The Northeast Community College women’s basketball team showed no signs of a letdown after Saturday’s important 70-63 conference win over Iowa Western.
Instead, the Hawks took the court ready to play and, sparked by the combined 45 points from guards Beth Matas and Kyla Moore, blasted the Hastings College junior varsity 101-69 Monday evening.
“Coming off a really good win Saturday against a high-level team, it’s human nature not to show up because it’s just two nights later,” Hawks coach Matt Svehla said. “You think you got through the big one, so now we’re in good shape. But I was pleased with how we came out, the energy.”
“We had addressed it and said this is what a good team does, they don’t have a letdown,” he said. “We got up and down the floor, we got transition, got some lay-ins. Our execution was OK, but it’s nice when you don’t have to execute (offense) every possession.”
A 9-0 run late in the period provided Northeast with some separation, beyond an early 8-2 lead, that became a 23-18 advantage to end the first quarter. But the Hawks were also noticeably finding a rhythm, especially in transition.
At point guard, Matas sparked a good start in the second period by turning a loose ball into a transition layup for Moore, then added a 3 from the left corner. Breanna Stouffer assisted Emina Hadzihusejnovic for a basket inside. Hadzihusejnovic then returned the favor by hitting Stouffer with a long outlet pass for another layup for a 32-19 Hawks lead.
Matas then added a drive, followed by an assist to Stouffer, then another that Matas sent first to Lorna Maxon, who found Stouffer alone ahead of the Broncos’ retreating defense. After baseline drives by Moore and Julia Carbonell, Moore’s offensive rebound-putback created Northeast’s largest lead of the half of 44-25.
But Svehla found issues to discuss with the Hawks at halftime when Hastings finished out the half by outscoring Northeast 12-4 during the final two minutes.
“We gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, so there were a lot of things that, as a coach, I wasn’t happy about that we addressed,” Svehla said. “I told them it was a good first half, but we’re up 11 and had fouled a 3-point shooter about 30 feet from the basket, had a free-throw line violation, had an over-and-back call. So there were a few blunders that we talked about.”
Svehla said his team “came out with good energy again the second half” and also thought “our bench kids contributed, did some good things and brought good energy.”
The Hawks opened the third period with a 10-0 run that expanded into a 19-4 string that essentially put the game out of reach as Northeast led 67-41 with four minutes left in the quarter.
Although a pair of 3-point shots to end the third and a field goal to open the final period allowed the Broncos to reduce the deficit to 19 points at 73-54, but Hastings got no closer as the Hawks rebuilt their lead with the help of Macey Kulhanek, who finished with eight of Northeast’s last 11 points to close out the win.
Matas and Moore paced the Hawks offensively with 25 and 20 points, respectively, while Stouffer contributed 13, Hadzihusejnovic 12 and Kulhanek 10.
“I think Beth and Kyla have good motors, can log a lot of minutes, and they both push the ball,” Svehla said. “When they do that, others feed off that, because I thought Breanna played a nice game today — a lot of nice things defensively also — so Breanna is laying some up, Emina is running the floor and laying some up, so I thought we had a lot of players on the receiving end of some transition. And it all starts with Beth and Kyla.”
The transition game, along with offensive execution, produced a 56 percent field goal percentage for the Hawks, including 41 percent from the 3-point line.
Hastings JV 18 19 15 17 — 69
Northeast CC 23 25 25 28 — 101
Hastings JV (4-2): Hope Kohmetscher 3-4 0-2 6, Hayley Homan 2-6 0-0 5, Allison Bauer 4-12 3-5 13, Jordyn Fiddelke 9-23 6-9 27, Shayla Carrier 5-9 2-2 12, Hattie Sheets 1-3 0-2 3, Mareena Womack 0-5 0-0 0, Kaylee Wilson 1-5 1-2 3, Lacy DiTirro-Feiten 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-68 12-22 69.
Northeast CC (17-2): Beth Matas 9-13 2-2 25, Kyla Moore 9-13 2-3 20, Emina Hadzihusejnovic 6-13 0-0 12, Breanna Stouffer 6-8 1-2 13, Lorna Maxon 2-3 1-2 5, Kelly Kleffner 1-2 0-0 2, Julia Carbonell 2-7 0-0 5, Katarina Zagorac 3-4 1-4 7, Jacalyn Schwanebeck 1-2 0-0 2, Macey Kulhanek 3-10 3-4 10. Totals: 42-75 10-17 101.