HARTINGTON — The teeter-totter nature of the Hartington-Newcastle girls basketball season continued with another split of a week’s worth of action.
The Lady Wildcats (5-6) wrapped up last week with an emphatic 63-21 Classic Tournament win over Winside which followed a narrow 43-38 defeat at Bloomfield.
In the defeat, Alivia Morten scored 19 points and Kayden Jueden added seven points and 16 rebounds.
“Bloomfield played an aggressive pressing defense,” Lady Wildcat coach Josh Morten said. “They were able to get some touches on a lot of our passes. We just turned the ball over too much in this game.
HNS had a two-point lead with over three minutes left in the game, but the Cats just couldn’t finish.
“We turned the ball over nearly double than what our season average is,” Morten said. “With having that many fewer of possessions it’s tough to win.”
Morten was pleased with his team’s offensive execution once they could initiate it.
“The girls played very hard but just made too many mistakes on passes which led to them scoring,” coach Morten said.
Jueden led four double-figure scorers with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists against Winside while Morten added 13 points, Zoey Gratzfeld scored 11 points and Delayne Sudbeck poured in 10 points.
“The girls came out very aggressive on defense and we forced Winside into a lot of turnovers,” Josh Morten said. “We were able to get into a good rhythm offensively and scoring the most points in a game for us all season. Kayden really had a great night. We scored as many points in the fifth half as we did all of the game in the previous night.
“Offensively, we can get things done sometimes it’s just a matter of putting it all together in one game. Felt we did that tonight.”
The senior Jueden is happy with her overall play.
“Senior year has been a whirlwind and still being in school at this point is so awesome: We didn’t think we would get here or even October – so it feels great to get to this point and experience this stuff,” Jueden said.
Jueden said the Lady Wildcats have been putting everything together slowly as more freshmen are stepping up and taking minutes and bigger roles as the season wears on.
“That’s definitely encouraging and very exciting going into the rest of the season,” Jueden said. “In the Bloomfield game, we didn’t quite play as a team and that messed us up and they took advantage of it. They were on top of it when we weren’t.
“We’re getting there, we just have some games where it feels like not everyone is on the same wavelength. We will get there eventually and that will be our turning point.”
Jueden believes that similar to the volleyball season when the team started amping it up and practice, she feels that’s what the team needs to find that same mojo.
“We’ve had some great practices lately and we will put it together,” she said.
The Lady Wildcats were to host Randolph Tuesday and then head to Homer Friday before heading to Laurel-Concord-Coleridge this Tuesday.
“This week we have two conference matchups and I feel we can compete very well and possibly win both games,” Morten said. “It’s a chance for us to get a little bit on a roll.”
HNS - Alivia Morten, 19; Kayden Jueden, 7; Zoey Gratzfeld, 4; Keanna Korth, 4;
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