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West Hancock girls basketball relies on defense to beat Forest City

West Hancock girls basketball relies on defense to beat Forest City

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West Hancock girls basketball vs Forest City

West Hancock's Rachel Leerar and Forest City's Erin Caylor battle for the loose ball during a game earlier this season.  

The West Hancock girls basketball team is up to second in the latest Class 2A ratings.

Like most good teams, the Eagles have a lot of ways that they can defeat their opponents.

On Friday, West Hancock traveled to Forest City to face an unbeaten Indian squad in a key Top of Iowa Conference West Division matchup.

After a tough first half, for the Eagles, the evening was all about the defense as they limited Forest City to just 13 second-half points and pulled away for a 60-36 win.

“I’ll take any win I can get,” Eagles coach Paul Sonius said. “We’ve got wins at Forest City and North Union. It is nice to have those under our belt.”

Defensively, West Hancock forced nine second-half turnovers and limited the Indians to by 5-of-19 shooting by using a full-court press that forced the Indians into numerous ten-second violations.

Offensively, a stiff Forest City defense forced West Hancock to be a bit more deliberate than what the Eagles may be accustomed to, but three Eagles still wound up in double figures.

Rachel Leerar scored 17 points in the first half and led all scorers with 21 for West Hancock.

“Rachel can take over, but she really makes everybody else better,” Sonius said.

Amanda Chizek added 12 points while Riley Hiscocks finished with 10.

Shae Dillavou paced Forest City with 11.

Though the loss may have been disappointing for Indians coach Matt Erpelding, he knows that the best days are ahead for his team.

“When we get healthy, we have a chance to be special,” Erpelding said.

Forest City was without three key players from its rotation, including junior forward Kaylee Miller.

West Hancock goes into the holidat break with an 8-0 overall record and a 6-0 mark in conference.

The Eagles return to action on Jan. 3 when they entertain Newman Catholic.

Forest City suffered its first loss of the season and now stands at 5-1.

The Indians have a tough test on Jan. 2 when they will host fifth-rated (3A) Crestwood in a nonconference game.

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