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Baxter slowed by ranked Hawks in home opener

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 9:49 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 10:15 a.m. CST
(Troy Hyde/Jasper County Tribune)
Baxter senior Jordynn Wesselink (20) scored 11 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter against Lynnville-Sully on Nov. 21 in Baxter.
(Troy Hyde/Jasper County Tribune)
Baxter senior Ashlee Johnson looks for a teammate on the baseline during the home opener against Lynnville-Sully Nov. 21.

BAXTER — Lynnville-Sully junior Carson Fisk spent the past two seasons learning from former Hawk and all-stater Brenna Lanser.

Last year, Fisk was the secondary option in an offense that featured Lanser. This season, Fisk has assumed the role of being the Hawks’ No. 1 option at the offensive end, and so far so good.

Fisk reached at least 20 points for the second straight game, scoring 17 of her team-high 20 points in the first half and Class 1A No. 12 Lynnville-Sully used a big second and third quarter to pull away from Baxter on the road on Nov. 22.

Three Hawks scored in double-figures in the game, and Lynnville-Sully was plus-23 in the middle two quarters during a 67-39 victory.

Fisk tallied her first double-double of the season, grabbing 13 rebounds in the win while handing out three assists.

“She was really good at both ends of the floor and we were partners every day in practice last year so she pushed me all the time,” Fisk said of her former teammate Lanser. “I try to focus on not trying to score but to make sure we get points as a team.”

The Hawks definitely had plenty of points as a team. They are 2-0 on the season and the average margin of victory in the first two wins is 29 points.

“It took us a bit to get into a rhythm, but we got it up tempo, got some steals and got some layups to create some separation,” Hulsing said. “We ran the floor well so it was good to see that. It was a really fast pace there for a little bit early.”

The fast pace forced the Bolts (0-2) to get into some early foul trouble. Lynnville-Sully was in the double bonus at the 3:26 mark of the first quarter. That not only put the Hawks on the free-throw line, but took key players off the floor for Baxter.

Five of the Hawks’ first nine points came from the line, and the visitors led by seven after one quarter.

“It took some players off the floor that I have to rely on,” Baxter coach Eric Padget said. “More than putting them on the line, it just took key players off the court, and we are not as deep as he is.”

After Baxter sophomore Holly Jessen cut Lynnville-Sully’s lead to 9-6, the Hawks (2-0) went on a 29-12 run to lead 38-18 at halftime.

Sophomore Mallory Loftus had a big second quarter for the Hawks, scoring eight of her 13 points. She answered a bucket by Baxter senior Sailor Hinegardner with a hoop and the harm and a 3-pointer.

The Bolts stayed close with a three-point play by freshman McKenzie Eslinger, but Fisk scored a pair on a drive and senior Mariah Vos put in consecutive baskets to make it 27-13. Fisk and Vos combined to score 15 straight at one point before Loftus’ final basket of the half put the Hawks up by 19.

“They get a lot of buckets off their defensive press. They turned us over too much,” Padget said.

The Hawks opened the third quarter on a 16-6 run to push the lead to 30. The end of that spurt featured back-to-back 3-pointers by senior Christine Nikkel and Fisk.

Fisk had 17 points at the half, but assisted on three straight Lynnville-Sully buckets in the third quarter.

The Hawks carried a 30-point lead into the fourth quarter. That’s when Baxter’s Jordynn Wesselink got going.

Wesselink was hampered by two early fouls but she scored 11 of her team-high 13 in the final frame. She scored nine straight Bolt points to trim the deficit to 61-35, but the Hawks maintained their big advantage the rest of the way.

“Once she got slowed down, she was great,” Padget said of Wesselink. “She is a heck of an athlete. If she gets any kind of confidence, she will be a good scorer. She showed me that this summer.”

Padget said his team needs to rebound better and play defense without fouling. Baxter struggled with both of those things in the first two games.

“Both games showed me that,” Padget said. “We did a much better job of rebounding in the second half tonight.”

The Bolts made 15-of-51 from the floor. Hinegardner and Jessen each complimented Wesselink with six points apiece. Eslinger had five points and seven rebounds and Hinegardner had a pair of assists and six steals.

Vos scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Loftus chipped in 14 points and four rebounds for the Hawks.

Baxter began Iowa Star Conference play against GMG on Nov. 28 in Baxter.

The Bolts play Meskwaki Settlement School at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Tama.

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