HUXLEY – An early statement to the rest of the Raccoon River Conference was made by the Ballard girls’ basketball team Friday at Huxley.

In a showdown between two top-10 Class 4A teams, the No. 6 Bombers handed No. 4 Perry its first loss of the season, 60-48.

The Bombers used a strong start to each half to build a 13-point lead, and then a good showing at the line helped them easily hold on down the stretch to improve to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the RRC.

Ballard led 27-18 at the break, thanks to a 16-point first quarter. The Bombers outscored the Bluejays 15-11 in the third quarter and then put 18 more points on the board in the fourth to cement the win.

An overwhelming advantage at the foul line was the key to Ballard’s victory. The Bombers went 23 of 31 from the charity stripe and the Bluejays were just 3 of 9.

Ballard also made seven 3-pointers to Perry’s five and the Bombers posted a 35-23 rebounding advantage.

Emily Knittel hit five field goals and 9 of 11 free throws to finish with a game-high 19 points for Ballard. Knittel also pulled down six rebounds and had two assists and steals apiece.

Gabie Doud only made one field goal, but she went 8 of 10 from the line to total 10 points. Doud posted a double-double after also pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds, and she also tallied one assist and block apiece.

Kenzie Ihle hit three 3-pointers and ended up with 11 points. Abby McGee hit 2 of 4 3-pointers and 1 of 2 free throws to end up with seven points and she also dished out four assists and came away with two steals.

Meredith Ossian scored six points after converting 2 of 3 3-pointers and she also snared seven rebounds. Jenna Moody added four points and three rebounds and Alanna Dubberke chipped in three points and rebounds apiece for the Bombers.

All-state forward Claire Marburger led Perry with 15 points and she also delivered three rebounds and one block for the Bluejays (4-1, 1-1). Emma Olejniczak contributed nine points, five rebounds and five assists, Maggie Lowe had eight points, eight rebounds and five assists, freshman Grace Marburger put up six points and three assists and Amy Marckres also netted eight points for Perry.

Ballard 60, Perry 48

P 8 10 11 19 – 48

B 16 11 15 18 – 60

Perry (48) – Victoria Hegstrom 0-0 0-0 0, Maggie Lowe 3-10 1-1 8, Claire Marburger 7-15 1-4 15, Emma Olejniczak 4-6 0-1 9, Erica Tenold 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Marburger 2-6 0-0 6, Julie Diw 1-8 1-2 4, Amy Marckres 3-5 0-1 6. Totals: 20-50 3-9 48. 3-point field goals (5): G. Marburger 2, Lowe, Olejniczak, Diw. Rebounds (23): Lowe 8. Assists (18): Lowe 5. Steals (4): C. Marburger, Olejniczack, G. Marburger, Diw. Blocks (1): C. Marburger.

Ballard (60) – Charcey Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Moody 1-1 2-2 4, Gabie Doud 1-3 8-10 10, Abby McGee 2-4 1-2 7, Emily Knittel 5-14 9-11 19, Kenzie Ihle 4-12 0-2 11, Meredith Ossian 2-3 0-0 6, Alanna Dubberke 0-0 3-4 3. Totals: 15-37 23-31 60. 3-point field goals (7): Ihle 3, McGee 2, Ossian 2. Rebounds (35): Doud 13. Assists (10): McGee 4. Steals (5): McGee 2, Knittel 2. Blocks (2): Doud, Ossian.

PELLA – A strong start was enough to get Ballard past Pella in a non-conference road game Dec. 10 at Pella.

The Bombers held the Little Dutch to just five points in the opening period. That helped them build a seven-point lead and that held until halftime as the Bombers took a 22-15 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter the game picked up offensively for both teams and Ballard was able to increase its lead to 41-32. The Bombers managed to keep Pella from making up much ground over the final eight minutes to secure their fifth win in six games.

Ballard struggled from outside – hitting just 3 of 16 3-pointers. But the Bombers shot at strong 50 percent clip overall from the field and they went 13 of 22 from the line.

On defense Ballard held Pella to 38-percent shooting from the field and just two 3-pointers. That helped the Bombers overcome Pella’s 30-23 rebounding advantage.

Gabie Doud came up big individually for Ballard in the win. Doud scored a game-high 20 points after making 7 of 9 field goals and 6 of 8 free throws and she also had seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block.

Kenzie Ihle and Jenna Moody each added seven points for the Bombers. Ihle also ha six assists and four steals and Moody pulled down two rebounds in a strong performance off the bench.

Emily Knittel tacked on six points. Meredith Ossian had five points and four rebounds, Alanna Dubberke finished with four points, three rebounds and three assists, Charcey Petersen wound up with three points and one assist and Abby McGee had two points and assists apiece.

Jessica Holterhaus led Pella with 15 points and seven rebounds. Katie Vander Molen added nine points and four assists and Marissa Borgerding registered four points and eight rebounds for the Little Dutch.

Ballard 54, Pella 46

B 12 10 19 13 – 54

P 5 10 17 14 – 46

Ballard (54) – Charcey Petersen 1-1 1-2 3, Jenna Moody 3-4 0-0 7, Gabie Doud 7-9 6-8 20, Abby McGee 0-1 2-4 2, Emily Knittel 2-3 0-0 6, Kenzie Ihle 3-11 0-2 7, Meredith Ossian 2-7 0-1 5, Alanna Dubberke 1-2 2-2 4, Shelby Drummond 0-0 0-0 0, Sheridan Gealow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-38 13-22 54. 3-point field goals (3): Moody, Ihle, Ossian. Rebounds (23): Doud 7. Assists (15): Ihle 6. Steals (8): Ihle 4. Blocks (2): Doud, Dubberke.

Pella (46) – Anna Roslien 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Finney 2-6 1-3 5, Jackie Sunderman 2-5 0-0 5, Mackenzie Gustafson 1-10 4-7 6, Katie Vander Molen 3-8 2-2 9, Jessica Holterhaus 6-9 3-4 15, Heidi Groenendyk 0-0 0-0 0, Marissa Borgerding 2-3 0-0 4, Morgan Terpstra 0-1 2-2 2. Totals: 16-42 12-18 46. 3-point field goals (2): Sunderman, Vander Molen. Rebounds (30): Borgerding 8. Assists (10): Vander Molen 4. Steals (6): Finney, Sunderman, Gustafson, Vander Molen, Holterhaus, Groenendyk. Blocks (1): Finney.