After taking control early in the second quarter and leading by as many as nine points, the Linn County Mustangs' girls basketball team was unable to pull off a minor upset against the host school of the Northwestern Invitational Tournament on Monday night, falling 53-40 in Mendon. The Mustangs were seeded sixth, and the Eagles third.

Linn County falls to 0-2 with the loss.

Northwestern jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before sophomore guard Kaia Miller and freshman Jenna Hoerrman scoring the Mustangs next nine points to give Linn County its first lead at 11-10. Hoerrman hit a graceful floater as time expired in the first quarter, and when the horn sounded, Linn County led 16-10.

The Mustangs stretched that lead as far as 19-10 before Northwestern rattled off a 10-point run of its own that lasted the remainder of the half, and a long 3-pointer as the quarter expired gave the Eagles a 20-19 lead as the two teams returned to their locker rooms. Linn County scored just three second-quarter points.

Early in the third, the game was tied at 23 a pop, and Linn County never tied or led again. The Mustangs trailed 32-29 at the close of the third quarter, and in the final eight minutes, the Eagles posted 21 points to Linn County's 11.

With the loss, Linn County was relegated to the consolation side of the bracket in the 62nd rendition of the early-season classic in Mendon. The Mustangs won the tournament in 2015.

Miller and Hoerrman were the Mustangs' leading scorers, finishing with 12 points apiece. Blair Buswell posted 11, and Leticia Bright and Madison Livingston were the only others who entered the score column with a respective three and two points.