42, 5 over

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 1B-photo, ethan jones Jones has eyes set on prize FULTON, Ill. -- Ethan Jones has all the confidence that he can become the Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year in baseball. "I just need to work hard, show up everyday and just play the best that I can every game so I can help my team win," Jo

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

High School Sports