Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.
MENDOTA — The Mendota girls basketball team found itself in a tough game against a senior-led Rock Falls team in a Big Northern Conference West Division matchup Tuesday.
Each basket scored in the first quarter either changed the lead or tied the game, but after the opening eight minutes, the Lady Rockets pulled away and silenced a MHS last quarter comeback for a 65-55 victory.
“They made the plays they needed to make to win the game,” Lady Trojan coach Kevin Geldon said. “Every loose ball went their way, they made the effort plays, got offensive rebounds and took care of the basketball. We had some very untimely turnovers and some fouls ... that was the tale of the tape. I feel they have two seniors (Morgan Mammosser and Jordan Giddings) who were not going to let them lose.”
The back-and-forth first quarter ended with a 12-12 tie, which led to a second quarter winding along the same road.
Rock Falls went into the locker room at halftime with a 28-26 lead, only because Giddings hit a-go-ahead shot at the buzzer.
Mendota (13-5, 3-3 BNCW) was in the game at this point because of senior guard Karly Near’s two 3-point baskets and sophomore forward Amy Devitt’s inside buckets — sometimes over two Lady Rockets.
Defensively, Abby Bromenschenkel had four blocks and her twin sister Ally added two for Mendota’s six blocks on the game.
However, Rock Falls was able to capitalize on one thing the Lady Trojans couldn’t control — experience.
“We were really good defensively at times and at other times we looked lost in our rotations,” Lady Rockets’ coach Craig Mammosser said. “Mendota is a good young team. They’re going to keep coming at you, coming at you and coming at you and Kevin (Geldon) has done a nice job.
“I think maybe our experience with Morgan (Mammosser) and Jordan (Giddings) paid off just a little bit at the end and we were able to knock down just enough free throws.”
Morgan Mammosser and Giddings scored 18 points apiece for 36 of Rock Falls’ 65. In the middle of the third, Rock Falls (9-12, 3-4 BNCW), found itself with a 10-point lead at 42-32.
Mendota did exactly what Mammosser said and kept fighting by cutting the lead to five with back-to-back layups by Devitt and Ally Bromenschenkel along with a putback by senior forward Tori Schimmer.
A floater in the middle of the paint by sophomore guard Brooke Carroll put the Lady Trojans within three at 43-40 with 6 ½ minutes left.
Right when the game’s momentum seemed to swing to Mendota, the Lady Rockets yanked it back.
Morgan Mammosser caused chaos for the Lady Trojans with her perimeter defense and ability to read the passing lanes, and if Mammosser wasn’t the cause of a Mendota stumble, MHS was it’s own heal by committing offensive fouls and unforced turnovers.
“They’re a good team and that’s what we aspire to be in terms of knowing how to win, being able to make those plays and understanding how important a little thing might seem,” Geldon said. “They get it.”
Near, whose 13 points were only behind Devitt’s 16 for Mendota, was held out for the second half of the second quarter and didn’t return until there were 4 ½ minutes left in the fourth because she had four fouls.
Abby Bromenschenkel and Carroll fouled out as Mendota lost the foul battle 22-to-11.
With Mendota fouling purposely with a minute left in the fourth, Rock Falls was able to ice the game with free throws down the stretch.
Geldon said his team has the skill and the will to win but lack the knowledge of what to do in the clutch of a win-or-lose situation.
“Sometimes I think we’re right there. Sometimes we just lack a little bit on things we can control — intensity, focus and effort,” Geldon said. “I think when we bring all that stuff, we’re there. But, it’s consistency. It’s a cliché and every coach says that, but to keep going and to repeat it takes a lot of effort, focus and desire.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.
Login to your account:
If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.