Monday, February 18, 2013
The Colo-Nesco girls are going back to the state tournaments for the first time since 2005.
In a rubber match with Meskwaki, the Royals left no doubt who the better team was, destroying the Warriors, 57-36. Colo-Nesco enters the state tournament with a record of 23-2, with the two losses coming to West Marshall (currently ranked #8 in Class 2a) and Meskwaki. The Royals are undefeated this season on the road and on neutral courts, something that should serve them well next week at Wells Fargo Arena.
Tonight's win was a perfect reflection of what has made this team so successful this season: A combination of spectacular defense and the ability for one of seven different players to step up and lead the way offensively on any given night. In fact, over the last ten games, six different players have led the team in scoring: Haley Stoeffler, Caitlyn Riese (3 times), Shayla Dean (2 times), Madison Eley (2 times), Madison Farren, and Samantha Riese.
Sophomore forward Samantha Riese picked the right night to have the best game of her young Royals career, coming off the bench to lead the Royals in scoring tonight, a night when her older sister Caitlyn got into foul trouble in the first half. The inside trio of Samantha and Caitlyn Riese, along with Madison Farren, set the stage for the Royals early. Their size was simply too much for Meskwaki to handle. The Royals led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter; 25-15 at half time; 38-19 at the end of the third quarter.
Defensively, the Royals coaching staff drew up a gem of a game plan, holding Meskwaki's sharp shooters Dia Keahna and Tiana Thompson in check all night. They had no easy looks and no answer for Coach Cafferty's defensive scheme. Meskwaki's 36 points were the fewest they scored the entire season.
Even on a night when the Royals missed a lot of chip-shots, turned the ball over a little too often, and didn't hit a single three-pointer, they proved that stifling defense and good teamwork on offense can beat a top ten team in Class 1A.
Now, it gets really exciting. The Royals are one of the final 8 teams left in the state. The action all starts next Monday, and I'll have a complete State Tournament Preview later this week. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO THE COLO-NESCO GIRLS!
Posted by Andrew Gogerty at 10:22 PM