Lady Vikes finish strong, hand Lo-Ma first loss

 LOGAN (Dec. 19) -- It took the AHSTW girls more than three and a half quarters to grab their first lead against Logan-Magnolia, but once over the hump they were not going to be denied.
 The 12th-ranked (2A) Lady Vikes entered the holiday break on a very high note last Thursday night, playing great defense and getting timely offense from all six of their players in a thrilling 48-45 road win over the 10th-ranked Panthers.
 Trailing by as many as 11 points in both the second and third quarters, AHSTW finally took the lead (41-39) on Kinsey Scheffler’s three-point play with 3:11 left in the game. Emilie Thompson’s third 3-pointer of the night put Lo-Ma briefly back on top, but sophomore Morgan Heiny - the Lady Vikes’ only bench player used in the game - answered right back with a trey of her own to make it 44-42.
 AHSTW missed a pair of 1-and-1 front ends inside the final minute but got a big bucket from Kailey Jones to go up by three with :38 left. Following two free throws by Lo-Ma’s Kylie Morrison, Claire Harris hit two clutch free throws at the :09.7 mark and Jones rebounded the Panthers’ final three-point attempt to seal the win.
 The Lady Vikes improved to 8-1 overall (5-1 Western Iowa Conference) and dealt Logan-Magnolia (7-1, 4-1) its first loss of the season.
 “Any time you can (face) the number 10 team in the state in 2A and beat them on their home court, it’s definitely a confidence boost,” said AHSTW head coach Steve Sauvain. “I was just happy we stayed with the game plan. That’s so important because we could have folded the tents up early and tried to do too much.”
 Defensively, the Lady Vikes played man-to-man on Lo-Ma’s three best players and had two other girls stay in the lane for help. Julia Kock and Morgan Heiny combined to hold Morrison (17.6 ppg.) to just 10 points on the night. Thompson scored 11 but needed 13 three-point attempts to make three. Violet Lapke scored nine of her game-high 15 points at the line, benefitting from three very favorable foul calls on three-point shots.
 AHSTW’s final scoring ledger was extremely balanced, led by Jones with 13 points and 15 rebounds (eight offensive). Scheffler finished with 11 points and eight boards while Claire Denning had eight points, four steals and four assists.

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