NM State Run Falls Short; Defense Made the Difference

Only one basketball team finishes the season with a win. Monday night it was a battle for a slot at the Class 1A state tournament.

Despite the determination and effort, it was Montezuma whose season continues while the North Mahaska (22-1) saw theirs come to an end.

The two South Iowa Cedar League teams were meeting for a third time, this time on a neutral floor. North Mahaska had won the first two, but Montezuma used a tenacious defense, one the Warhawks could not break, to score a 40-32 victory.

“Their defense was better than ours was tonight,” said NM coach l.E. Moore. Our defense just wasn’t where it needed to be.” Rebounding was also a key.

Montezuma outrebounded the Warhawks 19-13, many of those coming on the offensive boards that gave the Bravettes second chance opportunities.

Montezuma showed from the get-go they were planning to shut down the hot-shooting Warhawks from the outside and make them go inside. They countered inside with help defense and took advantage when NM shots did not fall. North Mahaska had the early lead when sophomore Kassidi Steel hit s short jumper and a 3-pointer for a 5-0 lead. Shateah Wetering went to work for Montezuma and scored six straight and freshman Elise Boulton rang up a pair of threes.

Read the full story in the February 22 edition.