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Before it could win, East Buchanan had to learn to compete.
And now, the Buccaneers have done both.
An influx of promising young talent helped East Buchanan snap a 30-game girls’ basketball losing streak Tuesday, when it defeated Lisbon, 61-38.
“We knew that was one we could get,” first-year coach Nathan Reck said. “They were ready to go.”
East Buchanan dropped its final six games of the 2014-15 season, then suffered through an 0-22 campaign last year. The Buccaneers started this season with two close defeats (52-43 to Elkader Central and 54-50 to Easton Valley) before breaking through Tuesday.
Erica Hoffman registered 22 points, Nicole Pettinger added 16, and Olivia Donlea chipped in eight points and eight assists. All of them are freshmen.
“I knew we had some talent coming up, and these freshmen have changed the whole culture,” said Reck, who had served as an assistant boys’ coach at East Buchanan for three years before taking over their girls’ program. “We have preached competitiveness, and I knew as long as the girls were competitive, the wins would come.
“All we need to do is hustle, hustle, hustle.”
Reck said there was excitement in the locker room after Tuesday’s breakthrough, but “it was more a feeling of relief and finally getting over the hump. I told them to enjoy it for a day, and then they had to flush it before practice (Wednesday).”
That’s because the Buccaneers host defending Class 1A state champion Springville on Friday.
TURKEY VALLEY TAKES A HIT
According to Turkey Valley co-coach Carletta Nymeyer, it is “highly likely” that junior Emily Busta has suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
Busta came off the bench to hit seven 3-pointers and score 23 points in the Trojans’ 49-48 loss to Springville in last year’s 1A state final. She averaged 11.3 points per game in 2015-16, second-most on the team.
She suffered a torn ACL on her left knee as a freshman. This time, it’s her right knee that was injured during a drill last Friday.
“It will definitely bring a different dynamic to the team, but we’re still confident,” Nymeyer said.
Sadie Nymeyer scored 31 points in the Trojans’ 81-31 season-opening win over West Central on Tuesday.
LAUBE LIGHTS IT UP
Freshman Kayba Laube came to Marion with the reputation as an accurate long-range shooter, but her first two games at the varsity level have been remarkable.
Laube hit 7 of 8 shots from 3-point range and scored 29 points in the Indians’ 77-43 romp at DeWitt Central on Tuesday.
Thus far, Laube is shooting 87.5 percent (14 of 16) from the field, 83.3 percent (10 of 12) from distance, averaging 20.0 points per game.
Marion hosts Anamosa in a battle of 2-0 teams Friday.