116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SPRINGVILLE — Collins-Maxwell traveled to 120 miles fiery hot, riding a seven-game win streak.
Host Springville, led by senior Lauren Wilson, quickly cooled the Spartans down.
In a Class 1A regional girls’ basketball semifinal Friday night, the Orioles (22-1) dominated Collins-Maxwell, 67-41, and advanced to take on No. 15 Baxter (24-0) in a regional final game Wednesday at Benton Community High School at 7 p.m. with a state tournament berth on the line.
Friday’s contest was the last Wilson and fellow Oriole seniors will play on their home court.
“It’s sad, obviously, but it hasn’t really set in yet,” Wilson said. “I don’t think anyone’s really thinking about it with this win, going to the regional final again. I think we’re all just happy and enjoying the moment right now.”
“I don’t think any of them are like, ‘oh no, this is it,’” said Springville Coach Christina Zaruba. “They’re just like, ‘one more game, keep it going.’”
Wilson entered Friday’s game with 15 double-doubles this season. She decided to up the ante in the final game in front of the home crowd by dropping a triple-double with 26 points, 21 rebounds and 10 blocks.
“I’ve always been one for blocking shots, but I think that with the size advantage we didn’t double-down on the post,” Wilson said. “Just play one-on-one, stay straight up and it worked tonight.”
With 2:41 to go in the first quarter, Springville led 11-10. In the remaining 10:41 in the first half, the Orioles outscored the Spartans 24-3, taking a 35-13 lead to intermission.
Springville never trailed.
The Spartans made the long trek fresh off a 54-42 regional quarterfinal win over Iowa Valley. Led by sophomores Erica Houge and Chloe Wierson, Collins-Maxwell (16-6) finished the regular season tied for second in the Iowa Star Conference’s South Division.
Collins-Maxwell’s talented sophomores struggled with the more seasoned Springville squad, particularly in the interior.
“I think that getting it in the inside early really established us,” Wilson said. “And then they sent two or three on me in the second, third and fourth quarters, so I think that opened up Grace, Morgan and Savannah to jumpers.”
Grace Matus had 15 points, Savannah Nealman had eight and Morgan Nachazel added five.
“We’ve talked about that a lot the last couple days of inside game,” Zaruba said. “You know, Lauren is right close to 6-foot, so get it inside. Once everybody draws attention to Lauren, they pin it inside, we have good outside shooters.”
The Orioles outscored the Spartans 16-12 in the third quarter, and both teams scored 16 in the fourth.
Wierson paced the Spartans with 14 points, Houge added 12.
With Friday’s win, the Orioles are now just one win away from making their second straight state tournament appearance and their seventh appearance in the last eight years.
“Not every day you get the chance to go to state,” Wilson said. “We don’t take it for granted, we take it one game at a time.”
“It’s one game at a time,” Zaruba said.