Swede girls break losing streak
Gothenburg gets past Cozad 37-32.
It was a long, long 10-game skid for the Swede girls basketball team interrupted by a single victory the fourth game into the season.
That made beating Cozad 37-32 Thursday night even more gratifying for the coaches and players.“It’s satisfying when we prepare for an opponent and our team sticks to the game plan and it works,” said Gothenburg coach Tim Peterson.
The Swedes went into the game with a strategy to shut down Kaylea and Emily Reyes, the Haymakers’ leading scorers.
“They’re good shooters,” Peterson said. “We were going to try and shut those two down and give the other Cozad girls their shots.”
The scheme worked,
The Swedes held Cozad to a single field goal in the first period, a three-pointer by Kaylea Reyes, to lead 7-3.
Gothenburg then pushed ahead by as many as nine points in the second quarter, sparked by six points from junior Taylor Wolf.
The Swedes were up 18-9 at halftime.
“Cozad is a lot like us,” Peterson said. “I don’t think their record is indicative of how good a team they are.”
The Haymakers inched closer throughout the third quarter, cutting Gothenburg’s lead to one point at 21-20 with a minute and a half to go in the period.
“Even when they closed the gap a couple of times, the girls were able to answer the bell,” Peterson said.
Heading into the fourth period, Gothenburg led Cozad 26-20.
“Offensively, we did a little better job of taking care of the ball,” the coach said. “I felt like we had an advantage inside and we were able to get their big girls in foul trouble.”
Cozad kept the score close in the fourth but Peterson said he never felt like the win was in jeopardy.
“The girls just had that look in their eyes,” he said. “You could just tell that they were going to take care of business.”
The Swedes had fairly even scoring, led by Brittyn Munster with 10 points and Regan Geiken with seven.
Kaylea Reyes and Stephanie Finnegan scored 11 points each for the Haymakers.
Cozad moved to 3-8 on the year with the loss.
“It’s a good thing anytime you beat a rival like Cozad,” Peterson said.
The Swedes and Haymakers will have a rematch during the first round of the Southwest Conference tournament on Tuesday.
Gothenburg will host Cozad at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to the semi-finals.
“Like I tell the girls, you play who you play, it doesn’t really matter who it is you just have to go out and win,” Peterson said. “Cozad will give us their best shot and we’ll give them ours.”