North Scott ends Xavier's run, 58-49

Girls' state basketball: Saints bow out in 4A semifinals

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DES MOINES — Tom Lilly said his team was “a step behind” North Scott all game.

As a result, Cedar Rapids Xavier was a few points behind. And the way the Lancers shot free throws, that wasn’t a good place to be.

Eighth-ranked North Scott converted 17 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter and defeated No. 6 Xavier, 58-49, in a Class 4A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Friday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Give North Scott credit,” Lilly said. “They played with poise, they didn’t turn it over a lot, they made shots.

“They got to loose balls and were a step quicker than our kids.”

 

 

North Scott (20-5) advances to the finals for the first time since back-to-back runner-up finishes in 1986 and 1987. The Lancers will face top-ranked Marion (24-1) for the championship at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“This was our main goal,” said North Scott freshman post Grace Boffeli, who spearheaded the Lancers’ work on the backboards that translated to a 42-23 rebounding advantage. “The offensive boards were big for us, and gave us a lot of second chances.”

Xavier (18-7) saw an 11-game win streak — its longest since 2005 — come to an end. The Saints were in good shape when Lexi Noonan’s basket gave them a 36-34 lead late in the third quarter. But the Lancers responded with a 15-4 run that gave them control for good.

“Kudos to them,” said Xavier’s Kiana Stanek. “They were very aggressive, and when they got to the foul line, there was nothing we could do.”

The fourth quarter was a charity-stripe parade for the Lancers. Rylie Rucker made all six of her tries.

North Scott finished 28 of 34 from the line, for 82 percent.

Noonan said the Saints’ help defense led to the rebounding disparity.

“When our posts helped, it left them under the basket and gave them a lot of easy putbacks,” she said.

Boffeli had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Lancers. Karli Rucker, a UNI signee, added 14 points, and Rylie Rucker contributed 11 points and eight boards.

Noonan paced Xavier with 20 points.

“We were coming off a losing season (10-13) last year, and we put so much into this season,” she said. “It sucks to end on a loss, but to finish in the top four, we couldn’t have asked for much more.”

“It’s been unforgettable,” Stanek said. It was such a positive experience.”

North Scott led through most of the first half, by as many as 10 points. It was 28-23 at halftime.

Noonan’s 3-pointer tied it at 30-30, then Xavier had brief leads of 34-32 and 36-34 before the Lancers took control.

NORTH SCOTT 58, CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 49

4A State Semifinal, at Des Moines

C.R. XAVIER (49): Kiana Stanek 0-5 1-2 1, Caitlynn Daniels 2-4 0-0 5, Kylie Brown 3-7 0-0 7, Lexi Noonan 7-13 4-4 20, Amelia Ivester 4-6 0-0 8, Addy Hoffman 0-1 0-0 0, Lauren Cooling 0-1 0-0 0, Maria Steffen 1-1 2-2 4, Jess Callahan 0-0 0-0 0, Maddix Stovie 1-3 2-3 4, Emily Jasper 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 9-11 49.

NORTH SCOTT (58): Presley Case 1-6 0-0 2, Karli Rucker 3-12 7-8 14, Savannah Bogner 0-2 0-0 0, Rylie Rucker 1-9 9-11 11, Grace Boffeli 6-8 5-7 17, Erica Loussaert 2-5 4-4 9, Hannah Moeller 1-4 3-4 5. Totals 14-46 28-34 58.

Halftime: North Scott 28, Xavier 23. 3-point goals: Xavier 4-13 (Stanek 0-3, Daniels 1-3, Brown 1-3, Noonan 2-2, Hoffman 0-1, Jasper 0-1), North Scott 2-14 (Case 0-2, K.Rucker 1-2, R.Rucker 0-4, Loussaert 1-3, Moeller 0-3). Team fouls: Xavier 24, North Scott 16. Fouled out: Stanek. Rebounds: Xavier 23 (Brown, Noonan 4), North Scott 42 (Boffeli 9). Assists: Xavier 13 (Daniels 5), North Scott 8 (K.Rucker 4). Steals: Xavier 10 (Daniels 5), North Scott 7 (K.Rucker 4). Turnovers: Xavier 18, North Scott 16.

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

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