Mattson guides Jaguars to win over Raiders

GLIDING LAY-IN — Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/ Martin Luther’s Olivia Mattson (left) glides around Nicollet defender Tianna Sand (45) for a basket during Valley Conference action Friday night in Truman. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRUMAN — Playing unselfish basketball will win you a lot of games, especially in a back-and-forth battle against your rivals. The Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars girls basketball team may have started slow, but they were able to weather the storm in a 85-66 Valley Conference victory over the Nicollet Raiders on Friday night in Truman.

Trailing by five, the Jaguars’ Olivia Mattson showed her toughness by hitting the deck hard, floating a one-hander, and successfully making the basket to cut the Raider lead to 13-10 with 13:21 left of the first period. On the next possession, Mattson earned one of her five steals off a bad pass and off to the races she would go for the layup.

“We knew we had to come out and fight hard tonight. Last time we played them we only won by one in overtime and it wasn’t an easy game at all,” said Mattson, who finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds during the two teams’ first meeting of the season. “Just knowing that we beat these guys before. We are down by five that we can play with them. We needed to pick up the intensity and I think that is what that was like let’s get going. Let’s push the ball and play to our level and not theirs,” Mattson said. “I saw an opening and took it. An ‘and-1’ sets the tone for the rest of the team and the rest of the game. I thought it was a turning point.”

Bethany Petrowiak admits she has come along way by building confidence in her free-throw shooting ability and that confidence paid off for her and gave the Jaguars their first lead at 21-20 with 7:32 left of the opening frame by swishing the pair as she would successfully convert on four opportunities in the period.

“I been working on my free throws. My coach has been helping me a lot. In the beginning of my career I been struggling with that. I am very thankful that he has helped me through this and making my free throws which I really improved. I clear my mind. I zone everyone out. I focus on my shooting, my hands, and how to use my legs,” Bethany Petrowiak said.

As each team exchanged buckets, Mattson tied the game for the fourth time at 33-all with another steal and layup. In the final minute, MaKenzie Weihe came off the bench and contributed four points and two rebounds as the two teams headed into the half knotted at 37.

What ever pep talk head coach T.J. Pytleski gave his squad inside the lockeroom must have worked as the Jags went on an 11-2 run with Keira Benck hustling for her second steal of the game and sprinting for the layup. The next possession Benck added another bucket to her 17-point performance, crediting the assist to Mattson. Madisen Lewis joined the scoring parade by banking two baskets one off her own rebound and other from a one-bounce pass inside the paint from Brianna Petrowiak as the Jags led 53-46 the rest of the contest with 11:10 remaining.

“I was forcing it in there to see what happens. I remember jumping up and getting the rebound. Just going right back up with it and it went in,” Lewis said. “Whenever we get looks, it’s really good. It was perfect right there. When I got the ball, I looked up to see if the basket was in the right spot and hit the corner.”

Once again the Bode sisters — Leah and Brooklyn — gave the Jaguars’ defense fits. The duo combined for 28 of the Raiders’ first-period points by scoring 14 apiece. The Jags changed their defensive scheme to zone and were able to handle the sisters in check with 17 in the second period.

“They are a really good team. This was a game I expected. They hurt us inside early. We were lucky to get a couple of their girls in foul trouble. Leah Bode did a great job down low. She was troublesome for us and we just have to work,” Pytleski said.

“That was what we talked about at halftime. I thought the girls came out the second half and did a good job shutting them down. We limited their second-chance points which helped. We do a lot better when we push the ball. Tonight I thought was the best game we played unselfish. The girls did a great job feeding each other on the pass. We played together as a team.”

Leading the way for the Jaguars was McKenna Benck scoring 17 of her 21 points in the second period. Mattson chipped in with 16. Petrowiak scored nine along with grabbing 11 rebounds with six them coming in the first period.

The Jaguars (11-6) continue their four-game homestand in a nonconference match-up with Mankato Loyola at 7 p.m. Monday night in Truman.

Martin County West 67, Madelia 35 — Emily Anderson connected on four trifectas en route to a game-best 25-point performance to steer the Mavericks to a 32-point Valley Conference victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night in Trimont.

Anderson and MCW built a 44-18 halftime advantage and never looked back.

Kari Matejka delivered 13 points for the Mavericks, Thea Anderson contributed 10 points, while Liv Borchardt chipped in six points.

Ollie Glover tallied 10 points to top Madelia (3-17), while teammate Alicia Lugo contributed 10 points.

Martin County West (8-10) travels to Cleveland on Monday night for another conference game.

North Union 46, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 40 — Naomi Jones collected a game-high 19 points to go with four rebounds and four steals to help the Iowa Class 2A No. 10-ranked Warriors fend off the Cardinals by six during Top of Iowa Conference action Friday night in Garner, Iowa.

Olivia Von Bank produced 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals for North Union, while Libby Stevens contributed nine points, five steals and three assists.

Emily Meyer pulled down five rebounds and Olivia Merrill garnered four boards for the Warriors, who made 14 of 31 shots from 2-point range.

North Union (15-4) travels to Lake Mills on Tuesday night.


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