Blue Demons get past Wolverines

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    Nishnabotna scored 44 first-half points in a 67-47 victory over East Mills in Corner Conference girls basketball on Friday.
    The Wolverines (1-3 overall, 0-1 in the conference) scored 32 first-half points of their own but couldn’t keep up with the Blue Demons.
    Joni Laughlin, Devin Laughlin and Katie Sowers each scored 11 points to lead East Mills. Brianna Weak added seven rebounds.

East Mills 63,
Underwood 36    
    Devin Laughlin and Brianna Weak each scored 15 points to lead the East Mills girls basketball team to a 63-36 victory over Underwood on Thursday.
    The Wolverines (1-2) out-scored the Eagles 59-27 over the final three quarters to score the win.
    “I thought that this was one of the most complete games that we have played in a long time,” said East Mills coach Jeff Laughlin. “We did an excellent job of rebounding as a team and I thought that our posts brought a lot of energy on both ends of the court.”
    After taking a 25-16 lead into halftime, the Wolverines’ lead swelled to as many as 22 in the third quarter before the Eagles started a mini-fourth quarter rally. Underwood cut the lead to 51-35 with just over four minutes to go, but East Mills closed out the game on a 12-1 run.
    “Defensively, we did an excellent job of holding (junior Allison) Waters to just three points and limiting her on the offensive glass,” Laughlin said. Waters grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 22 points in the Underwood’s season-opening win over Essex.
    East Mills shot just 37 percent from the field (23-of-62) but they grabbed a season-high 50 rebounds and Devin Laughlin dished out eight of the team’s 14 assists.

    “Offensively, it was probably the most patience that we have ever shown in running our offense, while at the same time still being extremely aggressive. We still didn’t shoot the ball great, but we were able to give ourselves more opportunities with our hustle.”

    Weak had a career-high 17 rebounds to go with her 15 points. Joni Laughlin added nine points and Amanda Hatcher eight. Kendra Croghan chipped in seven points.

Riverside 62,
East Mills 39
    Riverside out-scored East Mills 20-6 in a crucial third quarter run to pull away in a 62-39 victory last Tuesday.
    The Wolverines (0-2) struggled with their shooting, hitting on 13-of-56 shots (23.2 percent) from the field, including 1-of-11 from behind the arc.
    As tough a night as the Wolverines had shooting, head coach Jeff Laughlin said it was his team’s struggles rebounding against the taller Bulldogs that proved the difference. Riverside held a 51-36 rebounding edge for the night.
    “We once again had trouble rebounding the ball and limiting their second chance opportunities,” he said. “They had a significant height advantage, but I thought that we could take advantage of our quickness and perimeter shooting to help offset that, but we shot the ball poorly as a whole. Offensively, we were able to get good looks most of the night, but we missed several easy baskets that kept us from being able to stay in the game.”
    Katie Sowers led East Mills with 12 points. Devin Laughlin chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
    The girls did play hard and fought despite being in foul trouble much of the game as well,” Laughlin said. “I thought our effort was good, but we have to improve our execution on both ends of the court.”
    Sheyenne Smith scored  a game-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting to lead Riverside. Rachel Fagan added 15 points.