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No. 7 Titans add another facet to their attack

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COUNCIL BLUFFS — For one glorious half, Council Bluffs Lewis Central put together a near-perfect stretch of basketball. It was even sweeter that it came against a fellow Iowa Class 4-A contender.

The 4-A No. 7 Titans have relied on swarming defense and crisp passing all season. They added breakout shooting Tuesday in a 71-25 victory over No. 9 Sioux City Heelan that had players and coaches alike struggling to recall a more thoroughly dominant team effort.

A virtuoso opening 16 minutes featured a continuous loop of Heelan turnovers and Lewis Central layups and 3-pointers that had the hosts up 50-15 at intermission. Ten Titans had scored by the final horn, with Madison Paulsen (17), Maegan Holt (15) and Kye Madsen (10) all reaching double figures.

“Coaches have been talking that we knew that game was coming — we just didn’t know when it was going to be,” Lewis Central coach Derek Archer said. “As much as we had struggled shooting the ball, we knew there was going to be a big night, and I told the girls afterward I’m glad they picked tonight.”

Relentless defensive pressure forced Heelan into 22 turnovers. With five L.C. starters capable of leading a fast break, the Titans spent much of the night feeding each other for easy shots at the rim.

The big surprise came from deep. After entering the contest shooting 21 percent from long range, Lewis Central hit 8 of 12 Tuesday — including 7 of 11 in the first half. Five girls hit at least one trey, with Alissa Pomrenke, Jacey Martin and Paulsen each netting a pair.

“We were actually backing off the players to allow them to shoot, and they were making shots,” Heelan coach Darron Koolstra said. “When that happens, it kind of snowballs. If they play like that, I think they can beat a majority of the 4-A teams in the state of Iowa.”

Paulsen drove for a layup 10 seconds into the game, and the Titans were off and running. They led 26-8 through one quarter and added a 19-0 run in the second highlighted by 10 more Paulsen points — all coming on assists.

“We just all play together really well,” Madsen said. “We’re really good friends off the court, too, and we’re all really athletic. We have a lot of depth on our team, so it makes it fun to get up and pressure and play hard.”

Archer said the first half might have been the best he’s seen from L.C. in his four years as coach. Madsen agreed, and the four-year starter added that it helps when a deep and talented group is also full of girls who love to spend time together.

“We wanted to say something to the state about who we were and what we were about,” Madsen said. “Watch out for Lewis Central.”

Sioux City Heelan (4-5)..................8 7 8 2—25

At CB Lewis Central (10-1).....26 24 10 11—71

SCH: Carlie Long 1-6 0-0 3, Mckenzie Pratt 2-3 1-2 6, Ellie Cropley 0-0 0-1 0, Annie Jensen 0-2 0-0 0, Rhea Greer 2-6 0-0 5, Taylor Ferguson 0-2 0-0 0, Lexie Stolen 0-2 0-0 0, Allie Cooke 0-3 0-0 0, Grace Hanno 2-4 1-2 5, Katelyn Lawler 0-2 0-0 0, Megan Beaulieu 1-3 0-0 2, Kierrah Llanos 1-4 0-0 2, Nicole Jacobson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 10-38 2-5 25.

CBLC: Nicole Miller 1-2 0-0 3, Alissa Pomrenke 2-4 3-4 9, Kye Madsen 3-5 3-3 10, Hannah Dunlop 0-0 1-2 1, Dani Petersen 1-3 1-2 3, Maegan Holt 5-6 5-10 15, Madi Parks 1-2 0-0 2, Madison Paulsen 6-11 3-4 17, Jacey Martin 3-3 0-0 8, McKena Duffek 0-0 0-0 0, Kassie Larsen 1-1 1-1 3. Totals: 23-37 17-26 71.

3-point goals: SCH 3-18 (Long 1-5, Pratt 1-2, Jensen 0-1, Greer 1-4, Stolen 0-1, Cooke 0-1, Lawler 0-2, Beaulieu 0-1, Llanos 0-1), CBLC 8-12 (Miller 1-1, Pomrenke 2-3, Madsen 1-2, Paulsen 2-4, Martin 2-2). Total fouls: SCH 18, CBLC 11. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: SCH 16 (Jacobson 5), CBLC 28 (Larsen 8). Assists: SCH 6 (Stolen 3), CBLC 12 (Madsen 7). Turnovers: SCH 22, CBLC 13.

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