Prep Basketball

Waukon earns girls' state basketball bid with second-half blitz of Assumption

Special group of 8 seniors get Waukon to state for first time since 2010

The ninth-ranked Waukon girls' basketball team celebrates its 55-44 victory over No. 13 Davenport Assumption in a Class 3A regional final at Marion, Iowa, on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. The Indians qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2010. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)
The ninth-ranked Waukon girls' basketball team celebrates its 55-44 victory over No. 13 Davenport Assumption in a Class 3A regional final at Marion, Iowa, on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. The Indians qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2010. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)

MARION — Greg Criswell claims his team is not great at any one thing.

That may be the case, but the second-year Waukon girls’ basketball coach has a bunch of seniors that are plenty good enough to get to the state tournament.

Senior guard Maddie Ahlstrom scored a game-high 22 points as the ninth-ranked Indians defeated No. 13 Davenport Assumption, 55-44, in a Class 3A regional final on Saturday at Marion High School.

“It is about that group of seniors,” Criswell said. “When I took the job, I kind of had a pretty good idea, especially with that core group, of what they had been doing since they were in the fourth grade. Been together, playing a lot of travel ball, putting in the time, paying their dues, working for this moment.”

Waukon (18-3) is in the state tournament for the first time since 2010. The 3A state tournament begins play Feb. 25 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Ahlstrom said. “This group of eight seniors has been working together for about eight years. It’s been fun.”

Waukon led by 11 points on two occasions in the first half, but Assumption charged out of the halftime locker room with an 8-3 surge that pulled the Knights within four at 26-22. With the margin still four points at 28-24, Waukon used a 16-0 explosion that gave it a 44-24 lead with seven minutes left in the game.

“When they got close, we just told ourselves to take a deep breath and we were pushing past that,” Ahlstrom said. “Because this was our game.”

The Waukon advantage remained in double digits the rest of the way.

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Waukon sophomore Annika Headington posted 12 points and five rebounds, while senior post player Sydney Ross added nine points and five rebounds. Senior Lauren Griffith pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Lauren Herrig led Assumption (12-11) with eight points. The Knights will miss the state tournament for just the sixth time in 19 years.

Girls’ basketball

CLASS 3A REGIONAL FINAL

At Marion

No. 9 Waukon 55, No. 13 Davenport Assumption 44

DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION (44): Chaney Steffen 1 2-5 4, Katie Anderson 2 0-0 6, Lauren Herrig 3 0-1 8, Olivia Wardlow 3 0-1 7, Dawsen Dorsey 2 2-3 6, Maddy Hanssen 0 0-0 0, Anna Wohlers 1 0-0 2, Allie Timmons 2 0-0 5, Corey Whitlock 2 2-2 6, Totals 16 6-12 44.

WAUKON (55): Maddie Ahlstrom 6 8-10 22, Ally Goltz 0 0-0 0, Aubree Cota 0 1-2 1, Lauren Griffith 1 3-4 6, Margaret Wacker 0 0-0 0, Faith Palmer 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Cooper 1 3-4 5, Sydney Ross 4 1-4 9, Annika Headington 5 2-3 12, Totals 17 18-27 55.

Davenport Assumption 6 8 10 20—44

Waukon 13 10 15 17—55

Halftime — Waukon, 23-14. Three-point goals — Davenport Assumption 6 (Anderson 2, Herrig 2, Timmons 1, Wardlow 1), Waukon 5 (Ahlstrom 4, Griffith 1). Rebounds — Davenport Assumption 20 (Timmons 5), Waukon 19 (Griffith 6). Total fouls — Davenport Assumption 18, Waukon 13. Fouled out — Headington.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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