By JARED PATTERSON
RUNNELLS -- Curt Klaahsen called her unflappable. Jadda Buckley called her performance amazing.
However you want to describe it, remember Mason City’s Makenzie Meyer is only a freshman.
She didn’t play like one on this night and authored a memorable performance as she scored 18 points as top-ranked Mason City survived a battle with seventh-ranked Southeast Polk,69-64, on Tuesday night.
“I just felt in the flow,” Meyer said. “I was feeling it.”
The 5-foot-9 guard certainly was. She scored nine points in a see-saw fourth quarter and traded baskets with Southeast Polk star guard Caitlin Ingle, who finished with 24 points but fouled out with about 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining.
Ingle gave the Rams a 62-59 lead on 3-pointer only to have Meyer drill a three seconds later to knot the score again.
Meyer added a pair of free throws moments later after drawing a foul on Ingle, her firth, after a missed free throw and gave Mason City a 64-62 lead that it would never relinquish.
“It was just a great high school game,” Mohawk coach Curt Klaahsen said. “There were kids making plays all over the place.
“Makenzie has great confidence in herself and her teammates have great confidence in her.”
Mason City needed a little bit of everything to hold off Southeast Polk (3-2).
Mason City (3-1) jumped to a 22-6 advantage thanks to a swarming defense spearheaded by Buckley, the do-it-all guard who finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and eight steals.
“Overall, it was a great game for all of us,” Buckley said.
Ingle, a Drake recruit, spearheaded a comeback that saw Southeast Polk trim to the lead to three by halftime (32-29).
Ingle, who didn’t score in the first quarter, found a flow in the second quarter and it didn’t stop until she fouled out after chasing her down her own miss from the line.
“She started hitting pull-up 3s, that’s hard to stop,” Klaahsen said.
But Mason City had a shooter of its down the stretch in the form of Meyer, who connected on four 3-pointers.
“She should shoot all the time,” Buckley said. “She’s a great shooter. She proves herself in practice and she’s proved it in games.”
Myah Mellman finished with 16 points on five of seven shooting while Cortni Rush chipped in nine for the Mohawks, who host No. 10 Ames on Friday.
Coming off a 10-point loss to Kennedy (Minn.) on Saturday, the Mohawks were hoping to get back on track Tuesday.
They did, and in the process found another clutch shooter on a team already loaded with them.
Last year at this time Meyer was playing in eighth-grade games. Fast forward a year and she was the leading scorer in a battle of two of the elite teams in the state.
“It’s really cool to be on the No. 1 team in the state,” Meyer said.
MASON CITY 69 SOUTHEAST POLK 64
Mason City 16 16 18 19 -- 69
SEP 6 23 17 18 -- 64
MASON CITY -- Jadda Buckley 4-10 6-9 15, Myah Mellman 5-7 4-4 16, Morgan Vorba 1-1 4-4 6, Nicolle Hewett 1-2 0-0 3, Cortni Rush 4-9 0-0 9, Lexy Pederson 1-1 0-0 2, Makenzie Meyer 5-8 4-5 18. Totals -- 22-39 16-20 69.
3-point goals (8): Buckley 1, Mellman 2, Rush 1, Meyer 4.
SOUTHEAST POLK -- Caitlin Ingle 8-15 5-5 24, Annie Penquite 2-5 2-2 7, Jessica Cole 4-8 1-3 11, Megan Bianchi 4-8 3-5 11, Jessica Gardner 0-0 0-0 0, Victoria Bricker 2-5 1-1 5, Ashton Donels 0-2 0-0 0, Jacey Huinker 1-1 0-1 2. Totals -- 21-44 12-17 64.
3-point goals (6): Ingle 3, Cole 2, Penquite 1.
Technical foul -- Southeast Polk bench.