KEOSAUQUA — The No. 9 (2A) Van Buren County girls basketball team is tough enough when they don’t have a chip on their shoulder. The Warriors were as fired up and focused as ever on Tuesday night in a dominant 65-30 win over Louisa-Muscatine.
The Warriors were already motivated enough after getting the No. 3 seed in their regional bracket, but an online preview of the tournament gave them an extra boost. Armed with print outs of an article that called the Warriors “overrated,” the Warriors were motivated to the max.
“This thing cost them 20 points,” said head coach Matt Zeitler, holding the article after the game. “I can tell you it made a difference.”
Van Buren wasted no time at all in jumping all over the visiting Falcons. Taryn Scheuermann opened the game with a 3-pointer, kick-starting an 11-point first quarter. The Warriors never let L & M lead and took an 18-11 advantage into the second quarter.
The Warriors turned up the heat even more in the second period. Madison Bartholomew scored seven points in the second and Scheuermann added six more, as Van Buren built a 34-19 lead.
“That’s what we want to do coming into the game,” said Bartholomew. “We wanted to come out strong and bury them early so that we could get rested up for the big game on Friday, and we wanted to make sure that we brought a lot of intensity out there.”
Van Buren didn’t let up in the second half, outscoring the Falcons 28-5 in the third and 13-6 in the fourth, eventually starting the running clock after going up 15.
Scheuermann finished the night with 34 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead the way.
“I was feeling pretty good,” Scheuermann said. “My shots were falling, so I thought, ‘might as well take them.’ A lot of times I have issues finishing but tonight was just on, so I just went with it.”
Bartholomew ended the game with 15 points. Isabel Manning had 14 and Chloe Davidson had two. No other Warrior scored in the game.
The victory sets the Warriors up with a marquee matchup at No. 6 Mediapolis on Friday night. The two teams have just four losses between them.
“It seems like we always face them in the postseason,” Bartholomew said. “Some of us are friends between the two, but whenever we play in sports it’s a big rivalry. It’s definitely a big game. Everyone is looking forward to it. I don’t know if they’ll have enough room in the gym to fit everybody in there.”
The two squads will face off at 7 p.m. On the other side of the bracket, No. 6 West Branch will host Wapello, and the two winners will meet on Wednesday, February 26, for a ticket to the state tournament.