The class 4A quarterfinals are underway at the Girls’ State Basketball Tournament.It’s common for teams lacking tournament experience to struggle shooting in their first game against the deep backgrounds here at Vets, but Des Moines Hoover bucked that trend. The fourth-ranked Huskies made five of their first six shots and finished the game with nine three-pointers in a 58-44 win over fifth-ranked Iowa City High. Senior guard Kelly Meade led the way for Hoover. She finished nine of 12 from the field, including six of nine from three point range, and finished with a career-high 24-points. She says she made her first shot and then had confidence and just kept shooting.Meade’s shooting forced City High coach Bill McTaggert to tear up his game plan. He says they thought they could surprise them with a zone, but that backfired. He says Hoover planned near perfect basketball. Hoover led by 20 at the break and the closest City High got in the second half was 51-38 with just under six minutes left. The Huskies improve to 21-3 while the Little Hawks end the season 19-5.Down 25-16 at the half, Bettendorf was hanging in the game against top-ranked Ankeny. The Hawkettes took command in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-0 enroute to a 55-31 win to open their bid for a third consecutive title. Akeny coach Scott DeJong says he told his team he still gets butterflies, so it was alright to feel that at the start. DeJong felt his team picked up the intensity in the second half after struggling in the first half.Des Moines Lincoln standout Stephanie Chelleen bounced back from an early injury as the second rated Railsplitters held off the upset bid of cross-town rival Roosevelt 55-52. Chelleen was hurt early in the game following a collision under Lincoln’s basket. She says the girl fell on her head, and while it hurt she says “I’ll live.”For the second time at the girls state tournament English Valleys found a way to survive. The top ranked Bears outlasted number-three Hinton 41-38 in double overtime and will take a 29-0 record into Friday nights 1A championship game. English Valleys coach Brian O’Neil says both teams were tired and spent a lot of energy in their previous games. Both teams had their chances. Brianna Morrison missed a game winning jumper for the Bears at the end of the first overtime while Mallori Gray missed a short jumper that would have given Hinton the lead with a second to go. Katie Jensen rebounded the miss and made two free throws to close the scoring. English Valleys center Allie Lamb says it’s strange that they never get worried, even if they’re down, she says they just know they can come back and win. Lamb had 12-points.They will take on second rated Rockwell City-Lytton. The Wildcat defense put the clamps on Treynor during a decisive third quarter that saw them outscore the Cardinals 12-2 in a 46-31 victory.Afton Ringgenberg led the way with 19-points, including nine of-11 from the field. The Wildcats look to take the next step Friday night.Senior standout Jill Johnson had 18-points ad says she has waited a year to get another chance to play for the crown. She says it gets you motivated to come back and be the one to go home with the title.The Wildcats lost to Rock Valley in the title game last year and Johnson would like to close her career with a win. Treynor coach Gail Hartigan said the Wildcats turned it up a notch in the third quarter.
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