The Ar-We-Va girls and boys opened 2020 with setbacks against Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton in Rolling Valley Conference basketball action on Friday night at Westside.
In game one, the Ar-We-Va girls took the conference leaders right down to the wire in a 47-43 loss to the visiting Spartans.
In game two, Matt Wilken’s Ar-We-Va club saw its modest two-game win streak snapped with a 56-45 loss at home.
Friday’s four-point loss dropped Dan Kock’s Ar-We-Va squad to 4-3 in the RVC and 4-4 overall.
The Rockets trailed 25-19 at halftime and 36-30 after three quarters, but pulled to within 44-43 with just over a minute remaining when Exira/EH-K’s Macy Emgarten drained a three-point basket to put the Spartans up 47-43.
Ar-We-Va had its opportunities down the stretch, but missed four consecutive free throws in the final 45 seconds.
The Rockets were just 11-of-24 at the free throw line on the night.
Jadeyn Smith led Ar-We-Va with a double-double effort of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Leslie Luft added 11 points and three assists.
Hannah Kraus finished with five points and four steals. Bridget Cameron also had four points and eight boards, while Sara Schurke had four points, three boards and two assists.
With Friday’s 11-point loss, Ar-We-Va fell to 1-6 in the RVC and 2-6 overall.
The Rockets trailed by only five points (28-23) at halftime, but the Spartans then outscored the hosts 16-9 in the third for a 44-32 lead going into the fourth.
Ar-We-Va never got closer than nine points over the final eight minutes.
Will Ragaller paced Ar-We-Va with 14 points, adding eight boards and two assists.
Cooper Kock had 11 points and eight boards as well. Braeden Kirsch tallied five points with three boards. Brady Miller had five points and two boards, while Kalon Cleveland finished with five points and one board.
Damon Ehlers wound up with three points and three assists.