GMG overwhelms Redhawks

GMG’s Jenna Yilek, suited in the team’s Garwin throwback jersey, defends a lose ball against Abby DeBoef of North Tama. Yilek led her team with 16 points. Photo by Noah Rohlfing

GARWIN — There was a different vibe about the GMG girls’ basketball team in the second half of last Friday’s game against division rivals North Tama.

The Wolverines, decked out in white, navy and orange Garwin High School throwback jerseys, were aggressive and confident throughout. They flew at loose balls, forced turnovers and converted their chances in the half-court. The result was a 45-24 win, one head coach Justin Hornberg said showcased the best of what the team has to offer and came after some of their best practices of the season.

“They’ve been working their tails off in practice,” Hornberg said. “I told the girls, ‘Finally, you get to see the reward for working that hard in practice..”

The night didn’t start out that way, however. In fact the Wolverines trailed North Tama 12-2 after the first quarter. Shots weren’t falling and Hornberg feared the Wolverines would slip into a tough defeat like they’ve done at times this season.

But in the second quarter GMG outscored the Redhawks 15-3 and took a 17-15 lead into the halftime break.

It turned out to be the passage of the game, as the Redhawks would not take the lead back.

GMG focused on making life difficult for North Tama star Rylee McLean on the defensive end, switching between three or four different zone schemes in the half court and full court. The Redhawks struggled to get McLean going and she only scored four points.

Meanwhile, North Tama’s offense was gifting GMG possession far too often for head coach Shawn Larmore.

“We had a great first quarter and after that, our shots weren’t falling,” Larmore said. “We were struggling rebounding and had some costly mental turnovers on our own that we created ourselves.”

The third quarter had the Wolverines slowly increasing their lead from two, to six, to 10 with less than a minute left in the period. Two Adelyn Sienknecht 3-pointers later and GMG blew the game wide open with a 38-22 advantage. Hornberg said the team ran more set plays on offense, and it created more open looks for a variety of players.

The fourth quarter was a waltz after that, as the Wolverines kept North Tama quiet and slowly ran down the clock to cap off a big, big night for a team starting to see what it can accomplish. The game ended with a 43-12 GMG run after the first quarter.

Jenna Yilek scored a game-high 16 points including 8-of-10 numbers at the free throw line. Sienknecht scored 11 and Angel Schewe scored six.

Abby DeBoef scored eight for the Redhawks.

GMG 45, North Tama 24

NORTH TAMA (5-10, 3-6) — Lainey Willenbring 0 0-0 0, Aubree Monat 1 0-1 2, Julianna Breakenridge 2 1-1 7, Rylee McLean 2 0-2 4, Abby DeBoef 3 2-3 8, Izzy Hallett 1 0-0 3, Mya Sierra 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 3-7 24.

GMG (5-11, 3-7) — Jocee Mason 2 0-0 4, Jenna Yilek 4 8-10 16, Angel Schewe 3 0-0 6, Emily Vaughn 1 1-2 3, Adelyn Sienknecht 4 0-1 11, Colby Miller 0 0-0 0, Kaylea Duden 0 0-0 0, Marriah Stonewall 2 1-2 5. TOTALS 16 10-15 45.

N. TAMA 12 3 7 2 — 24

GMG 2 15 21 7 — 45

3-Point Goals-NT 3 (Breakenridge 2, Hallett), GMG 3 (Sienknecht 3). Team Fouls-NT 16, GMG 13. Fouled out-none.