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DES MOINES — A remarkable career got another commemorative game ball.
Pocahontas Area’s Elle Ruffridge became the state’s all-time leader in career assists (795) in the Indians’ 46-22 win over Clear Lake at the girls’ state basketball tournament Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena.
“It’s something to be proud of,” said Ruffridge, a senior and a Missouri State University signee. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”
A 5-foot-4 guard, Ruffridge also is the state career leader in points (2,879) and 3-pointers (452, in 1,003 attempts).
“If you talk about her points, you’ve got to start with her consistency and her accuracy,” said Poky Coach Robert Maske. “If you take away her shot, then you have to take away the drive.
“And if you take away both, she’s going to find her teammates, and we have other girls that can hit shots.”
Clear Lake was content to slow the pace to a crawl, and Ruffridge managed just nine points and two assists. Her assist total eclipsed that of Wapsie Valley’s Jamie Sickles (793, 2002-06).
“At times, it wasn’t much fun,” Ruffridge said. “It wasn’t the kind of basketball that should be played at the state tournament. This was the slowest pace we’ve played all season.”
Poky will face Center Point-Urbana in a semifinal at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
AN EYE ON THE LAUBES
Gail Hartigan is the winningest active coach in the state, and while she’s preparing for Thursday’s Class 2A semifinal against Cascade, she’ll also have great interest in Marion’s progress in the tournament.
Most specifically, she’ll have an eye on the Laube sisters.
Their mother and Coach Corby Laube’s wife, Ami Andersen Laube was a six-on-six forward for Hartigan’s Cardinals in the early 1990s.
“She was good, absolutely,” Hartigan said. “It’s too bad we weren’t playing five-on-five yet when she went through. She’d have been great.
“She was hard-nosed, a good competitor.”
Ami and her sister, Morey, were candle-lighters in Hartigan’s wedding in 1986.
Hartigan is one of nine coaches all-time in Iowa — and the only woman — with more than 700 wins. She is 709-171 in 36 years at Treynor, with 14 state trips.
Top-ranked Marion (22-1) faces No. 14 Boone (19-5) in a 4A quarterfinal at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
“I got to see (junior) Mia (Laube) play last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing Kayba (a freshman),” Hartigan said. “Mia’s game reminds me of her Aunt Morey. I hear Kayba is more like her mom.”
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