CEDAR FALLS — Valley Lutheran forced Dunkerton to turn up the heat on a chilly opening night of girls’ basketball action Tuesday.

The Raiders led the Crusaders just 18-10 at halftime, so they turned to a third-quarter full-court press and solid shooting in the second half to pull away to a 50-20 Iowa Star Conference victory.

In the opening half, both teams struggled to get their offenses going. Dunkerton was ice cold from the field but red hot on defense, causing numerous quick turnovers to limit Valley Lutheran to just two first-quarter points.

The Crusaders used fast breaks to close down on the Raider lead in the second quarter, but in the second half the shots started to fall for Dunkerton, including 3-point splashes from Carli Teisinger, Kaitlyn Wilder and Hannah Johnson. Wilder was the contest’s leading scorer with 13 points.

“We pride ourselves on being a good defensive team and that’s what keeps us in games when things aren’t falling for us,” said Dunkerton head coach Nathan Kimball. “In the first half we had trouble shooting the ball. Once we really got into the flow of the game, things started to fall for us.”

The Crusaders’ offense found points hard to come by all night. Emma Armbrecht ended with 10 points to lead Valley Lutheran.

“She enjoys getting fast break points,” said Crusaders head coach Hannah Krenz. “She is really good at pushing the ball up court and being physical.”

Krenz thinks the offense will improve as her young team builds chemistry.

“Some more time on the court and some more practice hopefully will get that rhythm down for our offense,” she noted. “We need to remove the unforced turnovers, but hopefully that comes with time.”

Dunkerton 50, Valley Lutheran 20

DUNKERTON (1-0) — McKayla Boeschen 5 0-0 10, Mady Howland 3 0-2 6, Hannah Jacobsen 2 0-0 4, Kaitlyn Wilder 5 2-2 13, Carli Teisinger 3 0-0 7, Hannah Jacobsen 3 0-0 7, Bailey Hudson 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 2-4 50.

VALLEY LUTHERAN (0-1) — Katelynn Panning 3 0-0 6, Kelsey L’Heureux 0 0-0 0, Ardis White 1 0-0 2, Emma Armbrecht 5 0-0 10, Elsa Swanson 0 0-0 0, Alexis Kapanka 1 0-0 2, Savannah Schmitz 0 0-0 0. Total 10 0-0 20.

Dunkerton 10 8 13 19 — 50

Valley Lutheran 2 8 8 2 — 20

3-point goals—Dunkerton 3 (Teisinger, Wilder, Johnson). Fouled out—none.

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