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Turkey Valley reaches 1A final

Girls' state basketball: Trojans make hay at the line, stuff Notre Dame, 79-67

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DES MOINES — It’s a goal on a sheet in the locker room back home in Jackson Junction.

But until lately, Shelby Reicks didn’t know if it was a realistic goal.

“Honestly, I thought maybe we could get to the state tournaent,” Reicks said. “But this, to play for a state championship ... this is awesome.”

Morgan Kuennen fueled a third-quarter surge, and top-ranked Turkey Valley downed No. 4 Burlington Notre Dame, 79-67, in a foul-filled Class 1A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Thursday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.

“In the locker room, we put all our goals on a sheet,” Kuennen said. “One of the them is a state championship. I didn’t know if we could do that, but we’ve kept going a step at a time.”

 

The Trojans (26-0) face No. 3 Springville for small-school supremacy at 6 p.m. Friday. Springville (25-1) downed defending-champion Newell-Fonda, 59-52.

Friday’s game is a rematch from a Rivalry Saturday game played Jan. 9 at the U.S. Cellular Center. Turkey Valley won it, 49-42.

Turkey Valley is a state-tournament rookie, while Notre Dame (24-2) was making its fourth straight appearance in the semifinals. But it was the Trojans that made the plays — and eventually hit the free throws, a LOT of free throws — in the second half.

The Trojans shot 37 foul shots in the second half, making 25. They were 32 of 46 throughout the game.

“It took forever,” Reicks said. “You’d look at the clock, and there was 2:34 left. Then you’d look again and it was 2:20.”

After a first half that featured five lead changes and four ties — it was 32-31, Notre Dame at intermission — Turkey Valley took control in the third period, and Kuennen was the major factor.

The junior scored 10 points in the quarter, including six straight in an 8-0 run that gave the Trojans a 48-38 advantage.

“Our defense made it go,” Kuennen said. “We have a lot of length. I’m 5-11. Shelby is 5-10. We have long arms, and we get a lot of deflections. I think that gets in people’s heads.”

Turkey Valley led, 53-43, after three quarters, and extended the margin as large as 17 points during the late-game parade to the foul line.

“The fourth quarter took a very long time,” Trojans co-coach Carletta Nymeyer said. “I’m glad the girls held their composure and stuck with it.”

Kuennen led the Trojans with 23 points. Reicks added 22, Emily Busta 14. Turkey Valley collected 15 steals (six by Reicks), which contributed greatly to Notre Dame’s 26 turnovers.

Four Nikes reached double figures, led by Riley Kilbride’s 18 points. Emma Lynch posted 13 points and 19 rebounds.

TURKEY VALLEY 79, BURLINGTON NOTRE DAME 67 (Class 1A State Semifinal)

At Des Moines

BURLINGTON NOTRE DAME (67): Johanna Myers 5-9 3-5 15, Riley Kilbride 5-16 6-8 18, Ashley Hedges 1-5 2-3 4, Gabrielle Koelker 4-9 6-7 14, Emma Lynch 5-5 3-4 13, Anna Tillo 0-0 0-0 0, Reagan Rogerson 1-3 1-1 3, Kaelyn Hoanbrecker 0-0 0-0 0, Tigerlily Sorenson 0-0 0-0 0, Catherine Lillie 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Delaney 0-4 0-0 0, Abby Crowner 0-0 0-0 0, Hailey Blythe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 21-28 67.

TURKEY VALLEY (79): Macie Njus 2-3 2-2 7, Shelby Reicks 6-12 10-16 22, Sadie Nymeyer 2-8 5-10 9, Morgan Kuennen 8-15 7-10 23, Delaney Lensing 1-2 2-2 4, Sloan Huinker 0-0 0-0 0, Kayla Schaufenbuel 0-2 0-0 0, Kayla Gebel 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Kuennen 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Busta 3-6 6-6 14, Stephanie Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 32-46 79.

Halftime: Notre Dame 32, Turkey Valley 31. 3-point goals: Notre Dame 4-16 (Myers 2-3, Kilbride 2-8, Hedges 0-1, Rogerson 0-1, Delaney 0-3), Turkey Valley 3-11 (Njus 1-1, Reicks 0-3, Nymeyer 0-3, Busta 2-4). Team fouls: Notre Dame 30, Turkey Valley 24. Fouled out: Myers, Koelker. Technicals: Myers, Lensing. Rebounds: Notre Dame 38 (Lynch 19), Turkey Valley 27 (M.Kuennen 9). Assists: Notre Dame 9 (Kilbride, Lynch 3), Turkey Valley 10 (Nymeyer 5). Steals: Notre Dame 9 (Kilbride 4), Turkey Valley 15 (Reicks 6). Turnovers: Notre Dame 26, Turkey Valley 12.

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

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