Prep Basketball

Springville will play for 3rd straight 1A girls' basketball championship

Orioles down Exira-EHK, meet Newell-Fonda for the title

Springville's Mikayla Nachazel (51), celebrates the Orioles' 57-41 Class 1A semifinal win over Exira-EHK at the girls' state  basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Springville's Mikayla Nachazel (51), celebrates the Orioles' 57-41 Class 1A semifinal win over Exira-EHK at the girls' state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Win or lose, through joyous tears or bitter tears, it ends Saturday night.

Springville’s legacy could be a remarkable four-year run, highlighted by a pair of state championships.

Or it could be remembered as something more. As a small-school dynasty.

The top-ranked Orioles scored 33 points off 20 turnovers by No. 7 Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton, and cruised in Friday’s Class 1A semifinal, 57-41, at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Obviously, we’re excited,” Springville’s Mikayla Nachazel said. “We’re so thankful for one more game. We’ve worked really hard, and it’s something we think we deserve.”

The two-time defending champion, Springville (23-3) goes for another title at 7 p.m. Saturday, against No. 4 Newell-Fonda (26-0), a 61-49 winner over No. 2 Central Decatur on Friday.

Springville will be making its fourth straight finals appearance, its sixth in the last 11 years.

Nachazel scored 15 points, Madi Wagaman added 13 and Rylee Menster 12. They, along with Alyssa Jaeger, have been the backbone of this program through this four-year joyride.

The Orioles didn’t blink after Exira-EHK (24-2) ran out to an 8-2 lead. By the time Sami Johnson hit a 3-pointer to close the first quarter, Springville was in front.

Then they used a 14-1 blitz to close the half and take a 29-18 run into the locker room.

The margin grew as large as 21 points early in the fourth quarter.

Johnson and Mel Nulle scored six points apiece off the bench.


“I knew (Exira-EHK) was going to focus on our big players, and it gave me a chance to contribute,” Nulle said.

A former assistant, Christina Zaruba succeeded Nate Sanderson as head coach after Sanderson took the Linn-Mar job.

“I didn’t feel any extra weight on my shoulders,” she said. “There’s a lot of knowledge there, both with the assistants and the players.

“It feels wonderful to get to the finals, and I have all these kids to thank.”

Wagaman said, “We’re playing the best we’ve played all season. You want to be at your best at state.”


Class 1A State Semifinal, at Des Moines

EXIRA-EHK (41): Tatum Grubbs 1-8 2-2 4, Ellie Schultes 2-10 3-4 8, Kealey Nelson 2-7 2-2 6, Sophia Peppers 4-9 4-4 13, Kamryn Waymire 3-5 0-0 8, Jacey Anthofer 0-1 0-0 0, Damian Peterson 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Hansen 0-1 0-0 0, Jada Bowlin 0-0 0-0 0, Leslie Caniglia 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 12-42 13-14 41.

SPRINGVILLE (57): Nichole Kane 1-5 0-0 2, Rylee Menster 4-8 3-3 12, Madi Wagaman 6-15 0-0 13, Alyssa Jaeger 1-2 1-2 3, Mikayla Nachazel 6-12 2-4 15, Rylee Chapman 0-0 0-0 0, Melissa Nulle 3-4 0-0 6, Megan Pearson 0-0 0-0 0, Kali Spicer 0-0 0-0 0, Courtney Boland 0-0 0-0 0, Sami Johnson 2-3 0-0 6, Kelly Kirchman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 6-9 57.

Halftime: Springville 29, Exira-EHK 18. 3-point goals: Exira-EHK 4-17 (Grubbe 0-3, Schulte 1-6, Peppers 1-3, Waymire 2-4, Anthofer 0-1), Springville 5-13 (Kane 0-4, Menster 1-3, Wagaman 1-3, Nachazel 1-1, Johnson 2-2). Team fouls: Exira-EHK 13, Springville 13. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Exira-EHK 30 (Nelson, Peppers 7), Springville 29 (four with 4). Assists: Exira-EHK 8 (Nelson 3), Springville 15 (Menster 4). Steals: Exira-EHK 10 (Peppers 6), Springville 15 (Menster 5). Turnovers: Exira-EHK 20, Springville 15.

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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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