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Bearcats split weekend, find success

GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL: NORTH BUTLER 42, NEWMAN CATHOLIC 40 | NO. 14 WEST HANCOCK 69, N. BUTLER 35

Bearcats split weekend, find success

Down-to-the-wire win Friday night livens up Bearcats

There’s a sense of passion and commitment and even a little fun floating around down at Greene, surrounding the girls’ basketball team.

With a nailbiting win against Newman Catholic —a 42-40 victory in the final seconds — the Bearcats claimed their first win in front of a home crowd Friday night.

Sophomore Nicole Heeren led the Bearcats with 19 points.

Head coach Kevin Clipperton recognized from the first day of practice that this team was going to be different than the one that posted a 1-20 record last year.

Clipperton said that the energy and understanding that is starting to click his team puts them ahead of where they were last year, just three games into the season.

“Yeah, we’ve improved and we’re ahead of where we were last year,” Clipperton said. “But to be where we want to be, we have a ways to go; to compete with the top teams in our conference.”

The Bearcats had a second game 24 hours after their first win of the season on Saturday night. No. 14 West Hancock came to town and showed why its one of the best teams in Class 2A.

Clipperton said after Friday night’s success, he was hoping his team could compete a little more with the Eagles.

“Our kids have got to learn to communicate on the floor,” Clipperton said. “That’s something that’s kind of lacking. We try to harp on that every day in practice, because you’ve got to know where your teammates are for help.”

It hasn’t been an easy start for the Bearcats, who have now faced No. 14 West Hancock and No. 13 (Class 1A) Northwood-Kensett in the first two weeks of action.

But with a conference win and just a 1-2 record in the first three games of the year, the Bearcats are confident that they can turn around their specialties in practice and pay dividends on the court.

“We’ve got to learn from the things and move on,” Clipperton said. “(Today) is a new day at practice, and we’ve just got to worry about what we do and not what other teams are doing.”

Senior Jenny Rottler had 10 points in the game against Newman Catholic as the second-highest scorer. Junior Hallie Testroet brought in six rebounds as well in the win against the Knights.

North Butler plays at Central Springs on Dec. 8 and then comes back to host Saint Ansgar on Dec. 11. Both games start at 6:15 p.m.

By Stephen Koenigsfeld [email protected]

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