Prep Basketball

West Branch goes cold late in Rivalry Saturday loss to West Hancock

Bears go from 11 down to 9 up, but can't hold on

West Hancock Eagles
West Hancock Eagles

CEDAR RAPIDS — When it came to crunch time, Maddie Eisenman’s drives kept West Hancock in the driver’s seat.

Eisenman split the West Branch defense three times in the final three minutes, and Class 2A third-ranked West Hancock rallied from a nine-point third-quarter deficit to edge No. 8 West Branch, 46-41, in a Rivalry Saturday girls’ basketball game Saturday afternoon at Kohawk Arena.

“They just made one more run in the end,” West Branch Coach Jarod Tylee said. “I felt good coming in, and I’m disappointed to lose, but I feel really good about how hard my team played.”

Down 18-7 after a quarter, West Branch (0-1) was the superior team through the second period and most of the third, building a 33-24 advantage.

But the Bears scored just eight points in the final 12 minutes, and West Hancock (1-0) caught, then passed them.

An 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter put the Eagles in front, then Eisenman’s drives kept them there.

“Our defense was really good there in the middle of the game,” West Branch’s Rylan Druecker said after an 11-point, 12-rebound outing. “Our zone was working really well.”

Sasha Koenig led the Bears with 12 points and seven assists.

Rachel Leerar paced West Hancock with 11 points. Eisenman finished with 10.

The Eagles were 1A state runners-up last year.

WEST HANCOCK 46, WEST BRANCH 41

At Kohawk Arena

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WEST HANCOCK (46): Rachel Leerar 4-12 3-4 11, Maddie Eisenman 4-12 1-2 10, Mahayla Faust 1-7 0-0 2, Riley Hiscocks 1-3 0-0 2, Amanda Chizek 2-4 1-2 5, Emily Ryerson 1-1 0-0 3, Kennedy Kelly 2-5 3-6 8, Leah Aitchison 1-1 3-4 5, Carlee Burns 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-46 11-18 46.

WEST BRANCH (41): Mackenzie Heise 4-6 1-3 9, Sasha Koenig 3-15 5-8 12, Rylan Druecker 3-8 2-2 11, Kaiya Luneckas 2-5 1-6 5, Taylor Thein 0-7 0-0 0, Delaynie Luneckas 2-8 0-0 4, Lexi Peak 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-51 9-19 41.

Halftime: West Branch 24, West Hancock 22. 3-point goals: West Hancock 3-21 (Leerar 0-3, Eisenman 1-8, Faust 0-3, Hiscocks 0-2, Ryerson 1-1, Kelly 1-3, Bruns 0-1), West Branch 4-18 (Koenig 1-5, Druecker 3-6, Thein 0-5, Peak 0-2). Team fouls: West Hancock 19, West Branch 17. Fouled out: Chizek. Rebounds: West Hancock 39 (Kelly 7), West Branch 39 (Druecker 12). Assists: West Hancock 6 (Leerar, Kelly 2), West Branch 10 (Koenig 7). Steals: West Hancock 6 (Kelly 4), West Branch 5 (five with 1). Turnovers: West Hancock 16, West Branch 16.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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