There will be a new champion in class 3A at the girls’ state basketball tournament. Cedar Rapids Xavier took the lead for good by outscoring second rated Norwalk 15-6 in the second quarter then sprinted away to a 56-32 victory over the defending champs. Xavier coach Tom Lilly called it their best performance of the season. He says they saved the best for the big arena, an he’s happy with their overall effort.
Top ranked Decorah raced away to a 23-6 lead at the end of one quarter and the Vikings cruised past Keokuk 72-50 in a class 3A quarterfinal. Decorah got off to a hot start and canned five of seven from three point range in the opening half. It’s Decorah’s second straight trip to the tournament and coach Steve Angell felt that helped them get off to a quick start. He says they know what it’s like to play in front of a state tournament crowd, and after playing just one game last year, he says they want to play three this year. Keokuk coach Jerry Jerome says Decorah was hitting on all cylinders. Decorah takes a 25-0 record into the 3A semifinals. The Chiefs end their season 16-9.
Third ranked Ballard roared out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back in a 53-34 win over Pella. Ally Jensen led Ballard with 14 points and fellow sophomore Alexa Hugee added 12.She says they played hard as a team and made all the work through the season pay off. Pella struggled against the Ballard press all game long and committed 26 turnovers.
Fourth rated Spirit Lake took command by outscoring Sioux City Heelan 17-6 in the second quarter in a 49-38 win over the fifth rated Crusaders. Jordi Gerking led the Indians with 19 points as they advance to the semifinal round after falling in last year’s opening round. After trailing by 13 in the third quarter Heelan got to within two but could never get the game tied. Heelan coach Doug Moody says they’re happy with their overall performance as he says it’s hard to make it past the first round game. Millie Niggeling led the Crusaders with 14 points.