116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES - Jada Gyamfi relished a rare low-traffic lane.
'It was a little different, a nice change,” she said. 'I'm used to two or three (defenders) on me.”
Instead, it was mostly one-on-one, and Gyamfi maneuvered her way to a 19-point, 18-rebound performance in second-ranked Johnston's 71-64 win over No. 7 Cedar Falls in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the girls' state basketball tournament Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.
A 6-foot-2 junior forward and a University of Iowa commit, Gyamfi missed some bunnies early. But overall, it was an effective performance in which she didn't need to pull all of her tools out of the box.
'I don't think I even tried a 3-pointer,” she said, correctly.
In the open court, Gyamfi is mobile and able to handle the ball and run. In the halfcourt, she's primarily a post.
Gyamfi was 9 of 16 from the floor, 1 of 3 from the line.
She chose Iowa - 'I grew up a Hawkeye,” she said - last summer, shortly after transferring to Johnston from Urbandale, which she helped lead to state as a freshman.
'I wanted to play for a coach that will prepare me and push me to play college basketball, and I wanted to be on a team that wants to win,” she said of Chad Jilek and the Dragons. 'That was the biggest part of my decision.”
Defending-champion Johnston (17-1) faces No. 6 Iowa City West (14-3) in a semifinal at noon Thursday.
Waukee's last dance
Eight years ago, it was Ankeny. Now, it's Waukee.
The suburban school from Dallas County has exploded in enrollment through the past 25 years, to the point that it's the largest high school in the state.
After the school year is complete, one high school will split into two - Waukee, and Waukee Northwest.
'It's cool to be part of the last class, the way things are,” said senior Katie Dinnebier, who scored 23 points in the top-ranked Warriors' 60-37 rout of No. 9 West Des Moines Dowling in a 5A quarterfinal Monday morning. 'It's a really special thing to play together one more time.”
Coach Chris Guess, who has been at Waukee for 18 of his 29 seasons, will be the first coach at Northwest.
'(Waukee co-athletics director) Jim Duea hired me a long time ago, and I want to ride into the sunset with him,” Guess said.
Guess said of the nine non-seniors on the varsity roster, seven will be at Northwest next year, two at Waukee.
Last year's 5A runner-up, Waukee jumped to a 41-14 halftime lead Monday.
'Sometimes we're not ready to go at the start. Today, we were,” said Dinnebier, who will play at Drake University next year. 'We practiced at 6 o'clock, and we were ready.”
Waukee (11-1) faces No. 5 Ankeny Centennial (16-2) in a semifinal at 10 a.m. Thursday.
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