Prep Basketball

Maquoketa Valley girls' basketball seniors have fitting home farewell

No. 1 Wildcats top MFL MarMac 48-30, advance to 2A regional final

Taya Tucker registered 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in Maquoketa Valley's 48-30 win over MFL MarMac in a Class
Taya Tucker registered 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in Maquoketa Valley’s 48-30 win over MFL MarMac in a Class 2A girls’ basketball regional semifinal Friday at Delhi.

DELHI — Off the boards, on the floor. Get the ball.

Welcome to Taya Tucker’s world.

“Getting rebounds, getting steals ... that’s what I’m made to do,” Tucker said.

Tucker was a ball hound, Carissa Sabers tallied a career-high 17 points and top-ranked Maquoketa Valley handled MFL MarMac, 48-30, in a Class 2A girls’ basketball regional semifinal Friday night at Maquoketa Valley High School.

“When you get to this part of the season, it’s hard to make shots,” Wildcats Coach Scot Moenck said. “You’ve got to be great defensively.”

And the Wildcats (22-0) were pretty darn good, collecting 13 steals and allowing MFL MarMac (16-7) to take only 27 shots from the floor.

Maquoketa Valley will face Dyersville Beckman (13-10) in a regional final at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Manchester. Beckman topped No. 13 Sumner-Fredericksburg, 49-37, Friday.

The winner advances to the state tournament March 1-6 at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines.

This was the home finale for Tucker and senior classmates Ella Imler and Emerson Whittenbaugh, who have made a major four-year impact. It was an emotional week, then a fitting farewell.

“Moenck definitely reminded us that this was it for the seniors,” said Rausch, a sophomore. “This game was for the seniors. We definitely wanted to work hard for them.”

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“Definitely some tears this week,” Moenck said. “Now we’ve got one more game, and hopefully more than that.”

Tucker triggered Maquoketa Valley early, scoring nine points in the first 6:07 as the Wildcats shot to an 18-5 lead. It was 28-16 at halftime.

MFL MarMac crept within 35-25 with 5:59 to go, then the Wildcats ended any potential drama with a 13-2 run.

Tucker finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.

“It was emotional to play our last game here,” she said. “But we can play wherever. We know where we want to go.”

Beyond Manchester.

Sabers missed Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal with illness. She was back at school Wednesday, but didn’t practice.

She looked well and good Friday, hitting 4 of 7 shots from long range.

Imler tallied 11 points. Whittenbaugh scored just two, but provided six rebounds and seven assists.

Kayden Gillitzer paced MFL MarMac with nine points, all from long range, all in the first half.

MAQUOKETA VALLEY 48, MFL MARMAC 30

Class 2A Regional Semifinal, at Delhi

MFL MARMAC (30): Ashley Shaw 0-1 0-0 0, Lakota Morrisseey 1-5 0-0 2, Miranda Lang 1-2 0-0 3, Riley Moreland 1-5 3-7 5, Kayden Gillitzer 3-7 0-0 9, Grace Anderson 2-2 1-3 5, Brooklynn Moon 2-4 0-0 6, Carlie Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Makayla Morrissey 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Bogdonovich 0-0 0-0 0, Caydence Moon 0-0 0-0 0, Mallory Lang 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-27 4-10 30.

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (48): Carissa Sabers 5-8 3-4 17, Kylie Chesnut 0-1 0-0 0, Ella Imler 3-11 3-4 11, Taya Tucker 6-9 4-11 16, Emerson Whittenbaugh 1-9 0-0 2, Kennedy Rausch 1-3 0-0 2, Haley Ronnebaum 0-0 0-0 0, Erin Knipper 0-0 0-0 0, Liz McDowell 0-0 0-0 0, Caelyn Sands 0-0 0-0 0, Ella Mensen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-41 10-19 48.

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Halftime: Maquoketa Valley 28, MFL MarMac 16. 3-point goals: MFL MarMac 6-20 (Shaw 0-1, L. Morrissey 0-4, M. Lang 1-2, Moreland 0-2, Gillitzer 3-7, B. Moon 2-4), Maquoketa Valley 6-20 (Sabers 4-7, Imler 2-7, Whittenbaugh 0-4, Rausch 0-2). Team fouls: MFL MarMac 15, Maquoketa Valley 12. Fouled out: M. Lang. Rebounds: MFL MarMac 24 (Moreland 8), Maquoketa Valley 27 (Tucker 11). Assists: MFL MarMac 8 (Moreland 5), Maquoketa Valley 12 (Whittenbaugh 7). Steals: MFL MarMac 0, Maquoketa Valley 13 (Tucker 6). Turnovers: MFL MarMac 18, Maquoketa 6.

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

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