ADEL - The Ballard girls’ basketball team couldn’t buy a basket from outside in a 52-48 overtime loss to Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday at Adel.


Ballard only connected on 1 of 21 3-pointers and shot just 28 percent overall from the field, suffering its first loss to drop to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the Raccoon River Conference. The Bombers were also hurt by ADM’s 36-25 advantage in free-throw attempts.


Rebounding helped keep Ballard close with ADM until the end. The Bombers outrebounded the Tigers, 47-31.


Ballard held a 29-25 lead going into the fourth quarter. ADM erupted for 20 points to pull even by the end of regulation and they prevailed after holding the Bombers to three points in overtime.


Molly Ihle turned in another outstanding all-around game for Ballard with 13 points, 10 rebounds, eight steals and six assists. Josie Fleischmann led the Bombers in scoring with 15 points and she added five rebounds.


Meg Rietz tallied eight points and eight rebounds and Brooke Loewe chipped in six points for the Bombers.


Abbie Hlas paced ADM with a game-high 16 points. Delaney Bertman and Emma Jacobsen each scored nine points for the Tigers.


ADM 52, Ballard 48 (OT)


B 12 2 15 16 3 - 48


ADM 14 3 8 20 7 - 52


Ballard (48) - Josie Fleischmann 6-14 2-3 15, Molly Ihle 3-9 7-16 13, Meg Rietz 3-5 2-2 8, Brooke Loewe 3-19 0-0 6, Cassidy Thompson 1-3 0-0 2, Maggie Larson 0-7 2-4 2, Karlee Ahrenholtz 1-2 0-0 2, Sydney Briggs 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Wohlgemuth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-59 13-25 48. 3-point field goals (1): Fleischmann. Rebounds (47): Ihle 10. Assists (11): Ihle 6. Steals (15): Ihle 8. Blocks (3): Thompson 3. Fouls: 24. Fouled out: Thompson.


ADM (52) - Abbie Hlas 6-10 3-4 16, Delaney Bertman 1-4 7-13 9, Emma Jacobsen 2-7 4-5 9, Aniston Smith 2-8 4-8 8, Anna Kenny 3-5 0-0 7, Grace Hardcastle 0-2 3-6 3, Kristen Baier 0-0 0-0 0, Grace McCartney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-36 21-36 52. 3-point field goals (3): Hlas, Jacobsen, Kenny. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Bertman.


HUXLEY - The pairing of sophomore point guard Molly Ihle and freshman shooting guard Brooke Loewe has the Ballard girls’ basketball team looking like the Bombers of old thus far in the 2018-19 season.


Ballard suffered a rare losing campaign last season, finishing 9-13. But with Loewe giving the Bombers a tremendous athlete and shooter on the perimeter to complement the do-everything Ihle, Ballard is looking like a state contender again, getting off to a 2-0 start.


“They’re really tough together,” Ballard head girls’ basketball coach Kelly Anderson said. “Each of those two are making each other that much better. Brooke is raising Molly’s game and Molly is raising Brooke’s game. They’ve got a couple years together and they’re going to be fun to watch.”


After defeating Gilbert by a 51-37 score in its opener, Ballard took Norwalk to task Nov. 27. The Bombers forced 27 turnovers in a 68-27 victory at Huxley.


Ihle and Loewe spearheaded Ballard’s potent pressure defense, combining for eight steals. By creating so many turnovers, the Bombers got several easy looks at the basket and shot just over 50 percent from the field (27 of 53).


“This is what we saw this summer,” Anderson said. “That we would be capable of playing this style and getting after people.”


Ihle and Lowe combined for 33 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds against Norwalk.


Ihle nearly posted a triple-double against the Warriors. She finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.


“The thing everybody needs to understand is Molly is a really good basketball player,” Anderson said.


Loewe led Ballard in scoring with a game-high 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field. She used her speed and length to burn Norwalk on drives and fastbreak buckets, and also gave Ihle a good target to kick out to on the perimeter, making 3 of 6 3-pointers.


“She’s a great little player,” Ihle said. “I love having her.”


Loewe said she relishes causing havoc for opposing players on the defensive end.


“They get down and we’re pumped up,” Loewe said. “I just like getting the steals, then getting my teammates baskets.”


Ballard has two other outstanding talents to run with Ihle and Loewe in forwards Maggie Larson and Josie Fleischmann. Larson had 16 points and seven rebounds against Norwalk and Fleischmann is the team’s leading returning scorer from a year ago.


Rounding out the starting lineup for Ballard is sophomore center Cassidy Thompson. At 6-2, with long arms, she gives the team an imposing force on the back end of their press.


“You know you can get up on defense,” Ihle said. “She’ll be there if you get beat.”


Even though things look on the upside for Ballard this early in the season, Anderson said he knows there is still plenty of work to do.


“Our second quarter (against Norwalk) wasn’t the greatest and we had a little talk about that at halftime,” Anderson said. “We’re getting there. We’re not there yet, but we’re starting to do the things that we’ve been talking about working on.”


Ballard travels to Adel Friday to take on Adel-Desoto-Minburn in its Raccoon River Conference opener.


Ballard 68, Norwalk 27


N 1 16 8 2 - 27


B 23 11 21 13 - 68


Norwalk (27) - Jayden Lammers 2-4 0-0 5, Keara Schmitt 0-1 0-0 0, Hana Eltjes 0-1 0-0 0, Giana Bellizzi 4-9 3-6 13, Jocelyn Bice 2-8 2-2 7, Olivia Johnson 1-5 0-4 2, Emma Soukup 0-2 0-0 0, Kennedi Wright 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-30 5-12 27. 3-point field goals (4): Bellizzi 2, Lammers, Bice. Rebounds (24): Johnson 5. Assists (6): Lammers 2, Bellizzi 2, Bice 2. Steals (9): Bellizzi 3. Blocks (1): Schmitt. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Bellizzi.


Ballard (68) - Brooke Loewe 9-13 0-0 21, Maggie Larson 6-10 3-5 16, Molly Ihle 5-10 2-4 12, Cassidy Thompson 4-4 0-0 8, Rachel Wohlgemuth 2-3 2-2 6, Meg Rietz 1-5 1-2 3, Karlee Ahrenholtz 0-1 1-4 1, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-0 1-2 1, Josie Fleischmann 0-6 0-0 0, Sydney Briggs 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Gray 0-1 0-1 0, Grace Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-53 10-20 68. 3-point field goals (4): Loewe 3, Larson. Rebounds (32): Ihle 9. Assists (20): Ihle 9. Steals (19): Ihle 5. Blocks (4): Larson 2, Thompson 2. Fouls: 13.