City tops Pleasant Valley, Advances to State Tournament
The girls basketball team defeated Pleasant Valley 75-47 making them one of eight teams to travel to Des Moines next week for the State Tournament.
February 25, 2014
The girls basketball team is breathing a sigh of relief after leaping to a 75-47 victory over Pleasant Valley in the Regional Final on Tuesday night. The team has worked for this moment the entire season after having lost to West High in the same game last year.
“We’re feeling really good,” head coach Bill McTaggart said. “That West High loss last year motivated us like nothing else and we’ve been very focused all year.”
The Spartans were the first to put points on the board, but City controlled most of the scoring for the rest of the first quarter. Heading into the second quarter they held a 23-7 lead.
Throughout the first half both teams ran presses. The Little Hawks were able to handle Pleasant Valley’s press and forced many turn overs running their own on the other end of the court.
“We wanted to create turnovers and take good shots,” McTaggart said. “I think for the most part we did that.”
The Spartans cracked down on the Little Hawk offense and only allowed them to score 11 points in the second quarter, while going on several small runs of their own. McTaggart said while in the locker room the team talked a lot about picking up their intensity for the second half.
“We did’t like the way we ended the first half. It felt like we were down by 16 instead of up by 16,” McTaggart said. “So we said let’s get our momentum going again.”
Both teams stepped up in the second half, but the Little Hawks were able to hold on to their large lead, and won by a score of 75-47.
“We worked hard, we moved the ball around well and we shot well. It felt good,” Courtney Joens ’16 said.
Although the team came out on top, they have a few things they want to clean up before their next game. During the Regional Final the Little Hawks had many turn overs due to misjudging passes. Captain Haley Lorenzen ’14 says this will be a main focus of their practices in the coming days.
“We definitely need to fix our defense and our passing ability a little bit,” she said. “We had a few too many turnovers, myself included.”
Haley Lorenzen ’14 led the team in scoring with 25 points followed by Joens with 23. Kenya Earl ’17 scored 13 points and Kiera Waspun ’14 added seven. Unlike many other teams this season, Pleasant Valley did not often double or triple team Lorenzen in the lane. This allowed her to score crucial points in the paint.
“She’s an All-American post player and we had to get her the ball inside especially when we had the height advantage,” McTaggart said.
Wednesday night’s victory earned the Little Hawks a trip to the State Tournament in Des Moines next week. The Little Hawks will face Cedar Rapids Kennedy on March 5th at 5 PM in Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena. City will be taking a fan bus for any students interested in attending the game. The cost will be $10 with a ticket included and permission slips are due to the office by Monday.
“[Winning on Tuesday] was a great feeling,” Lorenzen said. “But honestly, we’re not going to be satisfied until we win the whole thing.”