Prep Basketball

Girls' state basketball: Friday's capsules

City plays West for the 5A title, then it's Marion-Grinnell in 4A

Marion players run to celebrate their 56-46 win over Center Point-Urbana in their Class 4A semifinal at the girls’ state  basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Thursday. Marion faces Grinnell for the championship at 8 p.m. Friday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Marion players run to celebrate their 56-46 win over Center Point-Urbana in their Class 4A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Thursday. Marion faces Grinnell for the championship at 8 p.m. Friday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Capsules for Friday’s games involving area teams at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena:

Class 2A semifinals

No. 6 Cascade (23-3) vs. No. 10 North Union (22-2)

Time: 11:45 a.m.

Top players: Cascade’s Nicole McDermott (5-5, soph.) paces the Cougars at 13.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. Abbie Ruggeberg (5-11, sr.) and Anne Ryan (5-7, sr.) add 12.8 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. North Union boasts three prolific scorers — Chloe Lofstrom (5-11, soph., 17.0 ppg), Samantha Hagedorn (5-7, sr., 14.9 ppg) and Hallie Reese (5-9, sr., 14.6 ppg). Lofstrom averages 9.0 rebounds per contest.

Coaches: Mike Sconsa is in his 14th year at Cascade and has compiled a mark of 279-65. Merle Tigges’ six-year mark at North Union is 118-40. He is 266-82 in 20 years overall.

How they got here: Cascade advanced with a 61-44 triumph over No. 9 Dike-New Hartford, dominating the second and third quarters. North Union edged No. 3 Panorama, 47-46. The Warriors had the shot of the postseason, when Hallie Reese’s off-balance shot knocked off defending-champion Western Christian, 50-48, in the regional final.

BC Moore computer projection: Cascade by 6.

Class 1A semifinals

No. 1 Springville (22-3) vs. No. 7 Exira-EHK (24-1)

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Top players: Springville’s roster is full of veterans, headed by future Minnesota State-Mankato teammates Rylee Menster (5-6, sr.) and Mikayla Nachazel (5-11, sr.). Menster averages 17.3 points and 4.3 steals per game, and Nachazel adds 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest. Exira-EHK's Sophia Peppers (5-10, sr.) and Kealey Nelson (5-8, sr.) are at state for the fourth straight year. They average 18.6 and 16.0 points per game, respectively.


Coaches: Former assistant Christina Zaruba is in her first season as the head coach at Springville, and is 22-3. Tom Petersen is in his eighth year at Exira-EHK and owns a 171-25 mark there. His 20-year career has netted a 384-90 record and a 2010 state title with Exira.

How they got here: Springville had no trouble with No. 15 Algona Garrigan in the first round, rolling to a 54-36 win and improving to 6-0 all-time in quarterfinals. Exira-EHK pulled away late from No. 8 Ackley AGWSR, 57-47.

BC Moore computer projection: Springville by 7.

Class 5A championship

No. 1 Iowa City High (25-0) vs. No. 9 Iowa City West (18-7)

Time: 6 p.m.

Top players: City High’s Ashley Joens (6-0, sr.), an Iowa State University signee, is the state scoring leader at 31.0 points per game and nets 11.8 boards per contest. Rose Nkumu (5-8, soph.) and Aubrey Joens (5-9, soph.) add 13.6 and 13.4 points per game, respectively. University of Iowa signee Logan Cook (6-1, sr.) leads West’s charge. She is averaging 14.5 and 7.1 rebounds per game. Creighton commit Rachael Saunders (5-8, sr.) tore an ACL in the state tournament last year, and was limited to 16 games this season. She is averaging 10.8 ppg, and three others are scoring at least 9 ppg.



Coaches: Bill McTaggart is 356-114 in 20 seasons at City High, 447-175 in 25 years overall. B.J. Mayer is in his 11th year at West and owns a 193-70 mark there. Overall, he is 321-153 in 20 seasons.

How they got here: City High advanced with a 78-62 victory over No. 12 West Des Moines Valley and a 58-52 triumph over No. 4 Johnston. West rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat No. 3 West Des Moines Dowling, 63-53 in overtime, then took care of No. 10 Indianola, 58-45. City High won the two regular-season meetings over West, 53-40 and 79-70.

BC Moore computer projection: Iowa City High by 10.

Class 4A championship

No. 1 Marion (25-0) vs. No. 3 Grinnell (23-2)

Time: 8 p.m.

Top players: Marion is a balanced, deep squad with nine players averaging more than 4 points per game. Kayba Laube (5-9, soph.) is a UNI commit that leads the Indians at 13.4 points per game. Saint Louis University signee Chloe Rice (5-10, sr.) adds 10.9 points and 4.3 assists per contest. Sienna Durr (6-0, sr.) will play at Columbia University next year. She leads Grinnell at 21.5 points per game. She has plenty of offensive help, with Macy Harris (5-7, jr.), Kameron Moore (5-9, sr.) and Naomi Jackson (5-7, jr.) adding 12 points or more per game apiece.


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Coaches: Corby Laube is in his 15th year as a coach at Marion, where he owns a mark of 224-119. That includes a six-year ledger of 105-38 with the girls’ program. Trent Edsen is 135-92 in 10 years at Grinnell.

How they got here: Marion used a big second half to beat No. 14 Fairfield, 71-39, in the quarterfinals, then defeated No. 5 Center Point-Urbana, 56-46, in the semifinals. Grinnell has rolled to two victories here, 70-51 over No. 7 Mason City and 68-47 over No. 9 LeMars.

BC Moore computer projection: Marion by 2.

Friday's other games

Class 2A semifinal: No. 2 Treynor (23-1) vs. No. 8 Grundy Center (23-1), 10 a.m.

Class 1A semifinal: No. 2 Central Decatur (25-0) vs. No. 4 Newell-Fonda (25-0), 3:15 p.m.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857;



DES MOINES - Their legacy? Mikayla Nachazel paused and pondered. "I think we'll be remembered as a team that played basketball how it's supposed to be played," she said. "And it's not about the trophies. It's about the memories w ...

DES MOINES - Mike Sconsa's daughter stood at his side, holding the giant plaque that goes to the championship coach. "It will probably go in my suitcase," he said. "I'm not a coach that needs a championship to validate me." He p ...

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