The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

December 15, 2012

Backup has plan of her own to beat Queens

CLINTON — As he prepared his Clinton High girls basketball team for Davenport Assumption, the top-ranked team in the Iowa Class 3A state ratings, coach Mike Halac emphasized one thing to his players.

“Our talk going in was we were not going to let Danielle Moore and Kate Fennelly beat us,” Halac said.

The River Queens held those two players, who entered the game as Assumption’s top scorers, to a modest 19 points.

Unfortunately for the Queens, senior reserve Morgan Pavlich had the game of her life and led the Knights to a 76-23 victory Friday night at W.J. Yourd Gymnasium. Pavlich, who entered the game with 19 points in five games, had more than that by halftime and finished with 26.

“We made somebody else beat us,” Halac said.

Pavlich was the player few would have expected to do it, including herself.

“I honestly don’t know,” she responded when asked where her performance came from. “Never in my life (had she had a game anywhere near it).”

Assumption coach Mallory Youngblut couldn’t have expected it, either, but she wasn’t totally surprised that Pavlich would contribute to a win.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “Morgan is a great player. She probably would start on many teams in the conference. Sometimes it’s great to have a spark off the bench.”

The Knights (6-0, 5-0 Mississippi Athletic Conference) realized what the River Queens wanted to do.

“They were concentrating on Danielle and Katie, and that left me open,” Pavlich said. “I was just really glad I could play a good role and get our team started.”

Clinton wasn’t in bad shape when it broke Assumption’s press and freshman Hannah Burken made a layup to tie the game at 4. But then Assumption went on one of the runs it’s famous for, and Pavlich was right in the middle of things.

Coming out of a timeout with 3 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter, a layup by Moore put the Knights on top 6-4. Pavlich followed with three consecutive 3-point baskets, and a steal and layup by Moore pushed the lead to 17-4.

“She goes in in a close game and knocks down two 3s that change the whole momentum of the game,” Youngblut said.

A free throw by Clinton freshman Gracie Buech ended Assumption’s run, but it didn’t stop Pavlich or the Knights.

“I definitely gained a lot of confidence after the second 3-pointer,” Pavlich said.

She opened the second quarter with two more 3-pointers, making her 5-for-5 beyond the arc, and pushing the lead to 20, 27-7.

Her first miss came when she made 1 of 2 free throws moments later, then, shortly after she finally missed a 3-pointer, she was fouled trying another. A technical foul on the play kept her at the line for five consecutive free throws, and she made all of them to make it 38-11.

“I think the more I shot the free throws, the more nervous I got,” Pavlich said.

Pavlich added two more free throws before the half ended to give her 23 points. The Knights even stretched the lead to 30 at halftime when Kristin Ketelaar’s 3-pointer made it 47-17.

Most of the second half was played under a continuous clock after Assumption built a 35-point lead, but Pavlich managed one more 3-pointer to give her six for the game.

“She was one away from breaking our record,” Youngblut said. “If we don’t play with the running clock she probably sets the record.”

Halac gave Pavlich her due, but he also praised his players.

“She had a great shooting night, but I couldn’t be more proud of the way my girls played,” he said. “It went from 4-4 to 17-4 very quickly, but our girls didn’t make any mistakes. They just hit some very tough shots. Our scheme worked. We did a good job down low.”

Erin Wenzel led Clinton with seven points, Jordan Nelson finished with five and Elle Tubbs had four.

“Erin busted her butt, Elle figured out what being aggressive,” he said.

The River Queens return to action Tuesday when they play host to Bettendorf at 7:30 p.m.

Text Only
Sports
  • L'Kings offensive drought continues

    Shutout for the second time in two nights Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Bend, the Clinton LumberKings' offense was limited again Sunday, managing just one run in a 4-1 Midwest League baseball loss to the Silver Hawks at Ashford University Field.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-28-14 1B-Photo, Hall of Fame Thomas, Maddux enter Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.Thomas, pitchers T

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Testimony ends in trial LOS ANGELES (AP) — Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a proposed $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.Shelly Sterling, who had testified

    July 25, 2014

  • Whitecaps take away Clinton offense CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings (13-19, 43-57) mustered only five hits as the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps (20-12, 61-41) shut down the hometown club at Ashford University Field.Whitecaps’ starter Jonathon Crawford (6-2) allowed only four men t

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Cubs San Diego sinks Cubs, 13-3 CHICAGO — Tyson Ross kept mowing down Chicago Cubs hitters, long enough for San Diego’s suddenly potent offense to carry the Padres to victory for the second straight night.Ross struck out a career-high 11, and the light-hitting Padres broke out for

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trestman ready for round 2 BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — This time last year, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman was still something of a curiosity.He was a guy leading an NFL team for the first time as training camp started, plucked from Canada after spending several years out of the le

    July 25, 2014

High School Sports