CLINTON — So maybe it’s not the season that the Clinton River Queens have been dreaming about this winter.
The fourth quarter performance they put forth Tuesday night was something they can smile about when all said and done.
Despite scoring 20 points in the final quarter, Clinton found its hands full in a 59-37 loss to Muscatine in Yourd Gym.
Jordan Nelson scored 12 points in the quarter through making several and-one opportunities in the paint.
“I just fed off of my teammates’ energy in that quarter,” Nelson said. “Once I got that first basket, I knew I had to keep going, and it was just exciting having a quarter like that.”
Before that, the ball was not as friendly to the River Queens. It’s been that way all year.
“I feel I say this every time, but I love the effort, the way the girls got on the floor, but the shots just didn’t fall again tonight,” Clinton coach Michael Halac said. “Muscatine is a very good team, but we just didn’t come out and shoot well in the third quarter.”
The Class 5A ninth-ranked Muskies held the River Queens to four points in the third quarter following a first-half defensive stand of 13 points.
Erin Wenzel once again came out to be the sparkplug for Clinton, scoring eight of the 13 first-half points.
“It’s not just me scoring those points,” Wenzel said. “It takes a team effort, and my teammates got me the ball. I just had to fight down low to get those baskets.”
Wenzel ended up with 14 points alongside hauling in 15 rebounds.
Clinton also tried something different with its defensive strategy against the Muskies. Normally the River Queens play a man-to-man set, but Halac pulled out the triangle-and-two defense to try to shut down Muscatine’s two leading scorers, Emily Clemens and Annabel Grattinger.