This time, the Ankeny girls’ basketball team didn’t need a dramatic fourth-quarter rally.
Fresh off a huge comeback victory over Marshalltown three nights earlier, the visiting Hawkettes wasted no time in jumping all over Des Moines Hoover in a CIML nonconference game on Friday.
Ankeny raced out to a 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to a 71-42 win over the Huskies.
“It was good to regain our confidence again — for all of us,” said Ankeny guard Codee Myers.
Myers, a sophomore, poured in a career-high 25 points to lead the Hawkettes (5-6). She went 10-of-18 from the field, including 5-for-11 from 3-point range.
“We had an opportunity to come out quick with the press and hit some shots,” said Ankeny coach Brad Wilkening. “It was nice to see Codee take some open shots and hit some shots. We’ve been trying to get her to shoot.
“She likes to dribble and pass, but we’ve been working with all the girls to take those shots. We’d rather have them do that than dribble into trouble,” he added.
Myers had 14 points in the first quarter, while Jordan Enga chipped in 10. They both had a pair of 3-pointers in the period.
Myers outscored the Huskies (0-11) in the first half. She had 19 points as Ankeny built a 41-14 advantage.
Myers then drained two more 3-pointers in the third quarter before sitting out the final period.
“Yeah, I guess,” Myers said when asked if she was feeling hot.
Enga finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Kelsey Yarrow chipped in 10 points, and Caroline Buelt sparked the defense with six steals.
Brianna Hale scored 11 points to lead Hoover, which has lost all 11 of its games by an average margin of 35 points.
Ankeny 40, Marshalltown 35
For three quarters, the struggling Hawkettes appeared to be headed for their sixth loss in the past seven games.
Visiting Marshalltown held Ankeny to five or fewer points in each of the first three quarters and took a commanding 25-14 lead into the final period of a CIML contest on Jan. 6.
“We were pretty much dead in the water,” Wilkening said. “Offensively, we couldn’t get any rhythm going. And defensively we like to press after made baskets, but when you don’t make any baskets, you can’t get your defense set up.”
That’s when the Hawkettes turned the game, and perhaps their season, around.
Ankeny outscored the Bobcats in the final 8 minutes, 26-10, to rally for an improbable victory. The Hawkettes made all eight of their shots in the fourth quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“I think we were just frustrated,” Myers said. “But we really wanted to win, so we just kept fighting.”
Ankeny also connected on 8-of-9 free throws in the last 2 minutes after missing eight of its previous 10 attempts.
“We finally got a couple of shots to fall, we got our press going and forced a couple of turnovers, and I think we created some fear in them,” Wilkening said. “We just came alive, and I think it was a glimpse of what we can potentially do.”
Enga scored 13 points before fouling out to lead Ankeny. Myers had nine points, eight rebounds and six steals, while Yarrow added nine points and five steals.
Along with those three, Buelt and Ali Gibson also had huge baskets during the fourth-quarter rally.
“We had five or six different girls put points on the board for us, and that was nice to see,” Wilkening said.
Sophomore Kyra Hungerford had a game-high 16 points for Marshalltown (3-6), which made just 4-of-11 free throws. Rachel Blagg chipped in 10 points.
“I think this win will help us a lot,” Myers said. “But we still have some work to do.”