4A Quarterfinal: #2 Waukee 58, #7 Ames 40
was absolutely unstoppable on Wednesday morning and #2 Waukee cruised into the 4A semifinals with a 58-40 win over #7 Ames.
The five-star wing, future Iowa State Cyclone, and probable NBA player in a few years, showed a little bit of everything in his arsenal, scoring 19 first half points as Waukee blew open the game in the second quarter, turning a two-point first quarter edge into an 18-point halftime advantage and never looking back.
But this team isn’t just Biliew.showed a much improved handle and playmaking. is a force defensively in the paint. the calming presence in the backcourt. This is a juggernaut, and they showed it against an Ames team that rarely gets blown out.
Waukee’s lead ballooned to as many as 23 in the second half, and they’ll await the winner of the Waukee Northwest/Ankeny Centennial game, with a likely rubbermatch against Northwest coming on Thursday night.
Waukee improves to 22-2 on the year with the win. Biliew led with 24 points on 10-15 shooting to go with 6 rebounds.had 10 points, and added 9.
Ames’ season ends with a 17-8 record and the school’s 24th state tournament appearance. The Little Cyclones were led by, who had 12 points. They’ll lose and to graduation, but will return three starters and should be in contention to make another run to the state tournament next season.
Ames: 12, 8, 7, 6, Ravi Muhammad 2, Chol Yak 2, Nik Courtney 2, 1
Waukee: 24, 10, 9, 4, 3, Carlos Kirui 3, 2, 2, 1
Ames: 15-38 FG (39.5%), 2-11 3P (18.2%), 8-12 FT (66.7%), 23 rebounds (6 offensive), 4 assists, 12 turnovers
Waukee: 23-43 FG (53.5%), 4-12 3P (33.3%), 8-11 FT (72.7%), 23 rebounds (5 offensive), 8 assists, 9 turnovers
MVP: 2023(Waukee) — 24 points (10-15 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
The future Cyclone was dominant in this one, scoring from all three levels and showing a little bit of everything in his arsenal. When he’s playing like that, there probably isn’t a team in the state that can beat Waukee.
4A Quarterfinal: #3 Waukee Northwest 55, #6 Ankeny Centennial 37
It’s hard to win when you don’t score, and Centennial found that out the hard way on Wednesday afternoon, enduring a long scoring drought that ultimately undid their upset bid, as Waukee Northwest took over midway through the second quarter and rolled to a 55-37 win.
Centennial came out and played a solid first quarter, ending the first quarter in an 11-11 tie, and they took a 14-11 lead 33 seconds into the second quarter. Unfortunately for them, they then went 8:06 without scoring, and scored just four points in the next 15:27 of game time while Northwest went on a game-deciding 29-4 run. The Wolves held Centennial to 22.9% shooting in the game and forced 17 turnovers, which they were able to turn into 15 points.
Despite Northwest starbeing held scoreless for the first 11:50 of the game, he still finished with 24 points in the win, showing a little bit of everything in the process.
Northwest improves to 22-2 with the win. The Wolves were led by the aforementioned Sandfort’s 24 points, the lone player in double figures.had 9 points and 8 rebounds, and and each had 8 points in the win.
Centennial’s season ends with a 16-9 record. The Jaguars were led by, who had 12 points. added 10 in the loss. They’ll bring back three of their top four scorers, led by , who battled foul trouble and could never get going in this one.
Centennial: 12, 10, 6, 4, Jack Kerby 3, Andrew Smith 2
Northwest: 24, 9, 8, 8, 5, Kaiden Smith-Fitzgerald 1
Centennial: 11-48 FG (22.9%), 7-20 3P (35.0%), 8-10 FT (80.0%), 32 rebounds (12 offensive), 8 assists, 17 turnovers
Northwest: 19-41 FG (46.3%), 6-19 3P (31.6%), 11-16 FT (68.8%), 30 rebounds (5 offensive), 7 assists, 13 turnovers
MVP: 2023(Northwest) — 24 points (10-18 FG, 2-7 3P, 2-2 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals
The future Iowa wing shook off a really slow start and still finished with nearly his season average (25.9 points). He can get to his shot pretty much whenever he wants and showed impressive footwork around the bucket on drives and post touches.
4A Quarterfinal: #8 Pleasant Valley 57, #1 Kennedy 45
You kept waiting for the explosive run from #1 Cedar Rapids Kennedy. And waiting. And waiting. It’s what they’ve done all year. But the run never came, as #8 Pleasant Valley pulled off the upset of the tournament, beating the undefeated Cougars 57-45 to advance to the 4A semifinals tomorrow night.
Pleasant Valley, a team that is well known for being a strong, physical, disciplined team on both ends of the floor was just that in this one, limiting Kennedy’s explosive offensive attack, protecting the ball, and being incredibly patient on the offensive end. A team that averages just 6.5 made 3-pointers a game, they buried six in the opening half en route to a 26-22 halftime lead.
Kennedy opened the second half on a 7-3 spurt to tie the game at 29, but Pleasant Valley answered with a 7-0 run of their own, taking a 36-29 lead with 1:30 left in the quarter, and they led by six after three quarters.
Kennedy made a run, getting the deficit down to one point, 46-45, with 2:25 to play after abucket plus the foul, but the Spartans scored the last 11 points of the game and finished off the upset.
BC Moore, for what it’s worth, had Kennedy pegged as a 24-point favorite in this one, but that’s what you play the games.
Pleasant Valley improves to 20-5 with the win and will await either West Des Moines Valley or Norwalk in the semifinals. The Spartans were led by, who had a season-high 23 points. and each added 13 for the Spartans, who held Kennedy 32 points below their season average.
Kennedy’s season ends with a 22-1 record and a second straight state tournament appearance. The Cougars were led by, who had 14 points. and were never able to get it going, each finishing with 6 points in their final games as Cougars. Kennedy will bring back two starters in Schlaak and , plus a number of role players and add a talented sophomore class and will be a contender to make it to Des Moines again.
Pleasant Valley: 23, 13, 13, 8
Kennedy: Mciah Schlaak 14, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5, Carter Newhouse 3
Pleasant Valley: 19-42 FG (45.2%), 7-21 3P (33.3%), 12-13 FT (92.3%), 27 rebounds (5 offensive), 11 assists, 9 turnovers
Kennedy: 18-46 FG (39.1%), 6-22 3P (27.3%), 3-6 FT (50.0%), 23 rebounds (6 offensive), 11 assists, 10 turnovers
MVP: 2024(Pleasant Valley) — 23 points (7-12 FG, 4-9 3P, 5-6 FT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Rubel was excellent early, scoring 14 first half points to help the Spartans grab control of this one. His 23 points were a season-high for him. He showed a quick release and smooth stroke from the arc, with the ability to shoot it both off the dribble and the catch.
4A Quarterfinal: #4 Valley 63, #5 Norwalk 48
Take notice, rest of the state. The Valley Tigers are young, talented, and into the 4A semifinals with a 63-48 win over #5 Norwalk. They’ll face Pleasant Valley tomorrow night at 5:30 pm with a trip to the 4A championship game on the line.
Valley built a 13-point lead, 31-18, at the half and it looked like they might just cruise right into the semifinals, but Norwalk had other ideas. The Warriors opened the second half on a 13-4 run to close to within four points, 35-31, with 3:55 left in the third quarter.
Valley kept gaining a little distance, Norwalk kept clawing back. The Warriors pulled back within four, 43-39, with 7:35 to play, but that was as close they got the rest of the way. Valley’s young weapons stepped up in a big way, making clutch plays and big free throws throughout the fourth quarter to pull away.
Valley improves to 19-5 with the win. The Tigers were led by four sophomores –with 14, 13, and . and , each with 12. They shot 56.3% from the floor, held Norwalk to just 33.9%, and made 19 of 20 free throws, including 14 of 14 in the fourth quarter to help ice the game away.
Norwalk’s season ends with a 20-4 record and the school’s ninth state tournament appearance. The Warriors were led by, who had a game-high 17 points. added 11 in the loss. Three starters will be back, led by their star, Born, and they should be formidable again.
Norwalk: 17, 11, Jack Brown 9, 9, 2
Valley: 14, 13, . 12, 12, 6, 6
Norwalk: 19-56 FG (33.9%), 8-24 3P (33.3%), 2-3 FT (66.7%), 22 rebounds (11 offensive), 8 assists, 6 turnovers
Valley: 18-32 FG (56.3%), 8-15 3P (53.3%), 19-20 FT (95.0%), 31 rebounds (4 offensive), 6 assists, 14 turnovers
MVP: 2025(Valley) — 14 points (3-6 FG, 2-5 3P, 6-6 FT), 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Take your pick of any of Valley’s four sophomore standouts, but we’ll go with Robinson here, whose constant attacking of the bucket helped turn a tight game into a comfortable win in the fourth quarter for the Tigers.
1A Semifinal: #1 Grand View Christian 68, #4 West Harrison 50
made sure there was no late-game drama this time around for #1 Grand View Christian, as his explosive first quarter helped the Thunder build a huge first-half lead en route to a 68-50 win and a trip to the 1A championship game on Friday afternoon.
Sanderson was absolutely unconscious in the first quarter, scoring 24 points on 9-13 shooting. The Thunder led by 20, 29-9, after the first frame and extended that lead to 30 points by halftime.
West Harrison didn’t go down without a fight, starting the third quarter on a 25-4 run to get the deficit down to 11 points, 52-41, with 1:47 left in the quarter. But Sanderson made a pair of free throws, then a runner in the lane, then a 3 at the end of the quarter. Ball game.
Grand View Christian moves to 26-0 with the win and into the Class 1A championship game for the fifth time in the last seven years. Sanderson led the way with 41 points on 14-26 shooting.added 13 points and 9 rebounds in the win.
West Harrison’s season ends with a 24-2 record and the school’s second straight trip to the state tournament, the first two appearances in school history.wrapped up a stellar career with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while added 11 and Mason McIntosh had 10. McIntosh is the only starter slated to return for the Hawkeyes.
|Grand View Christian||29||17||13||9||68|
West Harrison: 17, 11, Mason McIntosh 10, 8, Walker Rife 2, Brady Melby 2
Grand View Christian: 41, 13, 6, 4, 3, Brayden Hoben 1
West Harrison: 20-59 FG (33.9%), 6-24 3P (25.0%), 4-4 FT (100%), 28 rebounds (10 offensive), 7 assists, 9 turnovers
Grand View Christian: 24-47 FG (51.1%), 9-18 3P (50.0%), 11-16 FT (68.8%), 34 rebounds (6 offensive), 8 assists, 11 turnovers
MVP: 2023(Grand View Christian) — 41 points (14-26 FG, 6-7 3P, 7-7 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Unreal performance from Sanderson. Not much more to say.
1A Semifinal: #2 North Linn 52, #6 Remsen, St. Mary’s 50
Call them Thanos because North Linn, as it turns out, is inevitable. Against all odds, facing a 16-point deficit with 7:38 to play, the Lynx somehow, someway, came back against St. Mary’s, pulling out a 52-50 win to advance to the 1A championship game.
St. Mary’s came out of the gates hot, using a 13-2 run to close the first quarter to grab a 17-6 lead after one. They held a double-digit lead for most of the second quarter as well, taking a 31-19 lead into the break. St. Mary’s was able to push the advantage out to 17 points early in the third quarter, and led by the aforementioned 16-point margin with 7:38 to play.
Then North Linn did what North Linn does – find ways to win. They held St. Mary’s scoreless for the final 5:24 of the game, got huge shots fromand , and somehow, someway, lives to see another day.
A Betenbender 3 with 32 seconds to play gave North Linn their first lead of the night, and the Lynx were able to suffocate St. Mary’s on their final possession, not allowing the Hawks to get a clean look, and for the 208th time in the last 215 games, they emerged victorious.
North Linn improves to 26-0 with the win and will play for a state championship for the sixth straight season. The Lynx were led bywith 19 points. had 14, and chipped in 10. Pflughaupt and Betenbender made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter during the huge comeback.
St. Mary’s season ends in heartbreak with a 23-3 record. The Hawks were led byand , who each had 12 points. and each had 10. The Hawks will lose four starters to graduation, but they’ve proven they’re capable of re-loading, and will be a threat to make it to Des Moines for an eighth straight year next season.
|Remsen, St. Mary’s||17||14||14||5||50|
Remsen, St. Mary’s: 12, 12, 10, 10, Alex Schroeder 6
North Linn: 19, 14, 10, 5, 2
Remsen, St. Mary’s: 20-44 FG (45.5%), 8-17 3P (47.1%), 2-6 FT (33.3%), 27 rebounds (9 offensive), 11 assists, 9 turnovers
North Linn: 19-38 FG (50.0%), 11-21 3P (52.4%), 3-4 FT (75.0%), 16 rebounds (1 offensive), 9 assists, 6 turnovers
MVP: 2024(North Linn) — 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-5 3P)
The junior guard was huge in the fourth quarter, with no bigger shot than the go-ahead 3 with 32 seconds left.