Top-ranked MOC Floyd Valley advanced to the 3A championship game at the girl’s state basketball tournament Thursday behind a record-setting performance from senior Alexis Conaway. Conaway scored a five-player tournament record 46 points as the Lady Dutch downed 4th rated Mediapolis 64-51.
Conaway says she didn’t know she had the record until it was announced and then she got emotional. “It was kind of surreal, I mean, I usually don’t get that emotional. It’s just a testament to our team and how hard we work and our coaches always believing in us,” Conaway says.
Coach Gary Richardson praised Conaway for being humble about her success. “Alexis is probably the best player in the state when you think about all of the statistics, all of the categories. She does dominate most of the categories — showed it tonight,” Richardson says. MOC Floyd Valley is in Orange City as is the team they’ll face in the championship — Unity Christian. They played in the regular season and MOC won 52-40.
Conway says it will be exciting for the town. “It’s always just a fun game…they are a cross town rival so we get the crowds, it’s a reach out, so it’s a fun cause. They’re a good team, they’ve got good players, good shooters and good posts, they’re an all-around good team, so it’ll take a team effort again,” Conaway says.
Richardson says Unity he talks often with Unity coach often and believes they have improved quite a bit since that early game. “It’ll be fun for the girls — I’m not sure about the coaches — but it’ll be fun for the girls and the coaches and we are just fortunate to be there,” Richardson says.
Unity Christian advanced to the title game with a 50-41 win over second-ranked Crestwood. “We were fortunate to really take advantage of them inside, and I think that was where the game was won and lost. They tried to, but I think we were able to take a little bit more advantage of them inside,” Coach Jay Schulteman says.
Junior guard Kassidy De Jong is excited about playing for a state title. “I can’t believe it, this has been my dream since I was little…when this season started I never dreamed we would be in this state championship,” De Jong says. Unity Christian’s game was first, and De Jong was asked about the prospect of an all-Orange City final “That would be crazy, Orange City is going to be a ghost town. WE played them early in the year, they are a really good team and we are going to have to prepare for them,” De Jong says.” Hopefully we can play really well and represent Orange City well.”
Unity Christian will come into Saturday’s 4 p.m. game with a 22-4 record, while M-O-C Floyd Valley is now 25-1.