Prep Basketball

It's a girls' state basketball triple crown for Springville

Orioles dump Newell-Fonda for 3rd straight 1A title

Springville players celebrates their 60-49 win over Newelll-Fonda in the Class 1A championship game at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday. The title was the Orioles’ third in a row. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Springville players celebrates their 60-49 win over Newelll-Fonda in the Class 1A championship game at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday. The title was the Orioles’ third in a row. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

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 we have had.”

Nachazel earned all-tournament captain honors — again — as top-ranked Springville downed No. 4 Newell-Fonda, 60-49, for its third consecutive Class 1A girls’ state basketball championship Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Orioles (24-3) became the eighth team in state history to win at least three in a row, the first since Western Christian went back-to-back-to-back from 2012 through 2014.

Best run by a small-school ever? The group is in the discussion. After falling just short in the 2015 final — against Newell-Fonda, no less — the Orioles have rattled off the next three titles, usually without much tension. This year’s edition won by margins of 18, 16 and 11.

The four-year run netted a 98-10 record.

“We had some bumps earlier this season, but as it wore on, everybody got more comfortable,” said Rylee Menster, who joined Nachazel (a three-time captain) on the all-tournament team. “The other girls started shooting shots, and they gave us what we needed.”

Newell-Fonda (26-1) was right in the Orioles’ rear-view mirror at 32-29 midway through the third quarter. But the veteran Orioles didn’t flinch.

They gradually built the margin to 41-32 by the end of the period. Nachazel stepped out for a 3-pointer to make it 46-34, and she ran downcourt, grinning and pumping her fists.

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Menster’s drive gave Springville its largest lead at 56-40 with about 2 minutes left, and the countdown was on.

It’s the Orioles’ third straight title, but it’s the first as a head coach for Christina Zaruba.

“It’s different for me, yes,” she said. “It’s the last hurrah for a lot of these girls, and they really wanted it.

“I’m kind of sad it’s over. It’s been an exciting week, and if I could, I’d love to start over with this team next week.”

Nachazel, misty-eyed in the press room, called it “a bittersweet moment. I’m happy I got to experience this the last four years with my team.”

Menster added 14 points for the Orioles. She’ll join Nachazel at Minnesota State-Mankato next year. Madi Wagaman, Alyssa Jaeger, Sami Johnson and Courtney Boland round out an unforgettable senior group.

“It’s so exciting,” Wagaman said. “And it’s so sad.”

Megan Morenz scored 12 points for Newell-Fonda, and Olivia Larsen added 11. They joined Nachazel and Menster on the all-tournament team, as did Sophia Peppers of Exira-EHK and Alli Masters of Central Decatur.

Nichole Kane’s 3-pointer triggered a 13-2 surge that gave Springville a 25-15 advantage in the second quarter. It was 25-20 at halftime.

Kane finished with seven points, as did Johnson.

SPRINGVILLE 60, NEWELL-FONDA 49

Class 1A State Championship, at Des Moines

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NEWELL-FONDA (49): Emma Stewart 0-5 0-0 0, Jenna Coppock 1-4 0-0 3, Megan Morenz 6-9 0-1 12, Olivia Larsen 3-7 5-8 11, Ella Larsen 4-8 0-0 8, Camryn Wilken 3-5 0-0 9, Bailey Sievers 0-1 0-0 0, Beth Greenfield 0-0 0-0 0, Maggie Walker 2-2 1-2 6, Ashley Archer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-41 6-11 49.

SPRINGVILLE (60): Nichole Kane 2-3 2-4 7, Rylee Menster 5-9 3-5 14, Madi Wagaman 1-5 1-2 3, Alyssa Jaeger 1-3 0-3 2, Mikayla Nachazel 9-13 6-8 25, Melissa Nulle 1-2 0-0 2, Courtney Boland 0-1 0-0 0, Sami Johnson 3-3 0-1 7. Totals 22-39 12-23 60.

Halftime: Springville 25, Newell-Fonda 20. 3-point goals: Newell-Fonda 5-19 (Stewart 0-5, Coppock 1-4, O.Larsen 0-2, E.Larsen 0-2, Wilken 3-5, Walker 1-1). Team fouls: Newell-Fonda 19, Springville 14. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Newell-Fonda 16 (O.Larsen 6), Springville 29 (Nachazel 11). Assists: Newell-Fonda 10 (O.Larsen 5), Springville 13 (Menster 4). Steals: Newell-Fonda 9 (three with 2), Springville 10 (Nachazel 3). Turnovers: Newell-Fonda 17, Springville 18.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: TEAMS WITH THREE OR MORE CONSECUTIVE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

4: Ankeny (4A, 2002-05)

4: Audubon (6-player, 1921-24)

3: SPRINGVILLE (1A, 2016-18)

3: Western Christian (2A, 2012-14)

3: Davenport Assumption (3A, 2011-13)

3: Rock Valley (2A, 2001; 1A, 2002-03)

3: Washington (3A, 1999-2001)

3: Lynnville-Sully (1A, 1997-99)

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

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