The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

December 28, 2012

Fulton girls almost upset Flying Geese

ERIE, Ill. — One of the main objectives of playing a Christmas tournament like the Warkins Cardinal Classic is to improve heading into the second half of the season and eventually the playoffs.

Fulton took a large step in the right direction Thursday night, despite ultimately falling 67-60 to Kewanee Wethersfield.

“That’s the best basketball game we played all year, I think,” Fulton coach Jesse Abbott said. “It’s the most complete game we’ve played. ... That’s the first game we’ve played against a top-tier team where we played a complete basketball game. I’m really proud of them for that.”

The Steamers pounded the ball inside to Morgan Sanquist and Morgan Wierema and put a scare into the Geese. Fulton led in the second half and was within five points for most of the final two minutes.

“We didn’t give up, and we kept fighting,” Sanquist said.

Wierema and Sanquist combined to score 41 points, most of which came from inside the paint.

“We work really well together,” Sanquist said.

“We always try to start inside-out,” Abbott said. “I thought they worked really hard to get position and they converted when they got there. I thought our guards did a nice job of attacking the basket and making Wethersfield play a little out of position at times.”

Rachael Beiermann led the way on that front with eight assists, four of which turned into Sanquist layups. Sanquist made 10 2-point field goals to set a Warkins record.

The Steamers struggled with Wethersfield’s full-court pressure early on, committing 11 of their 19 turnovers in the first quarter. But Fulton led after the opening period, thanks to 6-of-9 shooting from the field and forcing the Geese into 4-of-20 shooting with some tough defense.

“We did a very nice job rotating defensively,” Abbott said. “They didn’t get too many offensive rebounds, and that’s a key against a good team.”

Fulton stretched its lead to eight points early in the second quarter on a jumper by Katherine Wayne and a putback by Sanquist. Then the Geese started their charge. Sarah Hansen, who scored a game-high 26 points, hit three 3-pointers and Wethersfield tied the score at 27 late in the quarter.

The Steamers were unable to creep closer than five points in the fourth quarter, but Abbott was pleased with what he saw.

“One thing that we preach is composure,” Abbott said. “We were very composed tonight. Whether we made a good play or a bad play, we were always looking to make the next play.”

Sanquist said she thought the Steamers often played to the level of their competition, but that this close call could be a confidence booster.

“Hopefully, we keep going up from here,” she said.

KEWANEE WETHERSFIELD 67, FULTON 60

WETHERSFIELD — Caitlin Miller 4-6 2-2 10, Debbie Hager 1-2 2-2 4, Sarah Hansen 9-19 3-4 26, Aly Eastman 2-6 5-8 11, Kodi Hammer 4-14 5-8 13, Hannah Schwerbrock 0-0 0-0 0, McKenzie Hoogerwerf 0-0 0-0 0, Kristen Parsons 1-10 1-1 3. Totals 21-57 18-25 67.

FULTON — Rachael Beiermann 0-3 0-0 0, Samantha Raab 3-6 0-0 6, Katherine Wayne 3-12 5-7 11, Morgan Sanquist 10-20 0-1 20, Kelsey Leffler 1-2 0-0 2, Rachel McDonnell 0-3 0-0 0, Morgan Wierema 8-12 5-7 21. Totals 25-58 10-15 60.

Wethersfield    11    17    23    16    —    67

Fulton    15    14    14    17    —    60

3-point goals — Wethersfield 7-17 (Hansen 5-11, Eastman 2-3, Parsons 0-3); Fulton 0-6 (Raab 0-1, Wayne 0-2, Sanquist 0-3). Total fouls — Wethersfield 19; Fulton 21. Fouled out — Parsons. Rebounds — Wethersfield 38 (Miller 7); Fulton 43 (Sanquist 7, Wierema 7, Beiermann 6, Wayne 6). Assists — Wethersfield 14 (Parsons 6); Fulton 17 (Beiermann 8). Turnovers — Wethersfield 13; Fulton 19.

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