The West Delaware girls opened their basketball season with a 57-37 loss to Western Dubuque at Seedorff gymnasium Nov. 22 in a game that left head coach Rod Conrad excited about his young team.

The Hawks trailed 11-8 with 2:30 left in the opening quarter but were outscored by Western Dubuque, 7-2, as the Bobcats led 18-10.

West Delaware fell victim to poor shooting in the second quarter and Western Dubuque took advantage, extending their lead to 30-10 before Kayla Felton’s three-pointer with 2:50 left in the half broke the Hawks’ scoring drought. Felton scored three more points and Hailey Hellman added a basket before halftime, to cut the Bobcat lead to 35-18.

Felton led the Hawks with six first-half points, while Jenna Fiedler had 14 for the Bobcats.

The second half saw the Hawks play even with Western Dubuque, with Conrad crediting his team’s ball movement for penetrating a tough Western Dubuque zone defense.

“At times in the second half, I thought we had as good of ball movement as we’ve had since I’ve been the coach here,” he said. “We went over some things in practice to counter their zone that last year I don’t think we could have executed. We didn’t score off of it, but the shots were there. If those shots fall, I think we have a five-point game in the second half.”

The Hawks were cold from the floor, shooting 11-of-31 from two-point range and 2-of-18 from three-point range.

Allison Collier led the Hawks with nine points. For Western Dubuque, Fiedler led with all scorers with 18, while Emma Gile had 16 and Madison Maahs 10.

“This is a non-conference game and it’s going to help us,” Conrad said. “I told the girls that we are farther ahead right now than I thought we’d be at this time. The effort was there. We are going to win some games with that effort.”

Other Hawks scoring were: Felton eight, Ella Koloc six, Alissa Holtz four, Mia Peyton three, Hailey Hellman and Erin Hellman two, Carlee Smith one.