Marching to Final Four

After avenging regular season loss to Iowa City High  with 48-46 quarterfinal victory, women face Indianola today

The women’s basketball team avenged an earlier season loss with a 48-46 quarterfinal state victory over Iowa City High at the Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, March 1. The win was secured with 10 seconds left in the game with senior Kiana Barney making a layup, getting a foul and completing the three point play for the win.

The Tigers win was described as a, “come from behind,” as it truly was an all out comeback. The whole first half, the Tigers were down. At halftime, the Little Hawks had a 7-point lead. Barney scored 11 points in the second half, and the Tigers shut down Iowa City’s Ashley Jones to just four points in the second half after she had racked up 18 in the first half.

The team is now pumped to play the top ranked team, Indianola, at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The Tigers are up till this point, 22-2, and their only losses were to the Little Hawks, who they just overcome, and Indianola. The score to the Indianola team was 47-57 in a road game on Feb. 11.

“This feeling is indescribable. I am so proud of this team. Hearing the final buzzer was amazing, and I have never yelled so loud,” senior Ally Conrad said. “I think we definitely deserved this outcome. We lost to them earlier in the season, and we knew they were going to be tough, but we played them great, and we worked so hard for this.”

She attributes the win to the adjustments they made at halftime. “Our team struggled in the first half, but the second half we knew what had to be done, and that’s exactly what we did. We did the little things right and the outcome couldn’t of been better.”

Head coach Gregg Groen said he was very proud of the team’s resiliency.

“I am extremely happy for the girls. We didn’t play as well as we could have the first half. We made some adjustments halfway through, and I am extremely proud of how the girls came out and fought the second half,” he said. “This team is a very unselfish team. The girls work hard, and they don’t care how it gets done as long as it gets done. City High beat us earlier in the season by 22 points. We knew we would have to play well if we were going to win. City High is a very talented team who only had one loss on the season, and that was a one point loss to their rival.”

Groen also attributes the win over City High to the team’s preparation for the big game.

“With a week to prepare for City High, we did take a couple days away from practice to not only rest the legs, but also get our minds away from basketball for a while. We then took a couple days of practice to just focus on us and things we needed to get better, and then took the last three days leading up to the game to really focus on City High. We were also able to practice at Wartburg and UNI to get used to playing on the collegiate court.”

This obviously paid off, and there should be some reward. To Conrad, however, the reward is more playing time.

“Our team will mainly celebrate by playing Friday and hopefully getting that big win as well,” she said.

To Groen, he expressed only love for the team, and working with them is his reward.

“I am extremely proud of the girls. They are a great group and a joy to work with each day,” he said.

The semifinal game will be Friday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Arena.

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