GCMS girls basketball defeats Iroquois West 34-26 in season opener

GIBSON CITY -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School girls basketball team started its season with a 34-26 victory over Iroquois West in the Lady Falcon & Bunnie Tip-Off Classic.
“It was a good win. I'm very happy with the way they played,” GCMS head coach Keri Dornbusch said. “It's just good to win no matter who you're playing. It's just about getting that first one under your belt and getting those jitters out.”
The Falcons started the game with a 10-8 lead through one quarter as Claire Retherford scored eight points and Addy Nugent added two points. Iroquois West, however, outscored GCMS 6-3 in the second quarter to take a 14-13 lead into halftime.
“The girls were a little nervous in the beginning with some the ball they were throwing away," Dornbusch said.
In the third quarter, Retherford tallied six points while Makenzi and Maci Bielfeldt each had a field goal as the Falcons went into the final quarter leading 25-22. GCMS trailed 22-21 with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter before a Retherford basket gave the Falcons a 23-22 and a bucket by Macy Bielfeldt extended the advantage to 25-22.
Abby Spiller started the fourth-quarter scoring with a two-point field goal before a basket by Iroquois West's Ashton Miller made the score 27-24. 
With 5:01 remaining, Retherford made two free throws. Macy Bielfeldt then drained two more foul shots to extend GCMS's lead to 31-24. 
With less than a minute remaining, Makenzi Bielfeldt converted on a three-point play to extend the Falcons' advantage to 34-24. A basket by the Raiders' Shelby Johnson concluded the scoring.
Retherford led the Falcons in scoring with 18 points. She was the game's only double-digit point scorer.
“She really stepped up for us. She did what we was expected to do. She works hard, and it paid off for her tonight. When other shots weren't falling for other people, she was there to clean that up. She did really well tonight. I'm proud of all the girls," Dornbusch said.
Makenzi Bielfeldt added five points for GCMS while Maci Bielfeldt had four points, Nugent, Hannah Hathaway and Spiller each had two points and Emily Clinton tallied one point.
"They played really well. When somebody else needs to be picked up a little bit, it's nice that somebody else can step up," Dornbusch said. "Our shooting wasn't great. We were getting good looks, but they just weren't falling. That's just the way the game goes.”
Meara Tilstra led Iroquois West with nine points while Maya Sanchez had seven points, but no other Raiders had more than four points.
“Iroquois West is always a strong team. They have a good coach and a good program," Dornbusch said. "We're lucky to be able to hold Tilstra (to nine points). I'm sure she's going to score a lot more. I'm sure we're going to see her put up some bigger numbers in other games. First games are always up in the air with who shows up and make fewer mistakes.”
The Falcons will continue play in the Lady Falcon & Bunnie Tip-Off Classic in Gibson City with 7 p.m. games against Salt Fork and St. Joseph-Ogden on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. The Spartans defeated Salt Fork 60-18 in the other Monday game of the tournament at Gibson City.
“After you get this first one over, hopefully we'll be ready to go and able to iron out some of those wrinkles that we had tonight and do well the rest of the tournament," Dornbusch said.
GCMS 34, Iroquois West 26
IW 8     6      8     4    -- 26
GCMS 10    3    12    9    -- 34
Iroquois West (0-1)
Maya Sanchez 2-1-7, Rachel Carney 0-0-0, Taylor McTaggart 1-0-2, Shelby Johnson 1-0-2, Ashley Aguilera 0-0-0, Lesley Andrade 0-0-0, Ashton Miller 2-0-4, Meara Tilstra 3-2-9, Merrek Sweeney 1-0-2. Totals 10-3-26.
GCMS (1-0)
Claire Retherford 8-2-18, Makenzi Bielfeldt 2-1-5, Addy Nugent 1-0-2, Hannah Hathaway 1-0-2, Rylee Tompkins 0-0-0, Maci Bielfeldt 1-2-4, Megan Moody 0-0-0, Emily Clinton 0-1-1, Courtney Burton 0-0-0, Abby Spiller 1-0-2. Totals 14-6-34.
3-pointers -- Iroquois West (Sanchez 2, Meara Tilstra).


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