The last time a Maquoketa Valley girls hoops squad lost to an East Buchanan team, the Wildcats’ current senior class was still in kindergarten. The year was 2007, and MV had lost to the Bucs by just three points to open January.
That obscure bit of trivia surely wasn’t on the minds of the Wildcats when they drew the Bucs after earning a first round bye in Class 2A Region 4 play, but it’s worth noting that that streak will live on for another season. So, too, will MV’s postseason aspirations.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Entering halftime, the Wildcats were trailing 25-26 after defeating their Tri-Rivers Conference rival handily in both of their regular season meetings this winter. They would buckle down, however, to win the game 57-41, at home, their 13th straight victory, to advance to the semifinal bout against Beckman.
Senior Sam Wall had 19 points and sophomore Emerson Whittenbaugh added 17 as MV buckled down on the boards and on defense to change the tides in the second half. The Wildcats would finish the game having outrebounded East Buchanan, 31-23.
The Bucs were led by juniors Erica Hoffman (15 points) and Nicole Pettinger (14), with freshman Lara Fox posting six rebounds in the loss — which snapped a four game win-streak for EB.
“East Buchanan is a team that came in playing really well. They are very well coached and have so many kids that can hurt you,” head coach Scot Moenck said. “They killed us on the boards early and hit some very big shots. To our kids’ credit, we never panicked. We had a lot of kids really step up in this game and I’m so proud of our kids for just gutting it out. This time of year it is so important you play hard for 32 minutes.”
MV’s leaders were: scoring — Wall 19, Whittenbaugh 17, Maddy Anderegg seven, Maci Freiburger six, Taya Tucker and Ella Imler four; rebounds — Tucker 10, Whittenbauch seven, Anderegg and Imler three, Freiburger two; assists — Imler eight, Wall three and Tucker two; steals — Freiburger two; Tucker one.