’Cats get State win before falling

Posted March 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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GIRLS BASKETBALL

By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor

Free throw shooting keyed a victory, and turnovers led to a loss as the Maquoketa Valley High School girls basketball team reached the semifinal round of the State Class 2A Girls Basketball Tournament at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The Wildcats scored a 65-57 win over IKM of Manning to open the tournament Tuesday, Feb. 26, and then lost 59-44 to eventual state runner-up Lawton-Bronson Thursday, Feb. 28.

A look at MV’s state tournament games:

State quarterfinals

Maquoketa Valley jumped out to an early nine-point lead, led by as many as 16 points, and fought off a pair of challenges by third-ranked IKM of Manning to open the State Class 2A Girls Basketball Tournament with a victory.

Brooke Wooten scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Renee Huber had 17 points, and Heidi Hoeger added 11 as the Wildcats scored a 65-57 win over IKM Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“Our kids played hard, and we feel like we really beat an excellent team,” Maquoketa Valley coach Scot Moenck said.

Free throw shooting was a huge factor in the game for the Wildcats. IKM was whistled for 27 fouls, resulting in 45 free throw attempts for MV. The Wildcats made 34 of those (75.6 percent).

“We just like to attack, and once we get there (to the line) we have to knock them down, because it’s a game changer,” said Hoeger, a senior.

Moenck agreed: “That’s how we play. In our league you have to play like that. We felt like we had to get the tempo going our way.

“We wanted to be opportunistic offensively, we wanted to push it and try to get lay-ups, and if we didn’t, we were OK running the offense and getting the ball into our best kids’ hands.”

Maquoketa Valley got off to an outstanding start, jumping to a 15-6 lead in the first 3:30 of the first quarter. Wooten hit a pair of three-point baskets in that stretch, while Anna Jay hit one as well. The Wildcats also made their first six free throws, two each from Nicole Kudrna, Wooten and Huber.

“That helped us a lot and boosted our confidence,” said Huber, a senior. “We got all the nerves out, and then after that we played just fine.”

The Wildcats opened up to lead by as many as 10 in the second quarter, but IKM rallied back to within four, 29-25, with 1:22 left in the first half. A layup by Hoeger with 26 seconds left ended the half’s scoring, and MV went to the locker room leading 31-25.

The game’s key stretch came in the third quarter. IKM trimmed the lead to 33-30, but the Wildcats went on a 14-1 run over a seven-minute span to open a 47-31 lead by the end of the quarter. Lay-ups by Hoeger and Huber, a three-pointer by Wooten, and a jump shot by Kudrna were part of that rally.

“We knew they were going to come back at us, but we weathered the storm,” Moenck said.

In the fourth quarter, IKM closed to within nine points twice, but two free throws apiece by Ashley Holtz and Wooten pushed the margin back to double digits. The Wolves got within eight points twice in the final minute, but no closer.

Hoeger blocked three IKM shots. Holtz and Huber had three assists apiece. Anna Jay made three steals.

State semifinals

Despite 28 turnovers in Thursday’s state semifinal game against Lawton-Bronson, Maquoketa Valley found itself very much in the game midway through the fourth quarter.

“I felt like we were right there,” coach Moenck said. “With four minutes to go, we were down four, and they were struggling with our pressure.”

The second-ranked Eagles, however, went on a 15-1 run over the next three minutes to open an 18-point lead, and went on to beat the Wildcats 59-44.

“We turned the ball over too much, and we were missing shots in the lane,” the coach said.

As they had in the quarterfinal game, the Wildcats jumped out to a lead in the semifinals as well. Brooke Wooten scored six of the team’s points as MV took a 12-7 lead. The Wildcats led 19-15 after one quarter, but trailed 26-25 at halftime.

Lawton-Bronson opened a 39-28 lead late in the third period, but the Wildcats whittled that to six, 41-35, with eight minutes to go.

A free throw by Heidi Hoeger cut Lawton-Bronson’s lead to 44-40 with 4:29 left, but that was as close as the Wildcats came.

Taylor King scored 21 points and Josie Kopal had 20 for Lawton-Bronson.

Heidi Hoeger led the Wildcats in scoring with 12 points. Brooke Wooten, who made the all-tournament team, finished with 11, going 5-for-9 from the floor.

Nicole Kudrna grabbed 11 rebounds, and Heidi Hoeger had eight. Ashley Holtz had two assists and two steals.

The loss ended Maquoketa Valley’s season, which culminated in its first trip to the state tournament since 2004.

“It was awesome,” Moenck said of the state tourney experience. “I’m so happy for the kids and the community. It was such a positive experience. Hopefully it was positive enough that they’ll want to work hard and go back there.”

The Wildcats finished 20-6, after finishing fourth in the Tri-Rivers Conference with a 12-4 record.

“We’re going to miss our four seniors, but we have good kids coming back,” Moenck said. “The potential is there, the talent’s there, the experience is there.”

Feb. 26

State Class 2A

Quarterfinal

(at Wells Fargo Arena,

Des Moines)

Maq. Valley 19 12 16 18 - 65

IKM 13 12 6 26 – 57

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (65) – Ashley Holtz 0-0 2-3 2, Renee Huber 3-5 11-14 17, Heidi Hoeger 2-3 7-12 11, Nicole Kudrna 2-3 4-4 8, Brooke Wooten 4-9 8-8 19, Anna Jay 2-3 2-2 8, Abby Jay 0-0 0-2 0, Bailey Whittenbauch 0-1 0-0 0, Heather Sabers 0-0 0-0 0, Annie Fjelstul 0-0 0-0 0, Kate Huber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-24 34-45 65.

IKM (57) – Kenzie Cast 2-6 0-0 5, Sarah Schlichte 4-6 0-0 10, Kali Rasmussen 3-10 0-0 8, Morgan Muhlbauer 3-8 1-4 7, Kaylee Blake 7-17 2-3 16, Jez Schechinger 0-4 2-2 2, Jody Hagedorn 2-9 2-5 6, Andy Nulle 1-1 0-0 3, Carley Irlmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Miranda Hansen 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Juhl 0-0 0-0 0, Allison Chapman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-61 7-14 57.

Three-pointers: Wooten 3, An. Jay 2; Blake 2, Schechinger 2, Cast, Muhlbauer.

Rebounds: IKM 33, Maquoketa Valley 27 (Wooten 9, Hoeger 5).

Total fouls: IKM 27, Maquoketa Valley 13.

Feb. 28

State Class 2A

Semifinal

Law.-Bron. 15 11 15 18 – 59

Maq. Valley 19 6 10 9 - 44

LAWTON-BRONSON (59) - Ashley Williams 2-8 0-0, Josie Kopal 7-18 5-10 20, Jessica Jager 1-2 2-4 4, Taylor King 7-16 5-7 21, Ali Verzani 1-9 4-6 6, Anna Dreessen 1-7 0-0 2, Lexi Binder 1-4 0-0 2, Brooke Hunwardsen 0-0 0-0 0, Jacey Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Makenzi Miene 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Drew 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 20-64 16-29 59.

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (44) – Renee Huber 1-8 6-10 8, Heidi Hoeger 4-13 4-7 12, Anna Jay 0-3 0-0 0, Nicole Kudrna 3-7 0-0 6, Brooke Wooten 5-9 1-1 11, Ashley Holtz 0-0 1-3 1, Heather Sabers 1-2 0-0 3, Abby Jay 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Whittenbaugh 1-1 0-0 3, Tiffany Hoeger 0-1 0-0 0, Annie Fjelstul 0-0 0-0 0, Kate Huber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-44 12-21 44.

Three-pointers: King 2, Kopal; Whittenbaugh, Sabers.

Rebounds: Maquoketa Valley 44 (Kudrna 11, H. Hoeger 8), Lawton-Bronson 39.

Total fouls: Lawton-Bronson 23, Maquoketa Valley 21.

PHOTO: Brooke Wooten brings the ball into the frontcourt for Maquoketa Valley during the state quarterfinals Feb. 26 in Des Moines. (Photo by Pete Temple)

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