DEWITT, Iowa — After its game against Marion last week was postponed, Central DeWitt had some extra time to process its first loss of the season.
After seeing a late lead disappear against Class 4A No. 3 Center Point-Urbana, the 10th-ranked Sabers made sure there wouldn’t be a repeat performance, never trailing in a 52-26 win over No. 12 Maquoketa Tuesday at Central DeWitt High School.
“Tonight we were really fired up because we wanted that revenge that we didn’t carry over on (last Tuesday against CPU),” sophomore Taylor Veach said. “Tonight we were fired up, stuck to our game plan and this was a good crowd. It was fun.”
The Sabers (10-1, 9-1 Wamac) came roaring out of the gate, opening up the game on a 10-2 run. They were led by Veach, who scored 10 points in the first quarter as Central DeWitt led 19-8. That lead stretched to 31-15 at halftime as Veach had 17 points on 7 of 8 shooting, her only miss an off balance shot in the closing seconds.
Veach finished the night with 27 points on 10 of 14 shooting, matching a career-high also reached last week against CPU. Allie Meadows added 13 points, and unlike the loss against the Stormin' Pointers, the duo got help as six other players scored.
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"They were chomping at the bit after Tuesday night to get back on the floor so I think that helped prepare them," Central DeWitt head coach Chad Specht said. "The environment, the rivalry, that all helps too but that loss I think fueled them to get back on the floor tonight."
Ball movement was key for the Sabers, with 12 assists on 17 made baskets, Meadows and Talbot Kinney each with four assists.
"I think the team learned from last Tuesday night, we don't want to stand around and try to kill eight minutes, that isn't going to work for us," Specht said. "We've still got to run our offense and have balance and continue to do the things we do well. I think tonight, you saw us flow really well."
The Cardinals (8-3, 7-3) struggled all night shooting the ball, finishing 10 of 48 from the field, which included going 3 of 17 from the 3-point line. Maquoketa was also 3 of 16 from the free throw line in its worst loss of the season. Maquoketa also had 14 turnovers on the night, with Veach adding three steals.
Nell Sybesma led the Cardinals with eight points while Autumn Dykstra added seven points and Abbi Strathman had three points and seven rebounds.
"When you don't make shots, I don't care how good a defense you play, or how good you rebound or don't rebound. It's a game of make or miss and we certainly missed," Maquoketa head coach James Doepke said. "It was a rivalry game and Veach made her shots, Meadows made her shots and none of mine made ours. You're going to have nights where you just can't throw it in the ocean and tonight was one of those nights."