HUXLEY - For one half, Ballard did exactly what it wanted to do against No. 7 (Class 3A) Nevada in a non-conference girls’ basketball rivalry game Saturday in Huxley.


The Bombers did an excellent job containing Nevada all-state center Lexy Koudelka; they were aggressive on the boards and they made timely outside shots to take a 17-14 lead at the break.


“We had a game plan and our kids did it to perfection in that first half,” Ballard held girls’ basketball coach Kelly Anderson said. “Our defense right now is really good.”


But Nevada’s Hattie Rhodes and Riley Mailey hit key 3-pointers to start the third quarter and the Cubs also turned up the pressure defensively, holding Ballard scoreless in the third quarter. The Bombers managed to regroup and make Nevada sweat it out in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t get over that final hump, suffering a 34-31 loss.


After Rhodes and Mailey hit their shots from downtown, Koudelka got in a brief groove, putting up six points in the third quarter to help Nevada build a 26-17 lead. Ballard looked completely flustered offensively in the quarter, thanks to Nevada’s tight perimeter defense and the intimidating presence of Koudelka down low.


But the Bombers were never out of the game. They finally got a couple shots to fall in the fourth quarter to make things interesting.


The Bombers got within 30-25 after two Maggie Larson free throws with 1:58 to go in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to get closer on their next possession, but Larson missed the front end of a one-and-one and Ballard didn’t get closer than six until Tara Sanders drained a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.


“We get a couple steals and a couple baskets and we’re back in it,” Anderson said. “We may not have won the game, but this is going to make us better down the road at tournament time.”


Using constant double and triple-teams, Ballard limited Koudelka to just six field goal attempts. But she made the most of them, converting five and going 6 of 9 from the line to tally a game-high 16 points. She also added 11 rebounds and six blocks.


Rhodes and Mailey both hit two 3-pointers. Rhodes finished with 10 points and Mailey netted eight in helping Nevada improve to 7-1.


Ballard saw its two-game win streak snapped, falling to 3-5. Sanders canned 3 of 6 3-pointers and scored 11 points, Larson delivered seven points and four rebounds, Thrailkill ended up with seven points and Molly Ihle had eight rebounds, five assists, two seals and one point.


Nevada 34, Ballard 31


N 9 5 12 8 - 34


B 10 7 0 14 - 31


Nevada (34) - Lexy Koudelka 5-6 6-9 16, Hattie Rhodes 3-6 2-3 10, Riley Mailey 2-5 2-3 8, Amanda Fortmann 0-3 0-2 0, Caroline Ausman 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Francis 0-0 0-0 0, Kacie Rewerts 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 10-23 10-18 34. 3-point field goals (4): Rhodes 2, Mailey 2. Rebounds (16): Koudelka 11. Assists (9): Mailey 4. Steals (12): Koudelka 5. Blocks (8): Koudelka 6. Fouls: 15.


Ballard (31) - Tara Sanders 4-7 0-0 11, Maggie Larson 2-8 2-3 7, Sydni Thrailkill 2-3 2-2 7, Summer McVicker 1-1 0-0 3, Josie Fleischmann 1-3 0-0 2, Molly Ihle 0-8 1-2 1, Ana Vier 0-3 0-0 0, Charity Ransom 0-1 0-0 0, Karlee Ahrenholtz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 10-35 5-8 31. 3-point field goals (6): Sanders 3, Larson, Thrailkill, McVicker. Rebounds (27): Ihle 8. Assists (10): Ihle 5. Steals (6): Ihle 2. Blocks: None. Fouls: 16.


HUXLEY - An overpowering defensive performance gave Ballard a lopsided 48-17 victory over Bondurant-Farrar Friday in Huxley.


The Bombers held the Bluejays to just seven field goals and 21-percent shooting. They also forced 18 turnovers and posted a huge 39-16 rebounding advantage in improving to 3-4 overall and 3-1 in the Raccoon River Conference.


Ballard was especially tough defensively in the second quarter. The Bombers kept the Bluejays off the board in the period, building a 23-5 lead at the half.


Tara Sanders hit three 3-pointers and led a balanced Bomber scoring attack with 11 points. Ana Vier put up nine points, nine rebounds and one assist in the low post.


Josie Fleischmann and Sydni Thrailkill each netted seven points for Ballard. Fleischmann also had eight rebounds and one steal and Thrailkill one assist and one steal.


Molly Ihle tacked on five points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Maggie Larson had three points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.


Bondurant-Farrar fell to 3-3 and 1-2 respectively. Taylor Berggren had nine points and Avery Fried scored four for the Bluejays against the Bombers.


Ballard 48, Bondurant-Farrar 17


BF 5 0 9 3 - 17


B 12 11 17 8 - 48


Bondurant-Farrar (17) - Taylor Berggren 4-11 0-0 9, Avery Fried 2-4 0-0 4, Addie Ehlers 1-2 0-0 2, Alynn Eichmeyer 0-2 1-2 1, Kaylee Seitzer 0-2 1-6 1, Lacey Beck 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Bedier 0-2 0-0 0, Katie Fogarty 0-1 0-0 0, Riley Gilroy 0-3 0-0 0, Eva Ponsot 0-2 0-0 0, Casi Waterhouse 0-2 0-0 0, Brooklyn Wright 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 7-33 2-8 17. 3-point field goals (1): Berggren. Fouls: 13.


Ballard (48) - Tara Sanders 4-10 0-0 11, Ana Vier 4-8 1-2 9, Josie Fleischmann 2-4 2-2 7, Sydni Thrailkill 3-3 1-1 7, Molly Ihle 2-6 0-0 5, Maggie Larson 1-5 0-2 3, Karlee Ahrenholtz 1-2 0-2 2, Rachel Wohlgemuth 1-2 0-0 2, Summer McVicker 0-1 2-2 2, Charity Ransom 0-2 0-1 0, Grace Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Skylar Rigby 0-0 0-0 0, Shayia Schulze 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 18-44 6-12 48. 3-point field goals (6): Sanders 3, Fleischmann, Ihle, Larson. Rebounds (39): Vier 9. Assists (14): Ihle 4. Steals (13): Ihle 5. Blocks (1): Schulze. Fouls: 12.


HUXLEY - A strong shooting night from the field enabled Ballard to upset No. 15 (Class 4A) Dallas Center-Grimes, 52-47, Dec. 12 in Huxley.


The Bombers (2-5) shot 51 percent from the field and 54 percent from 3-point range. They also got to the line 22 times, compared to just eight free-throw attempts by DCG, and forced 17 turnovers.


Ballard led 24-21 at the half. The Bombers then had their best stretch in the third quarter to build a 37-29 advantage before holding off a late offensive spurt by the Fillies for their biggest win of the season.


Maggie Larson was a perfect 4 of 4 from 3-point range and she finished with a team-high 16 points for Ballard. Larson also pulled down four rebounds and handed out two assists.


Josie Fleischmann also had a good night offensively. Fleischmann made all four of her field goal attempts and ended up with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.


Molly Ihle came up big defensively for the Bombers. Ihle racked up an impressive eight steals and she also had five points, four assists and three rebounds.


Ana Vier was strong inside with seven points, seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block. Tara Sanders also netted seven points and she added two steals and one assist, Charity Ransom put up four points and assists apiece and Sydni Thrailkill chipped in two points and one assist for Ballard.


DCG fell to 5-2 with the loss. Jenna Borchers put up a game-high 19 points and added three steals, Julia Reis drained four 3-pointers and netted 14 points and Jordan Cunningham finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Fillies.


Ballard 52, DCG 47


DCG 8 13 8 18 - 47


B 9 15 13 15 - 52


DCG (47) - Lauren Osborn 0-0 0-0 0, Kamryn O’Brien 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Borchers 6-14 3-4 19, Elizabeth Elfvin 3-10 0-0 6, Leticia Nolte 0-1 0-0 0, Riley Hail 0-0 0-0 0, Julia Reis 5-12 0-0 14, Jordan Cunningham 3-6 2-4 8. Totals: 17-43 5-8 47. 3-point field goals (8): Borchers 4, Reis 4. Rebounds (23): Cunningham 8. Assists (12): Cunningham 4. Steals (6): Borchers 3. Blocks (1): Hail.


Ballard (52) - Tara Sanders 1-6 4-4 7, Maggie Larson 4-4 4-8 16, Summer McVicker 0-0 0-0 0, Charity Ransom 2-5 0-0 4, Sydni Thrailkill 1-2 0-0 2, Molly Ihle 2-5 0-1 5, Josie Fleischmann 4-4 3-5 11, Ana Vier 3-7 1-4 7. Totals: 17-33 12-22 52. 3-point field goals (6): Larson 4, Sanders, Ihle. Rebounds (22): Vier 7. Assists (16): Ransom 4, Ihle 4. Steals (14): Ihle 8. Blocks (1): Vier. Fouls: 14.