PERU – The Mendota Lady Trojans won three of four games and finished in third place in the St. Bede Christmas Classic held Dec. 27-29 at the Academy.
Mendota 55, St. Bede 33
Mendota had little trouble in disposing of host St. Bede on its home floor, 55-33, in the third-place contest on Dec. 29.
It was 13-7 Mendota after the initial stanza, but the Lady Trojans took off in the second period and owned a 30-15 halftime bulge. The margin increased to 26 (47-20) after three quarters.
“We struggled from the line (4 of 12) in an otherwise solid first half,” said MHS coach John Hansen. “We moved the ball very well and capitalized on turnovers on the defensive end to bring home the third-place trophy.”
Amellia Bromenschenkel led the charge with 19 points, four assists and six steals. Larkin O’Donnell made good on three three-point buckets on her way to 11 points, while Alex Barrera dropped in eight points. Abby Phalen led the Lady Trojans (13-4) with seven rebounds.
Bromenschenkel and Barrera were named to the all-tournament team.
Eureka defeated Seneca, 56-33, in the championship game.
Eureka 44, Mendota 40
Mendota gave top-seeded Eureka all it could handle, but the Lady Trojans ended up dropping a 44-40 decision in the final game of pool play on Dec. 28. Eureka is ranked second in the state in Class 2A.
A slow start hampered Mendota’s efforts as it was down 18-8 after the first quarter. But the Lady Trojans came roaring back in the second period and ended up taking a 26-24 advantage to the locker room. The seesaw affair went back in Eureka’s favor when it outscored Mendota, 10-5 in the third stanza, and the Lady Trojans never could catch up.
“We played very hard and lost a tough game to a very good Eureka team,” noted Hansen. “We had some close buckets and free throws we would like to have back, but overall we played great and got beat by a team that was just better than us tonight.”
Bromenschenkel topped the scoring chart with 17 points, while Barrera added 10. Phalen and Bromenschenkel yanked down nine and eight rebounds, respectively. Phalen also swiped five steals.
Mendota shot 35 percent from the field, 53 percent from the free throw line and had 26 rebounds.
Mendota 46, Kewanee 40
The Lady Trojans held off a late charge by Kewanee to post a 46-40 triumph in the second of two opening-day games on Dec. 27.
A strong first quarter allowed Mendota to own a 20-8 margin at the horn. Kewanee managed to slice the deficit to single digits at the break, 32-23. The Lady Boilers continued to creep closer in the third period and made it a five-point game (38-33) heading to the fourth, but Mendota held on for the win.
“We got an early lead in the first quarter and then stopped attacking the basket for some reason,” said Hansen. “We settled for threes and it just wasn’t our night shooting.”
Two players hit double figures in scoring – Bromenschenkel with 21 and Barrera with 17. Phalen led the rebounding department with 10 and she also had a team-leading five steals.
The Lady Trojans connected on just 27 percent of their shots from the floor, including only two of 20 from three-point range. They hit 59 percent from the charity stripe. Mendota totaled 26 rebounds.
Mendota 44, Putnam Co. 26
Mendota started off the tournament with a convincing 44-26 verdict over Putnam County on Dec. 27.
The Lady Trojans took control from the opening tip, zooming out to a 15-5 first-quarter lead and doubling it to 30-10 at intermission.
“We jumped out and got after it early at both ends of the court,” stated Hansen.
Bromenschenkel supplied 22 points to lead the attack, followed by Phalen with nine points and Barrera with eight. Phalen topped the team with 10 rebounds, while Bromenschenkel ripped down eight boards. Phalen, Bromenschenkel, Barrera and Phalen Hessenberger each had three steals. Barrera also dished out three assists.
Mendota made 42 percent of its field goal tries, 22 percent of its free throws and had 30 rebounds.