No. 2 Unity too much for Gehlen girls basketball

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

LE MARS — Class 3A No. 2 ranked Unity Christian was too much for the Gehlen Catholic girls basketball team to overcome in a 66-40 loss to the Knights on Friday in War Eagle Conference action.

Unity held a 24-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

“Actually, the first 30 seconds went great. We were up 4-0,” Gehlen Head Coach Brandon Schaecher said. “It just went downhill from there.”

The Knights went on a 24-4 run to close the first quarter and the Jays were unable to claw their way back into the game.

Gracie Schoonhoven had nearly half of her team’s points, finishing with 32, and also led the Knights in rebounds (17) and assists (5). She tied for the team lead in steals, grabbing six along with Cassidy Dekkers who added 16 points.

Schaecher said his Jays rarely had an answer for Schoonhoven.

“If you don’t get a body on her on the offensive board, she’s going to get just about every putback she can get. When we were able to box her out, we got the stop, but we couldn’t do that enough,” Schaecher said as 14 of her rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Jaelye Woudstra had all three of her team’s 3-pointers to conclude with nine points for the Knights.

Gehlen Catholic was better from the perimeter, going 5-of-9 from distance compared to 3-of-14 for the Knights, but the number of threes wasn’t enough to overcome the fact that the Knights shot nearly double the total amount of shots as the Jays and made over twice as many from the field.

Rysaiah Sitzmann went 4-of-5 from 3-point range as she led the Jays with 18 points. She added a team-best three blocks and had three steals as well.

Sophie Ruden and Miyah Whitehead added six points apiece. Ruden led the Jays with five steals while Whitehead had a team-high seven rebounds.

Unity sweeps the season series as they claimed the first meeting by a similar 65-35 score in a game which did not count towards the conference standings.

Unity stayed perfect in the conference at 6-0. They improved to 10-2 overall with the win. Gehlen slipped to 2-5 in conference play and 5-10 overall.

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