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Girls Basketball Coach
Girls Basketball Coach
Anamosa Journal-Eureka Online
"When you sit back and take a long look at our season, you can't help but be proud of what we were able to accomplish," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty, who completed his seventh season on the sideline in Anamosa.
"We were a very competitive team and never backed down from any challenge we faced. Some of the scores may not have been what we were hoping for, but when it came to showing up ready to play and working hard, this group was able to do that each and every night." Of the Raiders' 11 overall losses, seven came at the hands of state qualifying teams, with several others coming against state-ranked opponents. "We know to compete in the WaMaC Conference, you have to be ready to play and show up to do battle every single night," said Leighty, who guided his club through a 10-8 ledger in the league and were 6-8 in East Division contests. "We entered every game ready to go, especially that last one against Mount Vernon in the regional semi-final. The girls gave everything they had and gave us a chance to win the game in the second half." The contest against the No. 2 ranked Mustangs typified the Anamosa girls' ability to run exactly what Leighty wanted to near perfection, and while the year saw it's share of highs and lows, the end result was yet another successful campaign. "No doubt about it," said Leighty. "We lost three key players from a team that almost reached the state tournament, including our all-state point guard, and we still came back and had another successful season. That just shows what kind of talent we have on this roster." Players were forced to accept new roles, while others met challenges of increased playing time and shouldering added scoring duties. "We had to have everyone step their games up this year, and they all did," said Leighty. "This senior class has left a lasting legacy here at Anamosa that will be tough to follow," said Leighty, as the last four years have been some of the most successful in school history. "After four games, I asked Lauren to make the switch from forward to the point position," said Leighty. "For an undersized post player in the WaMaC, Tristan was able to provide us with a lot of energy," said Leighty. "This wouldn't have been the same team without Kayla," said Leighty. "Kellie just made plays for us," said Leighty. "For not playing last year and playing her first year of varsity ball, she sure hit some big 3's for us," said Leighty. "We only have two letter winners coming back (Sanborn and Abi Tuetken), so next year will be a much different type of team," said Leighty.
Anamosa Journal-Eureka Online
CEDAR RAPIDS- Even before the 2009-2010 season started, Anamosa girls basketball coach Jack Leighty had an immense amount of respect for Central DeWitt.
Even calling the Sabers the best team in the entire WaMaC. "This had all the makings of being a great game and that's pretty much how it played out," said Leighty as his team battled with the Sabers all game long before succumbing to a narrow 48-43 loss, their first of the season. "We gave ourselves a chance there at the end and just couldn't make the plays to get over the top." The game was tight from start-to-finish with neither team holding more than a six-point lead at any point. "We may have been beaten in this particular game, but that doesn't mean DeWitt is a better team than we are," said Leighty. "I was happy with the way we came out and competed," said Leighty. "We shot the ball very well in the first half (10-of-18 shooting) and we also did a decent job against their press too. What this game came down to was free throw shooting and we just didn't convert enough times and Central DeWitt did." Through three frames the Raiders trailed just 32-30 and were staring at a 38-32 deficit with just 4:19 to play. "We had that sense of urgency there at the end and started making some plays," said Leighty. "We needed DeWitt to miss free throws and they didn't help us out," said Leighty as the Sabers were a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds. "I'm not sure we know how good we can be yet," said Leighty. ANAMOSA - Walking off the floor after a heart-stopping 54-52 triple-overtime loss hosting Western Dubuque Friday, January 8, Anamosa girls basketball coach Jack Leighty didn't lament the loss, but instead found the positive in what was one amazing basketball game between two very evenly matched clubs. "These are the types of games that just make you better when it comes tournament time," said Leighty as his team fought hard for all 44 minutes. "Yes, we had our chances to close out this game and couldn't quite get it done, but I am not unhappy about this loss. I'm actually proud of the girls for the way they reacted to the situation. We played calm and composed basketball, but just didn't hit the big free throws when we needed them to close out this game." Anamosa (8-2, 6-2) led 13-11 after one frame, 27-25 at the half and 33-32 entering the fourth quarter. "It was tight from start-to-finish," said Leighty. "We needed a big play and Jackie got it for us," said Leighty. "The kids played hard all night long," said Leighty. "We learned a lot about ourselves as a team in this game," said Leighty. "That was, by far, the best opening quarter we've had all season long," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty after his team poured in a whopping 24 points and held the visitors to a mere five in a wild first frame that saw everything go right for the hosts and little go right for the Hawks. "We had a bit of a lull in the second quarter and West Delaware got back into the game," said Leighty. "But then we took over again in the third and built a 20+ point lead and just cruised home for the win." After leading 24-5 after one phenomenal frame, the Raiders were out-scored 12-6 in the second stanza and led 30-17 at the half. "We were never really too worried, but I don't like seeing us take the foot off the gas," said Leighty. "We had a chance to end this game in the second quarter and didn't do it, but we took care of business in the third." The Raiders came out of the break and dominated once again going on a 19-6 spurt to take a 49-23 lead into the fourth and final frame. "We had so many girls step up and play well," said Leighty. Kayla and Jackie were doing their things too and it was god to get everyone into the game." "We've been playing some of our best ball here lately and hopefully that continues," said Leighty. "We've got some big games ahead before we head into the regional tournament." Anamosa hit the road for a WaMaC non-divisional contest at Williamsburg Friday, January 22, and against a very talented Raiders team, was handed a 37-29 defeat. "We got off to a great start and held off several Williamsburg rallies to take a two-point lead into the fourth quarter, but couldn't hang on," said Leighty. "This was one of those very tough, physical WaMaC road contests and we just couldn't make the plays in the fourth quarter to come out of here with a win." The visiting Raiders jumped out to a nice 7-0 lead early on in the opening frame and at the first horn led 9-5. The host Raiders battled back and out-scored Anamosa 10-6 in the second stanza and the two teams went into the halftime break in a 15-15 tie. "You could tell this was going to be a game that went down to the wire," said Leighty. "I liked how we responded to their spurts with a few of our own," said Leighty. "We just couldn't get a shot to fall in the final eight minutes." The visiting Raiders were held to a mere two points in the final frame and watched as Williamsburg went on a game-ending 12-2 run to take the eight-point final. "This was a great battle between two very good defensive oriented teams," said Leighty. "Williamsburg handed Marion their only loss this year so we knew they are a good team," said Leighty.
Anamosa Community School District - Strawberry Hill Staff Directory
"This was a loss that really, really hurt," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty, as during a fourth quarter rally, Anamosa lost the services of star senior guard Jackie Engelbart with a broken finger that required season-ending surgery.
"Jackie was racing up the court looking to make a another play and got her finger jammed against the ball when a Mount Vernon player deflected her pass," said Leighty as play was stopped for several minutes as help was needed for Engelbart, who's finger was competely disjointed. "We seemed to lose focus after Jackie left and didn't score another basket the rest of the way," said Leighty as only two Kayla Sanborn free throws with 5:45 to play would be all the hosts would score in the final stages of the game. "They outplayed us," said Leighty. "They wanted it more. We had beat them at their place earlier this season and they wanted to come in here and beat us. For them, it was mission accomplished." The Mustangs led 12-7 after one quarter and 24-13 at the half as the Raider offense struggled to find open shots against a tough Mount Vernon defense. "We had a hard time controlling their big girls inside and that was the difference," said Leighty. "I guess if I look positively at this situation, I've at least got a new assistant coach joining me on the bench," said Leighty of Engelbart's new status with the team. "We hit our free throws down the stretch and held on," said Leighty as his team was an impressive 17-of-23 from the charity stripe. "No one could score for three quarters then all of a sudden both teams couldn't miss." A total of 40 points was scored through three frames combined, but in the final eight-minute stretch the Cardinals and Raiders combined to pour in 42 points. Anamosa led 9-0 after one frame holding the hosts scoreless for the game's first 12 minutes. The Raiders led 14-10 at the half. "Rebounding was a key too," said Leighty.
Anamosa Journal-Eureka Online
"We didn't really seem to know what exactly we were doing on offense there in the early moments of the game, but the longer we played, the better we got," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty, after his squad rolled to an impressive 48-36 victory that wasn't even as close as the final score may indicate.
"We finally got a free throw to break the ice a bit, then once the first field goal went down and our defensive pressure went up, we started playing Raider girls basketball like we're capable of," said Leighty as the Anamosa girls went on a 6-2 run to knot the score at 7-7. We got a little sloppy again at the end of the quarter and fouled one of their shooters attempting a 3-pointer as the horn sounded, but after that, I really thought we buckled down and played some solid defense the rest of the way." Waterloo Columbus led by as many as five points in the second stanza, taking a 20-15 advantage at the three-minute mark of the frame, when Leighty turned up the volume for his club on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. "We really starting rolling there about mid-way through the second quarter, and ended the half on a positive note too," said Leighty as Lauren Buck was fouled attempting a trey at the halftime horn. "Waterloo Columbus had a hard time scoring for much of the remainder of the game," said Leighty. "For a first game of the year, we really played some tough defense and got after it hard." The Sailors scored the first basket of the second half to close to within 25-24, but it would be as close as they would get as Anamosa went on an amazing 21-2 spurt to take complete control and turned what had been a close game for two quarters, into a rout. "They got a couple of field goals early in the third quarter, then we held them scoreless for the next eight minutes," said Leighty. "Tristan, Lauren and Kayla really stepped it up for us," said Leighty. "After that slow start, we looked like a team in mid-season form there in the third and fourth quarters," said Leighty. "Western Dubuque hit five 3-pointers in the first half and that really got their game going and confidence up too," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty. "Our press got us going in the second half and our offense looked as good as it has all year," said Leighty. "Our defense does generate offense and when we turned on the press, our offense started to get it going," said Leighty. "It was great to finally see us click like this on the offensive end." Anamosa held Western Dubuque to a mere two points over the final eight minutes of play, while adding 13 of their own to cruise home with the impressive 50-31 rout. "That first half had me a little worried," said Leighty. "We were actually up 3-0 in the early going, then DeWitt went on a 13-2 run to end the quarter," said Leighty. "We got the ball inside and were doing reversals and sharing the wealth in the first quarter," said Leighty as his team jumped out to a 9-2 lead after one frame. "But then Monticello made a run and took us out of our game and we struggled getting back into it." The Raiders scored four points over the next two quarters and trailed 14-11 at the half and 24-13 after three quarters. "Even with all our offensive troubles, we still had a chance in the fourth," said Leighty. "We cut their lead to five points with four minutes to go, but could not get any closer." The Raiders struggled shooting all night long, connecting on just 33-percent of their shots overall, and took just three total free throws. "We actually had the size advantage on them, but didn't take advantage of it," said Leighty. "That was the difference," said Leighty. We were able to do that again against West Delaware," said Raider girls basketball coach Jack Leighty after a heart-stopping 31-30 triumph over the Hawks. "We went through long stretches where we wouldn't even get a shot off," said Leighty. "We finally started to get the offense going a bit in the second quarter, but West Delaware was tearing up our trademark defense, and that was something we had to stop in the second half." Anamosa (6-3, 6-1) came out of the break a different team, especially on the defensive end, and held the Hawks, who seemed to score so easily in the first 16 minutes, scoreless over the eight-minute third quarter stretch. "Once again our defense was able to carry us when not too much else was working," said Leighty. "You could feel the momentum swinging our way the entire half," said Leighty. "Things seemed to move in slow motion there at the end, but Kayla made a heads-up play finding Tristan right there under the basket," said Leighty. "West Delaware came out ready to play and shot it well in the first half," said Leighty. "I was proud of the way the girls responded tossing a shutout in the third quarter and holding them to just five points in the entire second half. We always seem to be good for one great defensive stand a night, and we needed it big-time to win this one." Anamosa traveled to Beckman Friday, December 17, and in a contest that again saw the visitors struggle early on, this time didn't need last-second heroics rolling to a 44-28 victory. "We were down 9-1 at the start, but made a run in the first quarter and then let our defense do its job the rest of the way," said Leighty as his club rallied to close to within 11-9 at the first horn. "We took control in the second quarter and led by 10 and kept that double-digit lead the rest of the way." The Raiders held the hosts to just six points in the second stanza then clamped down in the third going on an 11-2 spurt to take a commanding 38-19 lead into the final frame. "We have been playing some great defense in the third quarter of games, and did it again here," said Leighty.