By Zach James
Assistant Sports Editor
CLINTON — As cold as it was outside, the ranked North Scott Lancers froze the River Queens to just 19 points Friday night in Yourd Gym.
Clinton lost its fifth game of the season 62-19, and to River Queens coach Mike Halac, the scoreboard says a loss, but he saw otherwise on the floor.
"They took advantage that we didn't have Jordan (Nelson) tonight, but like I told our girls in pregame, it's next girl in, and I thought we played extremely hard tonight," Halac said. "Even though our effort did not transfer into a win, it will in the future."
Their speed and aggression was something the River Queens tried to simulate in preparation this week, but the real thing was just too hard to handle.
"The girls did a nice job of adjusting to the press in the second quarter, and we knew it was coming, we planned for it, but at the end, their speed was just too much for us," Halac said. "Knowing what's coming and being prepared to handle it are two different things."
North Scott forced 23 turnovers on the River Queens, which to Halac is something they're going to have to work on this week heading into holiday break.
"It is very hard to win a game at the varsity level with 23 turnovers," Halac said. "We'll go into this week and focus on our ball-handling and things like that, but, hey, that's what practice is for."
In that first quarter, the Lancers posted a 21-0 run in the first six-plus minutes of the game, and sophomore Hannah Burken ended the punishing streak with the team's first basket with 1:32 remaining.
After that, shots started falling for Clinton as they scored 10 in the second quarter, led by Erin Wenzel with six points. She ended up with a team-high of eight.
Wenzel had the tough assignment of guarding North Scott 6-foot-1 center Evan Hundley, but Halac thought his 6-2 senior held her own against Hundley.
"She worked her butt off trying to front her all game, and that's not easy," he said. "She only held Hundley to just six rebounds, which she normally gets a lot more than that, so I thought Erin did an exceptional job."
Hundley ended up with 15 points overall but just two in the second half.
Halle Davis made her first varsity start against the Lancers, and although she didn't score any points, Halac liked how she played.
"She had to go in there against in a conference game in a packed gym and play, which is really intimidating," he said, "but I thought she played more aggressive as the game progressed and got more comfortable, which was good to see."
The River Queens have two remaining games before the holidays — Tuesday at Davenport North and Friday at Burlington.
NORTH SCOTT 62, CLINTON 19
NORTH SCOTT (3-2, 2-1 MAC) — Shelley Matthys 0 3-3 3, Karli Rucker 4 0-0 10, Lindsay Gallens 0 0-0 0, Karly Soy 8 0-0 19, Hailey Saladino 0 0-0 0, Kaitlin Schmidt 0 0-0 0, Gina Percuoco 2 0-0 4, Liz Hamann 1 1-1 3, Shalome Taylor 0 0-0 0, Rachel Edmundson, 2 4-4 8, Maddie Alberts 0 0-0 0, Evan Hundley 6 3-6 15. Totals 22 11-14 62.
CLINTON (1-5, 0-3 MAC) — Halle Davis 0-0 0, Erin Wentzel 4 0-2 8, Elle Tubbs 0 0-1 0, Hannah Burken 2 1-2 5, McKena Greenwalt 0 0-0 0, Allysa Butt 0 0-0 0, Emma Gettes 0 0-0 0, Tiffany Vesey 0 0-0, Shalaya Austin 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Petersen 3 0-4 6. Totals — 9 1-9 19.
North Scott 23 18 13 8 — 62
Clinton 2 10 4 3 — 19
3-point goals — North Scott 5 (Soy 3, Rucker 2); Clinton 0. Total fouls — North Scott 15, Clinton 15. Fouled out — None.