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The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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The Kalona News

December 13, 2018 Suzanna Yoder smashes school record with 40 at English Valleys
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Suzanna Yoder dropped 40 points on English Valleys this Saturday, breaking a single game school record for Iowa Mennonite she had already tied this season.

Yoder was 12-24 from the floor including seven 3-pointers and 9-11 from the free-throw line. Her 40 points beats the record set by Rachel Smith who scored 35 in a game in 1994.

Yoder said after she made her first few shots, she knew it had the potential to be a special night.

“I made the first three shots that I took, and basketball is just really mental so it was a combination of me hitting those shots and their defense wasn’t super strong compared to some of the other defenses we’ve seen,” Yoder said.

She said most of the time teams will set aside a defender to face-guard Yoder, but that didn’t happen against English Valleys. Without constant pressure on the outside, she let the threes rain and hit 7-15 from deep.

Yoder’s volume is one of the most unique in Iowa girls basketball. She’s taken nearly 50 percent of her team’s field goal attempts and provides 63 percent of their overall scoring.

She currently leads the state in field goal attempts, made 3-pointers, made free throws and overall points.

“I would say yes I am guarded tighter than other players are, but I have a lot of plays that are set up for me and my teammates do a great job of screening and getting me open,” Yoder said. “I feel like lots of other players don’t get that (help) as much as I do.”

With that volume comes the pressure to score and increased defensive pressure. Iowa Mennonite has found ways to adjust that, sometimes putting Yoder through 2-3 screens at a time to find shots.

“I think part of it is that we have a lot of sets designed to get her open shots,” Kari Heusinkveld, Iowa Mennonite coach, said. “We’re running her off of two, three, sometimes four screens. It’s pretty tough to stop her from getting the basketball.”

One area where Yoder feels like she’s become more efficient is drawing fouls off the drive and getting to the free-throw line. The stats back that up as through seven games she has attempted 9.1 free throws per game this year compared to 5.9 per game through seven games last season.

“I guess I see it as the refs calling more, but it’s probably me being more under control in the lane where as before I was kind of out of control,” Yoder said.

Her overall field goal percentage is up a few ticks from 32 percent to 35 percent while her three-point percentage is around the same at 32 percent. Yoder said she also feels like her defensive improvement has led to easy points. She’s increased her steals to nearly four per game, leading to easy buckets in transition.

Yoder now sits at 1,195 points headed into Tuesday’s game against Wapello. That puts her just 33 points behind Rachel Smith (1991-1995) for the second all-time spot in Iowa Mennonite history. Angela Bock still holds the top spot at 1,743 points from 1995-1999.

At her current pace of 27.4 points per game, Yoder would finish the season with 576 points this season and 1,579 career points, which would be a single-season record for Iowa Mennonite in both average and total points.

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