Because the 2018-19 varsity girls basketball was coming to a close this week with several Eastern Missouri Conference games for North Callaway, just like any squad in this position it wanted to close out strong in order to hit the playoffs with all the momentum working in its favor that it possibly can.
One place the Ladybird's tried to find themselves some positivity they could bank towards the postseason was at home on Monday against Mark Twain in a league bout that saw Daelyn Schmauch lit up the gym for a career-high 25 points on four-three-pointers to help her team come out on top 50-47.
"(This was a) great team win. We made free throws down the stretch when we needed to and got a big steal from Ryelle Schmauch," said coach Morgan Beamer. "We want to keep this momentum going against a good Bowling Green team."
In a contest that included North Callaway falling behind by 14 in the first quarter and heading into the second down 16-7, the most crucial point came when the Lady Eagles set up to try and tie the score on their final possession. That's when Ryelle Schmauch picked the pocket of the opposing ball handler, and just like that the Ladybird's went from just trying to hold on to victorious. Leigha Morrison also helped make this hope a reality by scoring 11, as did Olivia Isaacks with five points and five rebounds.
A factor that worked against North Callaway was that Kenzie Ausfahl had just five points after getting called for her second foul in the first quarter and fouling out early in the fourth.
On the other side of it all for Mark Twain Elizabeth Trower made a set of three-pointers on her way to a 20-point showing and Mackenzie Ogle managed 10 points.
In a barnburner at League-rival Silex on Friday the Ladybird's could only put two points on the board in the third quarter. But, when North Callaway then came back and claimed the final stanza 10-2 on the strength of Daelyn's Schmauch's 16 points and five steals, that didn't knock the Lady Owls out, but it did knock them down just far enough to allow the Ladybird's to swipe a 32-31 decision.
""(That was an) excellent comeback. (Our) defense did a great job in the fourth quarter," said Beamer. "Olivia Isaacks was big with three of her four steals coming in the final quarter."
Having also come through with six rebounds and three assists in addition to those four steals, Isaacks wasn't the only one who played a supporting role in this drama as Ausfahl had 10 points and six rebounds.
For Silex, 10-13 overall, 3-4 EMO, Millie Stanek put up 14 points on four three-pointers, all of which came before halftime.
North Callaway, 11-2 overall, 6-3 EMO, was scheduled to play Bowling Green on Friday, but that game was moved up to yesterday because of expected weather issues.