By Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield girls’ basketball team tried its best to come back from an 11-point deficit with only 12 minutes to play but its effort came up short against a balanced attack from George-Little Rock in a 49-44 regional game loss Feb. 18.
Junior Kortney Hedlund led the Lady Westerners with 10 points. Senior Kayla Tindall added eight, senior Bethany Eastman also had eight; and senior Dana Hedlund had seven points and six rebounds.
The Mustangs had a 36-25 lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter on a basket by Teyha Graham. The visitors seemed to be in complete control after a seven-point halftime lead, 30-23, but the Lady Westerners still had one quality run left in them or two.
A Kayla Tindall hoop started a rally that produced a 38-36 deficit by the end of the third quarter. Hoops by Sarah Schroeder, two from Tindall and a Schroeder free throw cut the lead to four points and a Jordan Hansen basket trimmed it to two with 30 seconds left. A-W had a chance to tie in the final seconds but committed a turnover, and G-LR still had the lead entering the fourth quarter.
Three points from Jessica Sandbulte upped the lead to 41-36 as A-W struggled in the first half of the fourth quarter., A hoop by Hansen, followed a Tindall free throw and the Lady Westerners were back in it at 44-39 deficit with three minutes remaining. Kortney Hedlund made it a 46-41 deficit but G-LR would finish with 5-of-7 free-throw attempts. A-W had one last chance for a three-pointer to tie it but it missed.
G-LR won its seventh straight game for a 14-9 record and earned the spot against Gehlen Catholic in Sioux Center Feb. 21. Graham led with 16 points, followed by Sandbulte with 12 and Danielle Eiben had 11.
“I thought all the girls played hard. We just weren’t as quick as some other teams,” said A-W Head Coach Kent Johnson.
Seniors Dana Hedlund, Kayla Tindall, Jacynda Banks, Jordan Hansen, and Sarah Schroeder played in their final game for A-W.
“I enjoyed coaching the seniors. They always worked hard,” said Johnson.
G-LR 16-14- 8-11-49
A-W 8-15-13- 8-44
Kortney Hedlund: 10 points, 4-of-8 all field goal attempts, 2-of-3 free-throw attempts, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Dana Hedlund: 7 points, 3-of-7 all field goal attempts, 1-of-2 three-point field goal attempts, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Danika Tindall: 0-of-1 field goal attempt, 1 rebound, and 1 steal.
Banks: 2 assists, 1 steal.
Hansen: 6 points, 3-of-3 all field goal attempts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
Eastman: 8 points, 4-of-5 all field goal attempts, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Schroeder: 5 points, 2-of-2 all field goal attempts, 1-of-2 free-throw attempts, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 3 blocked shots.
Kayla Tindall: 8 points, 3-of-7 all field goal attempts, 1-of-3 three-point field goal attempts, 1-of-2 free-throw attempts, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, and 1 blocked shot.
A-W team totals: 44 points, 19-of-37 all field goal attempts, 2-of-8 three-point field goal attempts, 4-of-7 free-throw attempts, 23 rebounds, 13 assists, 11 steals and 4 blocked shots.