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Lofstrom making impact at Morningside

Freshman power forward collects 1st collegiate double-double

LOOKING FOR TWO — Morningside College power forward Chloe Lofstrom (left) drives the lane and looks to score against a Concordia University defender during NAIA basketball action Dec. 12 at Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Morningside College Sports Information)

ARMSTRONG — When it comes to the game of basketball, Chloe Lofstrom became synonymous with doubling up her numbers on high school hardwood courts throughout northern Iowa.

In fact, the former three-time Sentinel All-Area girls basketball player of the year averaged a double-double performance every time she donned her familiar green-and-white No. 22 jersey for North Union during both her junior and senior prep campaigns.

Ironically, the former three-time Iowa Class 2A all-state hoops selection opted to double the uniform number she wears during her first season as a member of the Morningside College Mustangs women’s varsity basketball team.

“The No. 22 jersey here (Morningside) is retired, so the closest thing I could get to 22 was doubling it, and that’s why I wear No. 44,” said Lofstrom, who’s started 10 of the NAIA No. 14-ranked Mustangs’ 11 games en route to a 9-2 overall record and 7-1 mark in the Great Plains Athletic Conference this winter.

The 6-foot freshman power forward returned to her home town of Armstrong last Monday night to watch her brother Aiden, who’s a freshman, play for both the Warriors’ junior varsity and varsity cagers during the Mustangs’ holiday respite.

The former three-time Top of Iowa Conference first-team selection is coming off her first collegiate double-double performance of 18 points and 10 rebounds — both personal-bests — in Morningside’s 89-54 triumph over Hastings College on Dec. 20 in Hastings, Nebraska.

Lofstrom currently ranks third on the Mustangs in scoring (11.3 points per game), No. 2 in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and tops the team’s statistical charts in most free throw attempts — 45, making 30 for 66.7 percent.

She’s also connected on 47 of 78 field goals for 60.3 percent while averaging just 18.4 minutes per outing.

“It’s nice to get nearly the whole week off for Christmas, but I’ll lift (weights) and do some running on the treadmill at home so I’m not out of shape when I go back to Sioux City (Iowa),” said Lofstrom, who worked out and shot baskets with her younger sibling during her six-day holiday break. “We got a couple days off for Thanksgiving, so I’m quite thankful for having the chance to see my parents (Steve and Tricia), my brother and family as much as I have this time.”

Lofstrom and her Mustang teammates returned to the Morningside campus on Sunday in order to get prepared for playing host to Northwestern College at 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve at Allee Gymnasium in the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

So, what are some of the differences between the high school and collegiate games that Lofstrom has noticed to this juncture of her debut season?

“The speed of the game is a lot faster, you have to get comfortable with new teammates and adjust to coaches’ styles. … and the road trips are longer, but the game itself is still the same overall,” said Lofstrom.

After just missing her first-ever NAIA double-double by a rebound or two earlier in the season, Lofstrom notched her first college milestone in Game 11.

“In the last two weeks, I’ve gotten into a groove and with that, gained a little more confidence in the process,” said Lofstrom. “I went into this season with a goal of finding a way to contribute to the team’s effort, but I didn’t think I’d be starting or playing as much as I am right now.

“I’ve been able to pick up our offense and defense faster than I’d originally thought, and that’s surprised both myself and (head coach) Jamie (Sale).”

“I guess (North Union head coach) Merle (Tigges) and (Warriors’ assistant coach Joel) Klocke taught me the game well,” Lofstrom said with a chuckle.

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