Concordia was able to put the finishing touches on this one.
Coming off a two-point loss at Abilene in which it had a 14-point lead in the first half, Concordia rode hot three-point shooting to a 27-19 halftime advantage, and would not surrender the lead in the second half on its way to a 50-36 victory over Pike Valley Tuesday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
Pike Valley, ranked sixth in the state in Class 1A Division I, was able to get no closer than six points in the second half.
Concordia, now 3-11, scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to open up a 42-30 cushion, and would not allow the lead to dip below nine points after that.
“That was something we talked about after the Abilene game, we didn’t come out and match their intensity in the second half, and I thought we did that tonight,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said.
Concordia led 9-6 with just over a minute and a half remaining in the first quarter, but Pike Valley scored seven straight points to go up 13-9 when Casey Freed scored 12 seconds into the second period.
The two teams traded baskets, and then Concordia heated up.
Concordia got a three-point basket by Tristen Leiszler, a bucket by Jennifer Boley and then another three by Leiszler in less than a minute to wrestle the lead away from Pike Valley, 19-15.
Concordia knocked down five threes in the first half, including four by Leiszler.
Leiszler scored 12 of her game high 19 points in the first two quarters.
Freed scored for Pike Valley, but Concordia answered with consecutive threes by Leiszler and Megan James and a basket by Nikki Blakenbeckley, and led 27-17.
“Megan got us going, and then T (Leiszler) hit some shots,” Wahlmeier said.
Two free throws by Kora Bergstrom got Pike Valley within eight points at halftime.
The second half did not get off to a good start for Concordia.
Concordia did not return to the court before halftime was over, and a technical foul was called.
“It is long way from the locker room. I have been worried about that since I got here, and it got us,” Wahlmeier said. “The coaches are going to run tomorrow.”
Bergstrom, who scored 18 points in the game, made both free throws to make it a 27-21 game.
Concordia got a defensive stop, and Leiszler hit a three, and Concordia led 30-21 with 6:22 left in the quarter.
A three-point play by Bergstrom got Pike Valley back within six points, 30-24.
James made one of two free throws, Molly Adams got a steal and a layup and Maggie Lambert scored on a layup to push Concordia’s lead to 35-24.
Pike Valley outscored Concordia 6-2 over the final 1:50 of the third quarter, and again trailed by just six points, 36-30.
Concordia held Pike Valley scoreless the first 5:28 of the final period, and scored six points to open up a 42-30 lead.
Freed hit from 12 feet, and Pike Valley trailed 42-32 with 2:32 on the clock.
Concordia connected on just 6 of 13 free throws over the final 2:06, but Pike Valley was unable to get closer than nine points.
“We have be working on passing, passing, passing and only shooting layups. It was good to see them have a chance to use that,” Wahlmeier said.
James joined Leiszler in double figures, finishing with 16 points.
Concordia will host Holton, the top-ranked team in Class 4A at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
PIKE VALLEY (36)
Ca. Freed 4-0-4 8, Swafford 0-0-3 0, Co. Freed 3-0-1 6, Jensen 0-0-3 0, Bergstrom 5-8-3 18, Runft 2-0-3 4. Totals: 14-8-17 36.
K. Lambert 0-0-3 0, M. Lambert 2-0-1 4, Adams 2-2-4 6, Blakenbeckley 1-1-3 3, Boley 1-0-0 2, Leiszler 6-2-1 19, James 4-7-2 16. Totals: 16-12-14 50.