April 23, 2009

NEMO Magic Traveling Hoops Squad Compiles 12-5 Record

The NEMO Magic 8th grade girls basketball team with players from the Schuyler County, Knox County, Scotland County, Brashear, and Moulton-Udell, Iowa school districts recently finished its season with a 12-5 record after playing in tournaments in Queen City and Paris, MO, and Moulton, IA.

The team won two games and lost one at the Schuyler County Rotary Club tournament in Queen City on March 27, 2009. It opened with a 37-14 loss to Putnam County, but then rallied to defeat Clark County, 25-12, and Northeast Rumble, 28-17.

That Putnam County team had several very good players from that school and also some very talented players from Kirksville, Coach David Peppard said. They took it to us in the first half, and there was little we could do after that. The girls did a good job of shaking off that loss and playing better basketball the rest of the tournament.

Against Putnam, Nikki Rowland (Schuyler) led the Magics balanced scoring attack with six points. Natalie Potter (Moulton) led the team in scoring in the other two games with seven points against Clark and 13 points against Rumble. Shelby Salter (Brashear) added six points and Rowland scored five points against Clark County. Against Northeast Rumble, Rowland had six points and Hannah Strange (Knox) added five points.

At the Paris Junior High Tournament on March 14, 2009, one loss in pool play was enough to keep the Magic out of the playoffs due to a tie-breaker, although it won its other two games. The team opened the tournament with a win over Schuyler County 7th Grade, 39-12, behind 10 points from Rowland, seven points from Strange, and six points from Jacqueline Bushnell (Schuyler). It then rallied from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to lose to Cairo, 28-26. Strange led the team in scoring in that game with 10 points. NEMO Magic then jumped out to a 24-4 first quarter edge and coasted to a 55-7 win over Milan 7th Grade. Potter scored 12 points, Strange had 10 points, Megan Creek (Scotland) had eight points, and Mallory Haley (Schuyler) added six points in that win. Every player scored in the victories over Schuyler and Milan.

We sat for four hours after our first game and then let the Cairo game get out of hand before we rallied in the fourth quarter to almost come back. The team then vented its frustration with that loss and missing the playoffs on Milans team, Peppard said. The tournament cut down the number of teams advancing to the playoffs from eight to four and this is the first year our team didnt make it there. That hurt because we really wanted to see what we could do against the better teams down there.

Earlier in March, NEMO defeated Moravia, 20-18, and Davis County, 36-14, at the Moulton-Udell Tournament. to reach the championship game of the Clark County tournament. In the Moravia game, Salter and Rowland had five points each, while Haley and Bushnell each added four points. The high scorers against Davis County were Rowland with 10 points, Strange with seven points, and Bushnell with six points.

On March 1, 2009, the Magic defeated Milan 8th Grade, 36-26, at Queen City after leading by only one point at the half. Potter led the team with 22 points, including 14 points in the second half. Rowland added six points in the win.

This was a great group to coach. Even with five different schools represented among eight players, I didnt see a single finger pointed or comment made when we struggled at times. This was my fourth and last year coaching some of these girls. Its been a great experience, Peppard said.

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