North Scott’s Makayla Farnum had something to prove.
After not playing at all in Tuesday’s loss to Central DeWitt, the Lancers freshman said she had extra motivation against Muscatine on Friday night in a Mississippi Athletic Conference tussle at The Pit.
Farnum made the most of her chance this time, putting up game highs in points and rebounds to help lead the Lancers past the Muskies, 50-33. Farnum finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the seventh-ranked team in the state in Class 4A.
North Scott coach T.J. Case said Farnum was healthy to play in the loss to DeWitt, it was a coaches’ decision to not play her. Case said the 5-foot-10 Farnum showed what she can do when she is motivated.
“With our matchups (against DeWitt) I just felt like that was the choice, but we have been trying to pull this kind of game out of her,” Case said. “I coached her a little bit in seventh and eighth grade and I knew it was there.
“We kept pushing her and pushing her and I think it kind of made her mad. But the way she responded was terrific. I asked this group ‘Who wants to play hard?’ and she raised her hand and said ‘I want to play hard’ and she showed it (Friday).”
Farnum said not getting into the DeWitt game did leave a fire in her stomach and she came into Friday’s game with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter and made an immediate impact.
She snagged three rebounds in the middle part of the quarter and then scored eight straight points for the home team in a little less than two minutes to help the Lancers (6-1, 3-1 MAC) take control of the game. Farnum and Hattie Hagedorn each had eight points for the winners as North Scott led 17-7 after one.
Farnum kept it up in the second quarter, grabbing three more boards, all defensive, and scored three more points to help the Lancers to a 27-14 halftime lead. She tacked on four points in the third and fourth quarter with strong jump shots in the lane against Muscatine players that were two-to-three inches taller than her.
“It was tough but you just have to play hard and be physical right back at those players,” Farnum said of taking on taller opposition. “I think you can use leverage and positioning to get better shots.”
Farnum did have her shot blocked three times in the lane, but it did not deter her. On two of the blocked shots, she hustled to stop the ball from going out-of-bounds to save possessions for her team.
“We are starving for a post player and we are starving for a player who can give us those kinds of minutes and she definitely did that tonight,” Case said of Farnum.
Farnum was also part of a defensive effort that forced 16 turnovers and held Muscatine (1-5, 1-4 MAC) to 34% shooting from the floor.
North Scott sophomore guard Lexi Ward, in particular, was strong. She guarded the Muskies leading scorer Zoey Long for most of the contest and held her to four points and no 3-pointers after Long came into the game leading Muscatine in both categories. North Scott also outrebounded the visitors, 26-15.
Hagedorn had 13 points and Ashley Fountain added seven points and seven rebounds for the winners. Ward contributed five points, four rebounds and three steals
Madison Petersen led Muscatine with nine points, five rebounds and five blocks. Grace Bode chipped in 12 points for the Muskies.
“It was not our best night and North Scott played well, but I am pleased with our defensive effort on some of their better players,” Muscatine coach Susan Orvis said. “(Farnum) got us down deep and she uses her strength well. I don’t think we took care of the boards tonight and turnovers did hurt. I was happy with the effort but we just need some consistency moving forward.”
As for Farnum, she just hopes to keep getting chances.
“I was really motivated and the whole team was motivated to get back after Tuesday,” Farnum said. “We really came together and played hard as a team.”