116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — They defended. They rebounded. They executed.
The Maquoketa Valley Wildcats did everything, but finish.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Taylor Kvale ignited a 16-2 run, and second-ranked Dike-New Hartford rallied from an 11-point deficit to break the No. 1 Wildcats' hearts, 47-42, in the Class 2A girls' basketball state championship game Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
'I knew we weren't really out of the game,' Kvale said. 'Before the fourth quarter, I prayed, 'Hey God, let me help this team.''
Dike-New Hartford capped a 26-0 campaign. Saturday marked the first time all season the Wolverines trailed at halftime, and at the end of the third quarter.
'They were dissecting our zone,' DNH Coach Bruce Dall said. 'We went to a full-court man press ... we hadn't done that all year ... and I think it caught them off guard.'
Maquoketa Valley (25-1) was the superior squad for the first 23 minutes, frustrating the Wolverines and building a 33-22 lead. But then Kvale ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer, opened the fourth with another, and everything shifted DNH's way.
'We got sped up in the fourth quarter,' Maquoketa Valley Scot Moenck said. 'We had some uncharacteristic turnovers, they hit a couple of big 3s.
'You've got to finish games, but I'm proud of the kids. They battled.'
After Kvale's trey sliced the margin to 33-28, she added a steal and layup. Then freshman Payton Petersen — the all-tournament captain — scored on an offensive rebound, and the comeback was fully underway.
Ellery Knock's 3-pointer with 5:50 to go put DNH in front for good, 37-35.
'In our scouting report, we were going to make them beat us from outside, instead of with their posts,' Maquoketa Valley's Ella Imler said.
Taya Tucker added, 'They got a little pressure on us, and we we turned it over too much at the end.'
Dike-New Hartford failed to deliver the knockout punch until the very end, when Sophia Hoffmann — who missed her first nine free throws — hit a pair with five seconds to go.
The Wolverines were 7 of 20 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Maquoketa Valley was concerned about DNH's rebounding prowess, for good reason. The Wolverines outboarded West Branch 50-22 in the semifinals. But the Wildcats owned a 29-25 advantage on the glass, including 12-2 in the first quarter.
Tucker had 14 points and nine rebounds in the opening half, and the Wildcats took a 25-17 lead into the locker room.
Their largest margin was 11, at 28-17 (on a Carissa Sabers 3) and at 33-22 (on a three-point play by Kylie Chesnut).
Tucker (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Imler (11 points) joined Petersen on the all-tournament team, along with DNH's Paula Gonzalez, West Branch's Sasha Koenig and Nodaway Valley's Maddax DeVault.
The runner-up finish was Maquoketa Valley's second; the other came in 2003.
'Great season,' Moenck said. 'These kids taught our community a lot about perseverance. Life isn't always easy. Tough times can define you in a positive way.
'These kids have made me a better person.'
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD 47, MAQUOKETA VALLEY 42
Class 2A State Championship, at Des Moines
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD (47): Ellary Knock 3-8 5-7 12, Taylor Kvale 4-7 1-2 12, Paula Gonzalez 2-10 0-1 6, Payton Petersen 2-3 4-6 8, Sophia Hoffmann 3-8 2-11 8, Jadyn Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Camille Landphair 0-1 1-2 1, Taylor Hoehns 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 13-29 47.
MAQUOKETA VALLEY (42): Carissa Sabers 1-4 0-0 3, Kylie Chesnut 4-4 1-1 9, Ella Imler 3-15 4-6 11, Taya Tucker 5-10 3-3 14, Emerso Whittenbaugh 2-5 1-1 5, Kennedy Rausch 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-39 9-11 42.
Halftime: Maquoketa Valley 25, DNH 17. 3-point goals: DNH 6-20 (Knock 1-3, Kvale 3-6, Gonzalez 2-8, Hoffmann 0-2, Landphair 0-1), Maquoketa Valley 3-14 (Sabers 1-4, Imler 1-9, Tucker 1-1). Team fouls: DNH 15, Maquoketa Valley 20. Fouled out: Sabers. Rebounds: DNH 25 (Gonzalez 7), Maquoketa Valley 29 (Tucker 11). Assists: DNH 9 (Hoffmann 6), Maquoketa Valley 8 (Imler, Tucker, Whittenbaugh 2). Steals: DNH 9 (Petersen, Hoffmann 3), Maquoketa Valley 4 (Tucker 3). Turnovers: DNH 8, Maquoketa Valley 16.
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