No. 5 Ballard girls pull away from host Perry in second half

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Perry senior Taylor Lathrum sinks the first of two free throws in the third quarter against Ballard Tuesday. On the line for the Jayettes are Victoria Hegstrom (4) and Emma Olejniczak (partly obscured).

The Perry girls cagers gave fifth-ranked Ballard a solid test for the first half of their Raccoon River Conference meeting Tuesday, but the Bombers broke free in the second half to post a 51-21 win.

Emma Olejniczak scores while being fouled by Taylor Larson during Perry's Raccoon River Conference contest with No. 5 Ballard Tuesday.
Emma Olejniczak scores while being fouled by Taylor Larson during Perry’s Raccoon River Conference contest with No. 5 Ballard Tuesday.

Ballard (15-1, 9-0) has been to the state tournament in nine of the last 10 seasons, including a run to the title in 2009. Coming off a 17-point win over Boone Friday and already owning a 49-36 win over Perry (in Huxley, Dec. 11) the Bombers found themselves in a scrap in the first frame.

Emma Olejniczak and Mariah Duffy sank baskets around a Grace Marburger 3-pointer as the Jayettes grabbed an early 7-3 lead, but treys from Gabie Doud and Meredith Ossian fueled a Ballard spurt that gave the guests a 10-7 lead after one period of play.

By halftime the margin stood at 21-14, with Perry still in range of an upset, but those thoughts disappeared in the third stanza, as Ballard used an 18-4 splurge for a 39-18 edge en route to the eventual 30-point victory.

Perry sophomore guard Alyssa Kruger shoots as Ballard's Jenna Moody tries to interfere during Tuesday's Raccoon River Conference contest.
Perry sophomore guard Alyssa Kruger shoots as Ballard’s Jenna Moody tries to interfere during Tuesday’s Raccoon River Conference contest.

Perry’s 21 points was a season-low output. It was the eighth time in 16 games that Ballard has held an opponent under 30 points.

Olejniczak led Perry (7-9, 3-6) with eight points and seven rebounds while Marburger had seven points, four boards and three steals. Duffy had two points and two assists, as did Alyssa Kruger, with Taylor Lathrum held to a pair of free throws.

Doud had 14 points for the visitors, with Madison Smith adding nine points, Aubrey Bartleson seven and Abby Carlin and Ossian six points apiece. Five points from Jenna Moody, three from Taylor Larson and foul shot from Emma Ray capped the Ballard scoring.

Perry will visit Carroll Friday before traveling to ADM Tuesday and then hosting Winterset Feb. 5.

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