HUXLEY - Ballard was a little worn out against Winterset Friday, but nothing was going to stop the Bombers from finishing undefeated in the Raccoon River Conference.


Ballard, ranked fifth in Class 4A, withstood a poor shooting night and a gritty effort by Winterset to pull off a 43-28 victory over the Huskies.


With the win Ballard finished the regular season 20-1 and went a perfect 14-0 in the RRC. The Bombers have won 20 in a row since a season-opening loss to eighth-ranked Gilbert.


“We had that first tough loss against Gilbert and ever since we’ve said we’re not letting that happen again,” Ballard point guard Molly Ihle said. “We didn’t like how that felt.”


Ballard played a makeup game the night before against Perry, winning 52-15. The Bombers came out flat on Friday and by the end of the third quarter Winterset was right in the thick of things, trailing 28-22.


But Meg Rietz gave the team a huge lift off the bench.


The Bombers went inside to her for a basket with 5:18 left to go up eight. It sparked a 15-4 run that put Winterset away. Rietz followed up her own miss with another basket early in the run and she also came up with a big steal that led to her own basket off an assist from Maggie Larson.


“It was all me at all,” Rietz said. “Maggie and I were really working well together in there and people were making great passes.”


Defense has been a huge staple for Ballard all season. The Bombers were on top of their game when it mattered most against Witnerset, clamping down in the half court and causing havoc with their press.


“I think we kind of played back at the beginning of the game,” Ihle said. “Once we started attacking with the pressure that really started our momentum.”


Ballard ended up forcing 24 turnovers. The Bombers held Winterset to 39-percent shooting and they outrebounded the Huskies, 32-25.


The stout defense enabled Ballard to overcome a 28-percent shooting night from the field.


Ihle ended up with nine points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Rietz had eight points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists.


Brooke Loewe led Ballard with 11 points and she added five steals, three assists and one block. Josie Fleischmann hit three 3-pointers and scored nine points and Larson contributed six points, four steals, two assists and a team-best 10 rebounds.


Next up for Ballard is the 4A regional semifinals. The Bombers host the winner of Boone and Webster City a week from Saturday.


Winterset ended up 9-5 in the conference and fell to 12-8 overall. Bridget Stover paced the Huskies against Ballard with 11 points, Lauren Carter scored seven and Ainsley Gurwell chipped in six.


Ballard 43, Winterset 28


W 7 4 11 6 - 28


B 11 11 6 15 - 43


Winterset (28) - Bridget Stover 4-10 1-5 11, Lauren Carter 3-7 1-2 7, Ainsley Gurwell 2-3 0-0 6, Avary Darling 0-0 2-2 2, Darci Wiseman 0-0 2-2 2, Thea Banning 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Benshoof 0-1 0-0 0, Jenna Young 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 9-23 6-11 28. 3-point field goals (4): Stover 2, Gurwell 2. Fouls: 12.


Ballard (43) - Brooke Loewe 4-14 1-2 11, Molly Ihle 2-11 4-6 9, Josie Fleischmann 3-10 0-0 9, Meg Rietz 4-11 0-0 8, Maggie Larson 2-5 2-2 6, Rachel Wohlgemuth 0-0 0-0 0, Kylie Rigby 0-0 0-0 0, Cassidy Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Lily Hillebrand 0-0 0-0 0, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-53 7-10 43. 3-point field goals (6): Fleischmann 3, Loewe 2, Ihle. Rebounds (32): Larson 10. Assists (11): Ihle 4. Steals (19): Loewe 5, Ihle 5. Blocks (2): Loewe, Thompson. Fouls: 14.


PERRY - Ballard was strong offensively in the first half and phenomenal defensively the whole game in a 52-15 drubbing of Perry Feb. 13.


The Bombers, ranked fifth in Class 4A, held Perry to five field goals and 20-percent shooting from the field and they forced 24 turnovers. Ballard also held a 34-24 rebounding advantage.


The Bombers scored 38 points in the first half to go up 33. They only shot 34 percent from the field, but made nine 3-pointers in improving to 19-1 on the season and 13-0 in the Raccoon River Conference.


Molly Ihle and Josie Fleischmann both scored 13 points for Ballard. Ihle also had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals and Fleischmann hit three 3-pointers and tallied three assists and steals apiece.


Cassidy Thompson had seven points and three rebounds, Lily Hillebrand six points and one steal, Kylie Rigby five points and one steal and Brooke Loewe, Meg Rietz, Ashley Wuestenberg and Lily Beall two points apiece for Ballard. Loewe also accounted for nine rebounds, four steals, three assists and one block, Rietz three steals and one block, Wuesternberg one rebound and assist apiece and Beall one steal.


Rachel Wohlgemuth added three rebounds and two assists and Sydney Briggs one rebound and one block for the Bombers.


Perry fell to 6-14 overall and 0-13 in the conference. Molly Lutmer scored seven points, Lydia Olejniczak five and Hannah Peterson three for the Bluejays.


Ballard 52, Perry 15


B 21 17 4 10 - 52


P 4 1 5 5 - 15


Ballard (52) - Brooke Loewe 1-11 0-0 2, Grace Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Cassidy Thompson 3-4 0-0 7, Josie Fleischmann 5-11 0-0 13, Kylie Rigby 2-5 0-0 5, Rachel Wohlgemuth 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Briggs 0-1 0-0 0, Meg Rietz 1-4 0-1 2, Ashley Wuestenberg 1-4 0-0 2, Molly Ihle 4-10 3-3 13, Lily Hillebrand 2-5 0-0 6, Paityn Noe 0-1 0-0 0, Paige Noe 0-0 0-0 0, Lily Beall 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 20-58 3-4 52. 3-point field goals (9): Fleischmann 3, Ihle 2, Hillebrand 2, Thompson, Rigby. Rebounds (34): Loewe 9. Assists (16): Ihle 5. Steals (19): Loewe 4. Blocks (3): Loewe, Briggs, Rietz. Fouls: 6.


Perry (15) - Molly Lutmer 3-10 0-0 7, Lydia Olejniczak 1-5 3-4 5, Hannah Peterson 1-6 0-0 3, Lanie Fish 0-0 0-0 0, Ainsley Marburger 0-3 0-0 0, Odaly Perla 0-0 0-0, Phoebe Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Michelle Tobar 0-0 0-0 0, Kennedy Tunink 0-0 0-0 0, Kathryn West 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 5-24 3-4 15. 3-point field goals (2): Lutmer, Peterson. Fouls: 11.


CARROLL - An outstanding second half gave Ballard a decisive 61-31 road victory over Carroll Feb. 11.


The Bombers outscored the Tigers 36-11 over the final two quarters to go to 18-1 on the season and remain perfect in the Raccoon River Conference at 12-0.


Ballard forced 28 turnovers and shot 45 percent from the field with 11 3-pointers. The Bombers held Carroll to 30-percent shooting from the field and held a slim 26-25 rebounding advantage.


Molly Ihle had 14 points, 10 assists and three steals and Josie Fleischmann hit four 3-pointers and also scored 14 points to pace a balanced Bomber attack.


Brooke Loewe put up 11 points, six assists and three steals and Meg Rietz eight points and three steals for Ballard. Cassidy Thompson had six points and rebounds apiece plus three blocks, Maggie Larson delivered five points and two steals, Lily Hillebrand three points, Ashley Wuestenberg three rebounds and Rachel Wohlgemuth two steals for the Bombers.


Carroll fell to 12-8 overall and 7-6 in the conference. Ella Collison scored 10 points and Laura Sweeney eight for the Tigers.


Ballard 61, Carroll 31


B 14 11 22 14 - 61


C 15 5 9 2 - 31


Ballard (61) - Brooke Loewe 4-12 0-0 11, Grace Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Maggie Larson 2-3 0-0 5, Cassidy Thompson 3-6 0-0 6, Josie Fleischmann 5-12 0-0 14, Rachel Wohlgemuth 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Briggs 0-0 0-0 0, Meg Rietz 4-7 0-0 8, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-0 0-0 0, Molly Ihle 3-5 6-6 14, Lily Hillebrand 1-2 0-0 3, Paityn Noe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-48 6-6 61. 3-point field goals (11): Fleischmann 4, Loewe 3, Ihle 2, Larson, Hillebrand. Rebounds (26): Thompson 6. Assists (19): Ihle 10. Steals (16): Loewe 3, Ihle 3. Blocks (3): Thompson 3. Fouls: 12.


Carroll (31) - Ella Collison 4-8 2-5 10, Laura Sweeney 3-7 0-0 8, Gabriella Hammer 2-6 0-0 6, Kennedy Lein 0-4 5-6 5, Ashley Onken 1-5 0-0 2, Josie Ayala 0-1 0-0 0, Vaness Ayala 0-0 0-0 0, Chloe Gallegos 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Jorgensen 0-0 0-0 0, Addison Klocke 0-0 0-0 0, Emma Perkins 0-0 0-0 0, Kelsie Reicks 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 10-33 7-11 31. 3-point field goals (4): Sweeney 2, Hammer 2. Fouls: 9.