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Jones, Warriors press out rout; MCW’s balance edges Mt. Lake Area

COURT VISION — North Union guard Naomi Jones (14) steals the basketball and looks upcourt to Warrior teammate Cassie Beadle (3) for a fastbreak opportunity during Top of Iowa Conference action Friday night in Armstrong. North Union’s Sam Nielsen (30) and Olivia Von Bank (back left), along with North Iowa’s Leah Kramersmeier (55), watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

ARMSTRONG — North Union sophomore guard Naomi Jones and her Warrior basketball teammates turned over the North Iowa Bison over and over and over again Friday night.

The sure-handed Jones pocketed a game-best 11 out of the Warriors’ 24 steals, while 6-foot-3 senior center Alivia Charlton produced game-highs of 13 points and five blocked shots to complement a team-leading seven rebounds off the bench to power a 64-21 Top of Iowa Conference rout over the Bison in Armstrong.

“I felt like I wasn’t doing much on offense, so I decided to go all-out on defense,” said Jones, who distributed a co-game-best four assists to go with grabbing six boards and scoring five points.

“Naomi, (Cassie) Beadle and Lily (Henderson) really helped us set an early defensive tone, but we just couldn’t hit many of our shots in the first half,” said North Union head coach Merle Tigges, whose lineup made only 1 of 15 attempts from 3-point range during the opening 16 minutes. “We’ve got some work to do before our next three games against tough opponents — Forest City on Tuesday, Estherville (Lincoln Central) Thursday and West Hancock next Friday.”

After sophomore forward Miriam Beenken tossed in two of her team-best 10 points on a runner in the paint to inch the Bison within 6-5, the Warriors’ backcourt pressure triggered a 7-0 run to close out the first quarter.

Beadle converted a steal into a layup at the 1:18 mark, Jones’ ensuing theft led to Emily Meyer doling out one of her co-game-best four assists to Charlton for a low-post basket and Jones delivered a traditional 3-point play off Maggie Engelby’s steal-turned-assist.

Libby Stevens’ backcourt theft and pass ahead to a breaking Jones for a layup triggered North Union’s 8-0 surge during the initial stages of the second quarter. Charlton tossed in a pair of baseline jumpers before Olivia Von Bank cashed in one of Beadle’s three assists for a leaner in the lane for a 21-7 lead.

Miriam Beenken temporarily halted the Warriors’ run by working the low post for a traditional 3-point play, but Olivia Merrill’s low-post basket off a Jones assist ignited the home team’s 9-0 run to help build a 30-14 halftime edge.

Lily Henderson and Beadle then connected on 3-pointers to more than double North Union’s lead to 40-18 midway through the third quarter.

After Beenken sank two free throws, the Warriors outscored the Bison 24-1 during the final 11 minutes of regulation. North Union held North Iowa to a Beenken solo free throw during the entire final period.

Beadle contributed nine points to the Warriors’ balanced scoring attack, while Sam Nielsen and Henderson each scored eight. Despite early foul difficulty, Nielsen still garnered five boards, while Von Bank chipped in six points.

Miriam Beenken produced a double-double performance of 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to top North Iowa.

North Union (2-0, 2-0 Top of Iowa) travels to Forest City, Iowa, on Tuesday night, while North Iowa (0-4) plays host to Rockford on Tuesday night in Buffalo Center, Iowa.

NIA 5 9 6 1 — 21

NU 13 17 17 17 — 64

NORTH UNION (64)

Olivia Von Bank 3-9 0-0 6, Naomi Jones 2-11 1-3 5, Sam Nielsen 4-6 0-0 8, Cassie Beadle 4-12 0-0 9, Lily Henderson 3-8 0-0 8, Emily Meyer 0-1 0-2 0, Libby Stevens 1-3 0-0 3, Alivia Charlton 6-9 1-5 13, Maggie Engelby 0-2 2-2 2, Olivia Merrill 1-1 0-0 2, Shelby Fraker 2-6 0-0 4, Ella Ulrich 1-1 0-0 2, McKayla Burt 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 28-69 4-13 64.

NORTH IOWA (21)

Ashlyn Bechler 1-10 0-0 2, Emma Duve 2-6 0-0 4, Miriam Beenken 3-5 4-7 10, Aisha Jobe 1-1 0-1 2, Leah Kramersmeier 1-1 1-2 3, Becca Hofmann 0-0 0-1 0, Elizabeth Beenken 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 8-23 5-11 21.

3-pointers: North Union 4-27 (Henderson 2, Beadle 1, Stevens 1); North Iowa 0-8. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: North Union 31 (Charlton 7, Jones 6); North Iowa 26 (M. Beenken 13). Steals: North Union 24 (Jones 11); North Iowa 4 (M. Beenken 3). Assists: North Union 17 (Jones and Meyer 4 each); North Iowa 3. Blocked shots: North Union 6 (Charlton 5).

Martin County West 61, Mountain Lake Area 53 — Rubi Reyes connected on two 3-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws to pace a balanced Maverick offensive effort with 17 points en route to an eight-point nonconference win over the Wolverines on Friday night in Sherburn.

Reyes and teammate Kari Matejka each distributed four assists as Emily Anderson, Lucy Larson and Liv Borchardt all reached double digits in scoring. Anderson netted 12 points to complement six rebounds, Borchardt tallied 10 points to go with a team-high seven boards, while Larson finished with 10 points.

Ella Carlson contributed seven points to MCW’s winning ways, while Thea Anderson supplied six rebounds.

Brooke Naas poured in a game-leading 26 points, including 16 of the Wolverines’ 24 points during the first half. Naas connected for a game-high four trifectas, while teammate Kate Janzen contributed 10 points.

Martin County West (1-1) is idle until traveling to Adrian Area on Saturday, Dec. 11, while Mountain Lake Area (0-2) plays host to Adrian/Ellsworth on Tuesday night.

MLA 24-29–53

MCW 30-31–61

Boys Basketball

North Union 74, North Iowa 44 — The Warriors posted a 30-point victory over the Bison during Top of Iowa Conference action Friday night in Armstrong.

Nick Schiltz erupted for a team-leading 18 points, including 15 during the opening half, to pace the Warriors’ winning ways.

Logan Odegaard tossed in nine of his 13 points during the second half for North Union, while Aiden Lofstrom chipped in 11 points overall.

Jay Heinen hit two 3-pointers to pace his eight-point performance for the home team, while teammates Teagon Fothergill and Kyan Jones each chipped in five points.

North Union built a 16-5 advantage after one quarter before doubling North Iowa’s point production in the second quarter, 20-10, to grab a 36-15 lead by halftime.

North Union (2-0) travels to Forest City, Iowa, on Tuesday night for another conference game.

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