A dominant defensive effort gave the West Delaware Hawks a 56-39 road win over the Independence Mustangs, Jan. 7. That win came after the Hawks lost to Solon, 62-31, at Seedorf Gymnasium, Jan. 5. The Hawks closed out the week with a 45-33 loss at Maquoketa, Jan. 8.

The Independence game saw several great individual performances by the Hawks. Ella Koloc scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including five three-pointers. Kayla Felton added 11.

Alivia Schulte only scored four points, but may have had as much of an impact in the win as anyone. Schulte delivered 11 assists, seven steals and six rebounds while committing only two turnovers.

“Alivia (Schulte) did a great job of taking the lead and getting us into our sets tonight,” said head coach Matt Uthoff. “She dominated the game in other ways besides scoring.”

The Hawks led 11-9 after a quarter and 25-19 at halftime before extending their lead to 43-32 after three quarters.

For the game, West Delaware committed nine turnovers, their fewest in a game this season.

“Overall, it was a great night. The kids had a lot of great energy and we had good vibes out there. The kids had a lot of fun,” Uthoff added.

Other statistical leaders for West Delaware were: points — Claire Ridenour eight, Erin Hellmann four, Mia Peyton and Kennedy Klostermann three; rebounds — Ridenour and Koloc six, Klostermann and Peyton three, Felton and Hellmann two; assists — Felton, Klostermann and Peyton one; steals — Koloc three, Klostermann two and Hellmann one.

Against the Solon Spartans, the Hawks trailed 8-2 early in the first quarter before fighting back to an 8-8 tie. But Solon outscored the Hawks 21-7 in the second quarter and led 29-15 at halftime.

The Spartans controlled the game the rest of the way. Solon’s defense forced 29 Hawk turnovers in the game.

“Solon does a tremendous job creating ball pressure. They deny and switch everything which is a little different than other teams do. We had moments tonight where we handled their pressure very well and had moments tonight where we hit the panic button,” Uthoff said.

Koloc and Felton led the Hawks with eight points. Other statistical leaders for the Hawks were: points — Hellmann five, Schulte three, Ridenour, Peyton and Haley Hamm two and Lexi Hartman one; rebounds — Schulte six, Koloc, Klostermann and Hellmann four, Ridenour three, Hamm and Hartman two and Peyton one; assists — Koloc three, Felton two, Schulte, Klostermann and Peyton one; steals — Schulte and Klostermann two, Koloc, Felton, Ridenour and Hartman one.

Ending the week at Maquoketa, West Delaware trailed 14-12 after a quarter before a strong second quarter by the Cardinals made it 26-16 at halftime. The Hawks trailed by 19 early in the third quarter before cutting the deficit to seven. But Maquoketa responded with a three-pointer and the Hawks couldn’t recover.

“Maquoketa has a couple of big kids and their length gave us some issues,” Uthoff said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. Our goal is to keep teams to 44 or 45 points, then we think we have a shot to win. That didn’t happen but we still saw a lot of positives in the game.”

Statistical leaders for West Delaware were: points — Koloc 12, Felton seven, Schulte five, Ridenour and Hellmann four and Peyton one; rebounds — Ridenour eight, Felton and Schulte five, Koloc four, Klostermann three, Peyton and Hellmann two and Hartman one; assists — Koloc and Schulte three, Klostermann one; steals — Koloc three, Felton and Schulte two.