Freshmen give Central lift in women’s basketball opener

PELLA—With a boost from a pair of freshmen, the Central College women’s basketball team displayed some balance it has often lacked in recent years and opened the year by bolting past Grinnell College 68-48.

All-conference senior forward Kendall Brown (Moravia) had 16 points and seven rebounds and added to her career blocked shots record with four. But the Dutch also got 16 points from freshman shooting guards Carson Fisk (Searsboro, Lynnville-Sully HS) and Kelsea Hurley (Scottsdale, Ariz., Desert Mountain HS). Hurley also had eight rebounds and five assists.

“It’s just good to have three people in double figures and they all filled the stat sheets in other ways, too, it wasn’t just their scoring,” coach Joe Steinkamp said.

Brown was steady as usual.

“Kendall’s always a stat-stuffer,” he said. “We really funnel a lot to her. She really took care of the back line of that defense.”

Steinkamp sees big things ahead for his freshman guards.

“They can do so many things,” he said. “They’re taller guards, 5-10 and 5-11, they can see over the zone a little easier. They can both score by driving and they can shoot 3’s. It was good for them to come out and have a good debut. Sometimes freshmen have a lot of jitters but they came out with a lot of confidence and played how we knew they could.”

Central jumped to a 21-8 first-quarter lead and was up 36-25 at halftime before pulling away in the third quarter. The Dutch (1-0) shot 39.7% from the field but despite getting outrebounded 56-48, held Grinnell (0-1) to an icy 22.1% shooting.

“Grinnell’s just such a physical team,” Steinkamp said “They make the game ugly in some ways because their defense is so good. They’re long and physical. They’re hard to score on.”

Sophomore guard Maci Gambell (Hedrick, Pekin HS) had 10 rebounds along with five points.

“Even though she didn’t shoot well, she played really well,” Steinkamp said. “She still found other ways to contribute.

“I liked how (guard) Emily Hay (junior, Stanwood, North Cedar HS) played, too. She can knock down 3’s, she plays good defense, she gets us organized. She just has a sense of calmness.”

The Dutch got a scare when last year’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Jenna Clark (Story City, Roland-Story HS) went down with an injury. Her status is uncertain although Steinkamp is hopeful.

Central travels to Dubuque for a first-ever meeting with Emmaus College. The Eagles are 1-2 heading into a Saturday evening game at Cornell College.

Posted by on Nov 9 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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