Prep Basketball

A big block by Lauren Zacharias, and a big state tournament comeback for Iowa City West

Women of Troy outlast Dowling in overtime, 63-53

Iowa City West’s Lauren Zacharias (4), Cailyn Morgan (2) and Logan Cook (22) celebrate after their Class 5A quarterfinal win over West Des Moines Dowling at the girls’ state basketball tournament Monday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Women of Troy prevailed, 63-53, in overtime. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa City West’s Lauren Zacharias (4), Cailyn Morgan (2) and Logan Cook (22) celebrate after their Class 5A quarterfinal win over West Des Moines Dowling at the girls’ state basketball tournament Monday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Women of Troy prevailed, 63-53, in overtime. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — In 24 games this season, Lauren Zacharias has blocked three shots. Three.

Her third saved the game, and extended Iowa City West’s season.

Zacharias ran down Anna Wanek and snuffed what would have been the game-winning basket, then ninth-ranked West dominated overtime and tripped No. 3 West Des Moines Dowling, 63-53, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Monday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“I didn’t want it to end there on a layup,” Zacharias said. “We wanted to keep going. We weren’t ready to be done. If that means I have to block a shot ... whatever it takes.”

West (17-7) will face No. 10 Indianola (21-3) in a semifinal at 11:45 a.m. Thursday. Indianola upset No. 2 Cedar Falls, 64-63, Monday.

The Women of Troy rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit, and it was still a 10-point game with less than 4 minutes left.

Zacharias’ 3-pointer gave West a 45-44 lead with 1:05 to go, then she added a basket on a baseline drive to put West in front, 47-45, with 40 seconds left.

Caitlin Clark’s basket tied it at 47-47. Then West’s Rachael Saunders missed, Clark rebounded and heaved the ball to Wanek, who appeared to have a clear path to the basket with the final seconds ticking down.

But the 5-foot-5 Zacharias sprinted from behind and denied her.

“I didn’t even know we had anybody back there,” West’s Cailyn Morgan said. “(Wanek) got the ball, and I thought, ‘Oh, no.’

“It was a miracle.”

West ruled the extra 4 minutes by a 16-6 margin, making 14 of 18 free throws to pull away.

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The Women of Troy appeared to be buried when Mia Cataldo’s 3-pointer gave Dowling (20-4) a 37-25 lead with 6:05 left in regulation. But Morgan scored 12 points — on a pair of 3-pointers and six free throws — in a span of less than 4 minutes to give West a chance.

“She was phenomenal down the stretch,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said of Morgan.

Morgan, who led the Women of Troy with 20 points, said, “We looked at each other and said, ‘We got this. It’s not over.’”

Saunders added 13 points, and Zacharias and Emma Koch added nine each.

Considered one of the best sophomores in the nation, Clark led Dowling with 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists. She shot 9 of 27 from the floor.

IOWA CITY WEST 63, WEST DES MOINES DOWLING 53 (OT)

Class 5A State Quarterfinal, at Des Moines

IOWA CITY WEST (63): Cailyn Morgan 3-9 11-12 20, Lauren Zacharias 3-6 1-2 9, Rachael Saunders 4-14 5-6 13, Logan Cook 2-8 1-4 5, Emma Koch 4-8 1-2 9, Matayia Tellis 2-2 2-2 7, Audrey Koch 0-0 0-0 0, Paige Beckner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 21-28 63.

WEST DES MOINES DOWLING (53): Caitlin Clark 9-27 2-2 22, Kaitlyn Moses 0-3 2-2 2, Mia Cataldo 5-11 0-0 12, Anna Wanek 1-6 0-0 2, JosieFiler 4-6 4-5 12, Ella McVey 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Gaber 1-2 0-0 3, Jacey Koethe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-56 8-9 53.

Halftime: Dowling 21, West 21. End of regulation: 47-47. 3-point goals: West 6-18 (Morgan 3-6, Zacharias 2-5, Saunders 0-3, Cook 0-1, Koch 0-1, Tellis 1-1, Beckner 0-1), Dowling 5-21 (Clark 2-10, Moses 0-2, Cataldo 2-6, Wanek 0-1, Gaber 1-2). Team fouls: West 15, Dowling 20. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: West 35 (Koch 9), Dowling 33 (Clark 9). Assists: West 8 (Cook 4), Dowling 9 (Clark 6). Steals:

Turnovers: West 12, Dowling 14.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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