SIGOURNEY – Megan Stuhr made no bones about it.
“We needed this win.”
Stuhr made sure the Sigourney girls basketball team got that much-needed victory on Monday night, scoring a game-high 22 points in a 48-30 victory over WACO. The Savages ended the night scoring the final 10 points, holding the Warriors scoreless over the final seven minutes to thwart any hopes of an upset bid.
“We forced a lot of turnovers. That was basically the difference,” Sigourney head girls basketball coach Zach Tremmel said. “We didn’t play very good on offense. We missed a lot of easy shots and had a lot of looks that didn’t go down. The difference was the full-court pressure. It forced quite a few turnovers that led to some easy baskets.
“I felt like we could have put them (WACO) away a few times. We let them hang around.”
The win was the first in almost a month for Sigourney after entering the holiday break with a 65-37 loss to Montezuma, the current No. 1 team in Class 1A. Coming out of the break, the Savages faced fourth-ranked North Mahaska last Tuesday, falling 50-28 in yet another tough South Iowa Cedar League test. Friday’s scheduled game with Colfax-Mingo was called off due to weather and postponed until Jan. 27.
“We have to make sure we’re not overlooking anybody,” Stuhr said. “We need to play to our full potential every night. Even if it’s Monday and even if it isn’t a conference game, you need to show up like you’re showing up to Montezuma. You need to show up and play hard.”
WACO (2-8) scored the first four points of the game as Sigourney struggled early to break through on the scoreboard. Kaylee Weber’s putback with 4:38 left in the first quarter kicked off an 11-point opening half for the junior and a 12-2 run for the Savages.
“Kaylee is strong and physical in the post. We just have to be able to get her the basketball,” Tremmel said. “We’ve battled the injury bug bad losing two girls during the season and one girl over the summer that would have started for us. That set us back. We don’t quite have the depth on the bench that we’d like to have, but I like the strides I’ve seen our girls make. We’re doing our best right now and, if we keep improving, I like our chances come tournament time.”
While Weber finished with 17 points, it was Stuhr that came on to help put WACO away scoring 15 of her 22 points in the second half. The Sigourney senior scored eight of Sigourney’s final 10 points after WACO pulled within 38-30 early in the fourth quarter.
“Megan is working hard. She wants to go out with a great senior year,” Tremmel said. “I told her that she needs to start being less unselfish. Against North Mahaska, she only got seven shots off. For us to be successful, she’s got to want to score more.
“Defense is your best offense. When you get steals and open looks to set up the press, that causes even more turnovers and even more looks at the basket on the other end,” Stuhr added.
Morgan Graber led WACO with 13 points in the loss. Sigourney (8-3) will look to build off the first win of 2020, continuing a busy week Tuesday night at SICL rival HLV before heading to Pekin on Saturday in a battle of winning area squads.
“We know all of this is getting us ready for the postseason,” Stuhr said. “Hopefully, it gets us ready to make a run at state. We need to limit turnovers. That’s been the biggest difference against those top teams. Hopefully, the tough tests we’ve faced in our conference will get us ready for those big games we have with teams outside our conference.”