The Girl’s State Basketball Tournament opened this morning with the quarterfinal round in class 1A. Fifth-ranked Preston carried impressive offensive numbers into the state tournament but it was defense that propelled the Trojans into the class 1A semifinals. Despite making only five of 26 shots and missing all 13 three point attempts in the opening half Preston still led at the half 17-14. The two-time defending champions edged tenth ranked Keokuk Cardinal Stritch 50-44 in a rematch of last year’s title game. Preston senior forward Steph Nielender led the Trojans with 15-points and added nine rebounds. Turnovers and fouls plagued Cardinal Stritch. The Lionettes committed 28-turnovers and were whistled for 28-fouls. For the game, Preston connected on 25 of 29 foul shots and the Trojans improve to 24-1. Jennifer Goetz had 16 of her game high 20-points in the second half as Cardinal Stritch ends the season 24-3. Cardinal Stritch coach Tony Lambros says his team gave a great effort. After winning last year’s 2A state title, Rock Valley has advanced to the class 1A semifinals. The second-ranked Rockets used a 7-0 run late in the third quarter to take command in a 62-54 victory over 12th ranked Treynor. The junior tandem of Deb Remmerde and Erica Schlotfeldt led the way by scoring 49 of Rock Valley’s 62 points. Remmerde had 19 of her 24-points in the first half as both shot above 50-percent. The only bad news for Remmerde was that her consecutive free throw streak came to an end midway through the third quarter. It ended at 74-straight. Treynor coach Gail Hartigan felt her team played well but a couple of unforced errors late in the third period was the difference. Junior guard Jessica Stanek had 26-points and added eight assists as eighth ranked Tripoli pulled away in the second half for a 70-50 victory over ninth-rated Fort Madison Aquinas. Tripoli lost in the quarterfinal round a year ago and Stanek says they were motivated to go further this time. Aquinas leading scorer Tarah Cullen had three fouls in the opening half and Tripoli took advantage by scoring the first 14 points of the second half to build a 43-25 lead. Photographs courtesy of The Des Moines Register. More on the State Tournaments at