Cotter freshman Ellie Macal (#33) takes to the air during last Tuesday’s game against the Lewiston-Altura Cardinals. Cotter won the game 70-39.
by BEN MCLEOD
Cotter’s Lady Ramblers varsity basketball team sunk another solid win on Tuesday, January 30, against the Lewiston-Altura Cardinals. With a final score of 70-39, the Ramblers continue to hold third place in the Three Rivers Conference.
The game got off to a late start on Tuesday, but the first half rewarded patience. Cotter grabbed an early lead against the Cardinals, then Lewiston-Altura narrowed the gap to 29-22 by the end of the first half. Cotter Coach Pat Bowlin said the Lady Ramblers are a great team to watch. “I was very pleased with our strong play against their zone in the second half,” he stated.
Both teams had similar styles of play, with passing game offense that kept the opposing players on the move, distracting and tiring out the opposing team. However, in spite of good performances by the Lewiston-Altura team — including Myia Ruzek, who led the Cardinals with 10 points for the game — they finally fell too far behind. Unexpected reversals defined the game; Lewiston seemed to keep stealing control when the Ramblers expected to have them cornered. Cotter’s Josie Huelskamp (#15) made a spectacular steal of her own — one of her six steals of the game — in the second half and effortlessly dropped in a shot while the Cardinals were stuck halfway across the court. Ellie Macal (#33) found one of her own soon after. Megan Morgan (#11) sunk two shots from the side in less than 20 seconds, ending her game with 11 points. All told, four Ramblers scored in the double-digits; Isabel Northrop with 16, Huelskamp with 12, and Jordan Rubie and Morgan with 11 points each.
Cotter dominated free throws, making 11 of 18 while the Cardinals landed 5 out of 11, and the Ramblers comfortably sunk four three-point shots, as well. Coach Bowlin said, “We did a much better job of making the extra pass and getting the ball into the high post against their zone the second half.”
The Lady Ramblers also won in La Crescent on Thursday, February 1, 67-32. Every player on the team put points on the board and once again, four Ramblers registered in the double digits. “We are playing some of our best basketball of the year,” Bowlin stated. “While many teams plateau at this time of the year, we are climbing. We have our biggest game of the season on Thursday, February 8, at home against Caledonia, which is undefeated in the conference.” Cotter is just two games behind Caledonia in the standings, and a win would keep the hopes of a conference title within reach.