Triton women sharp in home debut

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Justice Crooks goes up for an Iowa Central shot on Monday inside Hodges Fieldhouse. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Kelly Kruger treats each quarter of every game the exact same. The goal for Kruger is to have his players also do that.

The Iowa Central women opened their home season with a convincing 74-49 victory over Central-Columbus here Monday night inside Hodges Fieldhouse, improving to 1-1 on the young season.

Brittany West, one of several returning sophomores from a year ago, led the way with 19 points, while fellow sophomore Avery Terwilliger added 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Tritons used a quick burst of offense to take a 22-6 lead after one, pushing the advantage to 43-16 at the break. West had 12 in the opening 20 minutes, with seven others scoring at least three.

“I told them at halftime that the score is irrelevant,” Kruger said. “You have to compete against yourself, not the game, and act like it is 0-0 because there are no garbage minutes.

“Every minute has to be a plus for you and a plus for us because that’s how you get better all the time.”

The Raiders outscored Iowa Central in the third quarter, 17-10, but the Tritons found their rhythm again in a 21-point fourth.

Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Justice Crooks, who played in just one game last year before suffering an injury, tallied seven points, six rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot off the bench. Her ex-Dodger teammate, Shariah Smith, scored three points in the first half before sitting the second with a sprained ankle.

Smith played last year for Neosho in Kansas, transferring to Iowa Central along with former Colby player Tierra Itula, who scored five points with six rebounds.

“Justice had a really good first half and did a good job working her way back into it,” Kruger said. “Shariah and Tierra give us a little bit of an edge being sophomores who played at different schools last year. Shariah wanted to get back out there (after the ankle roll), but at this point, it wasn’t worth pushing it.”

Ceairra Smith added eight points off the bench, with Jescenia Mosley chipping in seven and Jessica Jackson scoring six with five rebounds.

For the Raiders, Monica Brooks scored 17 and Day’zchay Ion Gardner had 14.

Iowa Central finished plus-26 in bench points and plus-nine in second chance points. They also had 11 assists on 26 made field goals.

Next action for the Tritons will be Friday when they head to Columbus, Neb. to face No. 16 (NJCAA Div. I) Butler in the Pinnacle Bank Classic. They return home Nov. 18 vs. Briar Cliff JV.


Iowa Central — Kira Ward 1-3 1-2 3, Shariah Smith 1-2 1-2 3, Avery Terwilliger 4-7 2-2 12, Brittany West 7-12 1-1 19, Tierra Itula 2-9 0-0 5, Jaylin Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Arriyonn Phillips 0-1 2-2 2, Justice Crooks 3-8 0-0 7, Ceairra Smith 4-8 0-3 8, Aaliyah Hull 1-3 0-2 2, Alysse Parker 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Jackson 2-5 2-2 6, Jescenia Mosley 1-5 5-5 7. Totals: 26-63 14-21 74.

Central-Columbus — Sarah Monahan 2-8 1-2 5, Day’zchay Ion Gardner 5-15 3-5 14, Alexis Ramaekers 0-4 0-0 0, Monica Brooks 8-10 0-2 17, Averie Miller 3-7 1-2 7, Shelly Ross 0-2 0-2 0, Morgan Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Nyabuony Gatkek 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Young 1-2 0-0 2, Isabel Diaz 1-3 0-0 2, Reis Haynes 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 21-57 5-13 49.

Quarter scores: Iowa Central led 22-6, 43-16, 53-33. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 8-19 (Itula 1-3, S. Smith 0-1, Terwilliger 2-4, West 4-7, Crooks 1-2, Hull 0-1, Mosley 0-1); Central-Columbus 2-19 (Monahan 0-5, Ion Gardner 1-6, Ramaekers 0-4, Brooks 1-1, Young 0-1, Diaz 0-1, Haynes 0-1). Total rebounds: Iowa Central 42, Central-Columbus 38. Steals: Iowa Central 13, Central-Columbus 9. Assists: Iowa Central 11, Central-Columbus 5. Blocked shots: Iowa Central 4, Central-Columbus 3. Team fouls: Iowa Central 16, Central-Columbus 21.


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