Blue Devils with rough start to 2018


West Central’s Jalyn Browned looks to make a pass in a rivalry game against the Oelwein Huskies on Saturday, Jan. 6.  Chris DeBack photo


Blue Devils with rough start to 2018



By Chris Deback





The West Central girls’ basketball team opened up 2018 with back-to-back losses at MFL/MarMac, 75-36, on Friday, Jan. 5, and at rival Oelwein, 43-27, the following afternoon. 

In the matchup with Oelwein, neither team could find an offensive rhythm in the first quarter. 

Kylie Parmley from Oelwein scored the game’s first points with a long jumper three minutes into the contest. West Central answered a few minutes later with a Kenzie Squires jumper. However, Braidyn Buhrow missed two layups early on, which could have given the Blue Devils a distinct advantage. Oelwein hit another jumper for the two-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 4-2.

“Playing MFL the night before, where we tried to run with them, really hurt us,” said Jordan Greco, West Central head coach. “Having the legs to go up and down on back-to-back days was crucial. Obviously, we can’t fault that for the entire game, but we were also missing a couple girls tonight (freshmen Marlee Squires and Bryleigh Rouse), which really limited who I could bring off the bench.” 

Both teams found their legs in the second quarter, as the Huskies and Blue Devils started to find the bottom of the bucket. Amber Rosenstiel hit a 3-pointer to put Oelwein up, 7-2, which was the midway point of a 10-1 run. West Central’s Kenzie Squires answered with a 3-pointer followed by a layup off a steal. The Blue Devils headed into the locker down to their rivals, 14-8. 

The ladies in blue opened the second half with a steal and layup from Buhrow to pull within five, 15-10. Rosenstiel answered for Oelwein with a floater from the key that was followed up by a layup from Squires off a steal on Oelwein’s next possession. However, West Central continued to struggle to find the bottom of the bucket and was outscored by Oelwein, 13-6, in the third quarter to find itself down, 27-14. 

The Blue Devils made a run in the fourth quarter with a Squires 3-pointer to make it 27-19 and a steal later to bring the game within seven points at 31-24. However, West Central never got closer than five points in the quarter, and Oelwein pulled away late as it hit its free throws. 

“Missing some easy shots early hurt us,” Greco explained. “We talked about it, and I wasn’t sure if we weren’t just getting squared up or if we were wide open and just looking around to see if someone is there or not and just not finishing. Shots in this game just didn’t fall for us. We got some open looks that just didn’t go in.” 

Against MFL/MarMac the previous day, it was a fast start by the Bulldogs that allowed for a convincing victory. MFL scored 31 points in the first quarter and held a 50-20 lead at the end of the first half. 

Still in search of their first victory of the season, the Blue Devils took on North Fayette Valley Tuesday, Jan. 9, and then will travel to South Winneshiek on Friday. 



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