Ali Holtgrewe - after being held scoreless in a loss to Unity Christian Friday - bounced back with a game-high 16 points for the Lady Jays, knocking down four three-pointers and adding four assists and two steals. Kayla Hatting tossed in 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists and Jessica Timmins had 11 points and six boards. Jen Nussbaum completed the four-player group in double figures with 10, while Kari Dirksen grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and Annie Woods hauled down six.
"We did a nice job of spreading the wealth," said Gehlen coach Bruce Ludwig. "It could have even been a little better. The girls came out and really played hard."
Gehlen led 19-12 after the opening quarter and 34-25 by halftime, pushing the lead to 13 points at 48-35 heading into the fourth. The Spartans made a small run in the final stanza and crept within 10, but the Lady Jays finished strong to snap their four-game slide.
"We were up by 18 and let them get right back in the game. We need to finish it out and sometimes we don't do that," said Ludwig. "But I was pleased with how they kept at it. We got some steals and played good pressure defense."
Gehlen turned the ball over 25 times to Spalding's 20, but pounded the Spartans on the glass 31-17. The Lady Jays also attempted 74 shots on the night, hitting 26 from two-point range and 6 of 15 from beyond the arc. It was the second win of the year over Spalding for Gehlen after a 58-45 victory in Granville Dec. 15. The two will meet once more in the opening round of the Class 1A district tournament Feb. 12 in Le Mars.
"Hopefully we can come out and be aggressive like we did tonight and take care of that," said Ludwig. "But we're worried about the four we have left here in the regular season. And Friday at Remsen will be a tough one."
The Lady Jays (6-10) will take on rival Remsen St. Mary's in War Eagle Conference play Friday in Remsen. The two clubs squared off on back-to-back nights early in January with the Hawks claiming a 53-44 win on Gehlen's home floor and the Lady Jays scoring a 53-41 victory in the first round of the CYO tournament.