Ballard girls clinch 20th conference championship: Bombers oust Huskies, sweep Perry

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Molly Ihle

WINTERSET – The second-ranked Ballard girls’ basketball team overcame the absence of leading scorer Brooke Loewe to take down Winterset, 48-37, Friday. 

With Loewe nursing an ankle injury and unable to go the Bombers were a little slow out of the gate against the Huskies. They trailed 19-18 at the half. 

But the second half saw Ballard start finding a rhythm on offense. The Bombers went up 32-29 after three quarters then gradually pulled away behind strong shooting from the foul line. 

Ballard closed out its Raccoon River Conference title, finishing 16-1 in the conference. The Bombers improved to 19-1 overall heading into Class 4A regionals. 

The Bombers ended up making 20 of 26 free throws on Friday. Winterset was only 5 of 10 from the line. 

Ballard hit six 3-pointers and held a slim 24-22 rebounding advantage. 

Molly Ihle came up big in Loewe’s absence. The all-state guard went for 18 points after making 10 of 12 free throws and she also accounted for five rebounds, five assists and three steals. 

Meg Rietz also played well for Ballard. Rietz posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and she also picked up one block. 

Meg Rietz

Lily Hillebrand came up big off the bench with nine points and two rebounds. Kylie Rigby had four points and three assists, Josie Fleischmann four points and Cassidy Thompson two points and two steals. 

Winterset fell to 13-8 overall and ended up 11-7 in the conference. Lauren Carter led the Huskies with 14 points and seven rebounds and Jena Young tacked on 12 points, four assists and four steals. 

Ballard 48, Winterset 37 

B       9    9   14   15 – 48 

W    11   8   10     8 – 37 

Ballard (48) - Meg Rietz 3-5 4-6 11, Cassidy Thompson 0-2 2-2 2, Josie Fleischmann 1-6 2-2 4, Kylie Rigby 1-2 1-2 4, Molly Ihle 3-7 10-12 18, Lily Beall 0-1 0-0 0, Ashley Wuestenberg 0-1 0-0 0, Lily Hillebrand 3-6 1-2 9. Totals: 11-30 20-26 48. 3-point field goals (6): Ihle 2, Hillebrand 2, Rietz, Rigby. Rebounds (24): Rietz 11. Assists (9): Ihle 5. Steals (9): Ihle 3. Blocks (2): Rietz, Thompson. 

Winterset (37) - Jena Young 4-15 3-4 12, Abby Benshoof 1-3 0-0 2, Thea Banning 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Carter 5-10 1-5 14, Bridget Stover 3-6 1-1 7, Avary Darling 1-3 0-0 2, Darci Wiseman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 5-10 37. 3-point field goals (4): Carter 3, Young. Rebounds (22): Carter 7. Assists (8): Young 4. Steals (5): Young 4. Blocks: None. Fouls: 17. 

HUXLEY - Ballard wrapped up its 20th conference championship Feb. 9 by pounding Perry, 67-15.  

The Bombers secured the Raccoon River Conference title with its second victory over the Bluejays in as many days after winning by 64 points at Perry the night before. Ballard improved to 15-1 in the conference and 18-1 overall. 

After only giving up one field goal in the first meeting between the two teams the Bombers only allowed four in the rematch. Ballard held Perry to 16 % shooting, forced 30 turnovers and held a 30-16 rebounding advantage. 

On offense the Bombers shot 52 % and made 11 3-pointers. The reserves did most of the damage, with the Ballard bench totaling 37 points. 

Lily Beall had her second big game in a row for Ballard against the Bluejays. She went for seven points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals after tallying nine points, six rebounds and three steals in the first meeting. 

Kylie Rigby also scored eight points for the second game in a row versus Perry. Paige Noe had seven points, five rebounds and two assists, Sydney Briggs four points, three rebounds and two assists, Paityn Noe three points and Ashley Wuestenberg two points and rebounds apiece. 

Bomber starter Josie Fleischmann hit 4 of 6 3-pointers for the second game in a row against the Bluejays. Fleischmann scored a game-high 14 points and also came up with four steals. 

Cassidy Thompson and Molly Ihle scored five points apiece and Meg Rietz four. Thompson added two assists and steals apiece, Ihle five rebounds and two assists and Rietz two steals and one block. 

Lydia Olejniczak led Perry with six points. Michelle Tobar added three for the Bluejays, who fell to 0-16 in the conference and 2-18 overall. 

Ballard 67, Perry 15 

P     4     5     6    0 – 15 

B   18   18   23   8 – 67 

Perry (15) - Lydia Olejniczak 1-12 4-4 6, Michelle Tobar 1-2 0-0 3, Jayna Kenney 1-4 0-0 2, Kennedy Tunink 0-1 2-2 2, Kathryn West 1-3 0-0 2, Lanie Fish 0-2 0-0 0, Elizabeth Hyman-Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Callie Steva 0-1 0-0 0, Phoebe Stewart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 4-25 6-6 15. 3-point field goals (1): Tobar. Fouls: 4. 

Ballard (67) - Brooke Loewe 0-2 0-0 0, Meg Rietz 2-3 0-0 4, Cassidy Thompson 2-2 0-0 5, Josie Fleischmann 5-8 0-0 14, Molly Ihle 1-6 2-2 5, Paityn Noe 1-2 0-0 3, Kylie Rigby 3-8 0-0 8, Lily Beall 3-3 0-0 7, Sydney Briggs 2-4 0-0 4, Paige Noe 3-6 0-0 7, Ashley Wuestenberg 1-1 0-0 2, Lily Hillebrand 4-7 0-0 8. Totals: 27-52 2-2 67. 3-point field goals (11): Fleischmann 4, Rigby 2, Thompson, Ihle, Paityn Noe, Beall, Paige Noe. Rebounds (30): Beall 6. Assists (21): Beall 5. Steals (20): Beall 6. Blocks (2): Rietz, Briggs. Fouls: 10. 

PERRY - Ballard was not in a good mood Feb. 8. 

The Bombers suffered their first loss of the season at North Polk the previous Friday and were anxious to put that behind them as quickly as possible. They took out their frustrations on Perry in a big way Monday, handing the Bluejays a 71-7 defeat. 

The Bombers led 29-0 after the first quarter and continued to overwhelm the Bluejays over the two quarters before taking their foot off the gas. They improved to 17-1 on the season and clinched a share of the Raccoon River Conference title after moving to 14-1 in the conference. 

The Bombers’ amazing defense only gave up one field goal the entire game. Perry was just 1 of 28 (3 %) from the field. 

Ballard also forced 27 turnovers, shot 57 % from the field and held a 31-16 rebounding advantage. 

Josie Fleischmann hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and score a game-high 14 points for Ballard in the win. Molly Ihle had 11 points and seven assists and Lily Beall came off the bench to turn in her best game of the year with nine points, six rebounds and three steals. 

Lily Beall

Kylie Rigby added eight points off the bench. Brooke Loewe and Cassidy Thompson both had six points, four rebounds and one block and Loewe also came up with five steals. 

Meg Rietz tacked on five points and three rebounds, Ashley Wuestenberg four points and five boards and Lily Hillebrand four points for the Bombers. Sydney Briggs and Paige Noe chipped in two points apiece. 

Perry fell to 2-17 overall and 0-15 in the conference. Lydia Olejniczak scored four points and Kennedy Tunink three for the Bluejays. 

Ballard 71, Perry 7 

B   29   15   19    8 – 71 

P     0      3     0    4 – 7 

Ballard (71) - Josie Fleischmann 5-7 0-0 14, Molly Ihle 4-5 0-0 11, Lily Beall 3-4 2-2 9, Kylie Rigby 3-6 2-2 8, Cassidy Thompson 2-3 2-2 6, Brooke Loewe 3-9 0-0 6, Meg Rietz 2-3 0-0 5, Ashley Wuestenberg 2-3 0-0 4, Lily Hillebrand 2-2 0-0 4, Sydney Briggs 1-4 0-0 2, Pagie Noe 1-2 0-0 2, Paityn Noe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 28-49 6-6 71. 3-point field goals (9): Fleischmann 4, Ihle 3, Beall, Rietz. Rebounds (31): Beall 6. Assists (18): Ihle 7. Steals (16): Loewe 5. Blocks (3): Fleischmann, Thompson, Loewe. Fouls: 13. 

Perry (7) - Lydia Olejniczak 1-9 2-2 4, Kennedy Tunink 0-3 2-2 2, Quinn Whiton 0-5 1-2 1, Lanie Fish 0-0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Hyman-Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Jayna Kenney 0-4 0-0 0, Callie Steva 0-0 0-0 0, Phoebe Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Michelle Tobar 0-2 0-0 0, Kathryn West 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 1-28 5-6 7. 3-point field goals: None. Fouls: 9.