Iowa City West makes it tough on Valley, but comes up short in 5A semifinals

Girls' state basketball: Women of Troy take 21-14 halftime lead, but can't find offense late

  • Photo

DES MOINES — Iowa City West had a reason to fold.

Instead, the short-handed Women of Troy made No. 2 West Des Moines Valley work for a Class 5A girls’ basketball state semifinal win.

Down 46-36 with 5:08 remaining and playing without its star guard, West went on an 10-1 run, cutting the lead to 47-46 on Cailyn Morgan’s layup with 2:53 left. But West (22-4) missed its final three shots and turned it over three times. Valley (23-2) made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch and advanced with a 55-48 victory.

“We really just refused to lose,” Morgan said. “We knew that we had to do just do it for each other and put everything we had out there. We tried our best.”

Valley will take on No. 5 Cedar Falls (23-2) in Saturday’s title game at 8 p.m.

Without Creighton recruit Rachael Saunders, who injured her knee in Wednesday’s quarterfinals and was on crutches Friday, West stunned 5A’s top scoring team with a stifling first half.

The Tigers, averaging 69.8 points, shot just 22.7 percent in the first 16 minutes, including an 0-for-9 second quarter, and trailed 21-14. Zoe Young, ranked No. 21 nationally in the Class of 2019 by ESPN, was scoreless with four turnovers.

“We tried to make them one-dimensional,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said. “If they made shots, so be it.”

In the third quarter, they did.

Shea Fuller’s corner 3 gave Valley a 31-30 advantage, its first lead since midway through the second quarter. Hannah Fuller followed with another 3 and the Tigers, who hit 11 of 20 second-half field goals, never trailed again.

Alex Honnold made it a 10-point game after a West miss and runout in the fourth.

“I think a lot of people at that point did not think we were going to have a chance to get back into it,” said West’s Logan Cook, who had a game-high 17 points. “So when we did, we were all super excited.”

After the tip, it looked like West might have a long afternoon. With five turnovers in the first 4 1/2 minutes, the Women of Troy fell behind 8-2. But Valley couldn’t take full advantage and West took a 10-9 lead heading to the second.

“We were a little nervous, obviously, coming out and playing without one of your emotional leaders in a big game,” Mayer said. “It took us a little bit to get settled in. Then I thought we settled in.”

“You don’t wish injury upon anyone,” said Drake signee Hannah Fuller, who led Valley with 13 points. “They definitely could have used her, I think, but West played really well.”

Honnold added 12 points for Valley, Shea Fuller nine. Morgan finished with 11 points for West and Katie McGrane had eight in the first half.

WEST DES MOINES VALLEY 55, IOWA CITY WEST 48

5A State Semifinal, at Des Moines

IOWA CITY WEST (48): Cailyn Morgan 4-9 3-3 11, Lauren Zacharias 0-2 6-6 6, Maddie Huinker 1-5 1-2 3, Logan Cook 5-11 7-10 17, Emma Koch 0-6 1-2 1, Ali Tauchen 0-0 0-0 0, Katie McGrane 3-6 1-2 8, Paige Beckner 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 13-43 21-27 48.

WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (55): Zoe Young 1-7 4-6 7, Jackie Feldt 2-6 3-7 7, Alex Honnold 6-8 0-2 12, Jamie Feldt 0-2 7-8 7, Hannah Fuller 5-11 2-6 13, Casey Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Shea Fuller 2-8 4-4 9. Totals 16-42 20-33 55.

Halftime: West 21, Valley 14.

3-point goals: West 1-10 (Morgan 0-2, Huinker 0-3, Cook 0-1, McGrane 1-2, Beckner 0-2), Valley 3-15 (Young 1-5, Jackie Feldt 0-1, Jamie Feldt 0-1, H.Fuller 1-4, S.Fuller 1-4). Team fouls: West 27, Valley 19. Fouled out: Huinker. Rebounds: West 40 (Koch 10), Valley 36 (Honnold, H.Fuller 7). Assists: West 8 (Zacharias, Huinker 2), Valley 7 (S.Fuller 2). Steals: West 9 (Morgan, Cook, McGrane 2), Valley 12 (Jackie Feldt, Jamie Feldt 3). Turnovers: West 19, Valley 13.

l Comments: (319) 398-8252; nathan.ford@thegazette.com

Like what you're reading?

We make it easy to stay connected:

to our email newsletters
Download our free apps

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.