MASON CITY — Megan Meyer does a lot for the Mason City girls basketball team, but the Mohawks know if they want to make it back to the state tournament, it’s going to take a total team effort.
Early on, Meyer has done her thing and the rest of the Mohawks have filled in nicely around her, but growing pains are still present. In Monday night’s ranked clash with No. 3 (Class 3A) Clear Lake, the eighth-ranked (4A) Mohawks got the balance they’ve been striving for in a 74-54 victory. It was the Lions’ first loss of the season.
“It gives us a lot more power and pumps us up knowing that we’re all part of the team, too, even though she’s a very good player,” Mason City senior Autum Anderson said.
Meyer again did what she’s done all season and quietly poured in a game-high 20 points. The reason it was so quiet? The work of the rest of the roster.
The Mohawks got an even effort from all who played Monday night. Anna Deets came in after Meyer with 14 points, Anderson scored 13 and Anna Lensing and Hannah Faktor each added eight. Additionally, Sami Miller scored six.
“I just think we put five people on the floor that could score,” Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen said. “Everybody thinks of Megan, and she’s a great player, but we also have other people like Hannah Faktor, Anna Deets and Anna Lensing who can take the ball to the basket and create their own opportunities.”
Mason City’s defense is what helped it build such a sizable lead early in Monday’s game.
The Mohawks forced nine Lion turnovers in the first quarter, and continued to frustrate the Clear Lake offense into the second as the Lions turned the ball over 20 times in the first half.
Meanwhile, Mason City’s lead grew to 40-21 at the half.
“We talked about their quickness, their pressure and the league that they play in, and you had to be able to adjust to that,” Clear Lake coach Bart Smith said. “If we were able to early, then we would’ve been all right. We just couldn’t adjust to it.”
The Lions settled in a bit more in the second half, but the lead was too much to overcome.
Sara Faber led Clear Lake with 15 points, nine of which came in the fourth, Zoe Fasbender scored 11 off the bench and Gretchen Jones added eight.
“It’s a learning process,” Smith said. “We haven’t seen this before, and if you want to be the best team in the state and you want to beat the best in the state, you have to do the little things right.”
Mason City heads into the winter break with a 5-5 record while Clear Lake (7-1) has a key North Central Conference meeting at Iowa Falls-Alden today.
“Bart and I keep in contact and we talk a lot and I just have a ton of respect for him and the job that he does. Just class kids and class coaches, and I hope they win the rest of their games,” Klaahsen said. “It’d be awesome to have a couple state championships like baseball did in Cerro Gordo County.”