Maybe it was playing in front of an energetic student section for the first time all season. Perhaps it was stellar defense, or junior Jada Williams posting a double-double.
Whatever the secret to success was, it worked.
The Mason City girls basketball team rolled through Charles City, 54-37, in the first round of the Class 4A, Region 2 quarterfinals on Wednesday night in Mason City.
The win is the Mohawks' seventh win in the last 11 games. Although the squad missed some opportunities to score more points, Mason City head coach Curt Klaahsen was just glad his team of young players got the first postseason win out of the way.
"We were really nervous I thought at the beginning throughout the game," Klaahsen said. "We have a ton of kids where this is their first playoff game experience."
Both teams struggled to score for the first four minutes of the game. The Mohawks led, 11-2, after one quarter.
Mason City looked like a different team in the second quarter. The Mohawks were able to force turnovers and take advantage of good looks on the offensive side of the court. The home team extended its lead to 34-11 at the break.
The Mohawks got up to a 31-point lead near the end of the third quarter. The Comets had a solid fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
"We played really good defensively," Williams said. "That's a big thing we need on Saturday. We just need to finish our shots more, but we've been doing really good. I'm feeling really confident about Saturday."
Williams finished with a 14 point, 12 rebound double-double. Freshman Reggi Spotts also had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. For the Comets, junior Ashlyn Hoeft led with 14 points.
The Comets wrapped up their season with an overall record of 3-18. Mason City improved to 7-12 on the year and will play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Ballard.
Gunnar Davis covers education and sports. Reach him via email at Gunnar.Davis@GlobeGazette.com or by phone 641-421-0598.