RIVERSIDE — Mary Crompton had a nasty scratch on her face, but it didn’t bother her one bit.
The Iowa City Regina sharpshooter and her teammates squared off with a rugged, determined Danville team in Monday night’s Class 2A regional final at Highland High School.
“It was a pretty physical game,” Crompton said. “It didn’t bother us because we have played against a lot of tough teams to get here.”
In the end, the Regals earned their fourth straight trip to the state tournament with a hard-fought win, 55-43.
No. 7 Regina moves to 21-4 and will play in next week’s state tournament in Des Moines.
Danville retires at 20-5.
For Crompton, the return to state caps a year that saw her miss the first nine games of the season with an ankle injury. The Regals were 6-3 without her.
“I always had confidence in the rest of the team,” she said. “They played great without me. I just wanted to blend in when I got back.”
It looked like the Regals would run away with the game early as they jumped to a 9-0 lead just two minutes into the contest.
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A few minutes later, junior post Alex Wiese picked up her second foul and was forced to spend most of the rest of the half on the Regina bench.
“We talked about staying out of foul trouble and when Alex got two quick ones, we had to take her out,” Regina Coach Jeff Wallace said. “We got off to a good start, but we really slowed down quite a bit after that.”
Danville’s defense came alive with Wiese on the sidelines, forcing several turnovers.
The Bears took a 17-16 lead on a lay-in from Alyssa Pfadenhauer and they maintained a 29-28 advantage at the break.
Regina caught fire to start the second half from beyond the arc. Kennedy Wallace hit a pair while Crompton and Greyson Dumont also hit treys to give the Regals a 40-33 lead.
“That was big for us to come out to start the second half like that,” Coach Wallace said.
Danville cut the lead to 44-39 early in the fourth quarter, but a pair of lay-ins from Kennedy Wallace and Wiese, put the game out of reach. Regina’s defense held the Bears to just five points over the final eight minutes.
Crompton led the Regals with 20 points, including five 3-point baskets. Despite the foul trouble, Wiese still managed 14 and Dumont ended with 11.
Pfadenhauer led the Bears with 15 points.