GIRLS' STATE BASKETBALL 2019

No. 1 North Polk ousts Waukon in girls' state basketball semifinals

Early cold spell costs Indians in 65-49 loss

DES MOINES — It was apparent they weren’t going to win. They also weren’t going to quit.

“Our coaches hold us not to give up,” Waukon’s Maddie Ahlstrom said. “We weren’t going to give up without a fight.

“We owed that to our community.”

Top-ranked North Polk held No. 9 Waukon without a basket for a stretch of 6 minutes, 45 seconds in the first quarter, and marched to a 65-49 Class 3A semifinal victory at the girls’ state basketball tournament Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“We started off cold, and it wasn’t our best game of the year,” Waukon’s Lauren Griffith said. “But the way we battled ... it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

North Polk (23-2) advances to the championship game for the first time in school history. The Comets will face No. 3 Center Point-Urbana (23-2) at 8 p.m. Friday.

Jaedon Murphy led the Comets with 22 points, and Maggie Phipps — a sophomore committed to Drake — added 20.

“Our goal every game is defense and rebounding,” Murphy said. “We really focus on that. We had a lot of energy out there; we just went out and played.”

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Waukon (19-4) led 4-2 after Ahlstrom’s basket with 6:59 left in the first quarter, but the Indians went cold thereafter.

They missed 12 consecutive shots in their first-quarter drought, and that enabled North Polk to score 11 straight points for a 13-4 lead.

Waukon got within 20-14 on Griffith’s bucket with 5:43 left in the second quarter, then North Polk pulled away for a 34-19 advantage at halftime.

The margin grew to 27 points early in the fourth quarter before Waukon made a push, making the final score more competitive. “We played a lot better defensively in the second half,” Griffith said.

Griffith and Ahlstrom scored 12 points apiece for Waukon, and Griffith grabbed 12 rebounds.

Annika Headington added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

NORTH POLK 65, WAUKON 49

3A State Semifinal, at Des Moines

WAUKON (49): Maddie Ahlstrom 5-15 0-2 12, Ally Goltz 0-3 0-0 0, Lauren Griffith 5-11 1-4 12, Sydney Ross 0-7 2-2 2, Annika Headington 2-8 5-6 10, Regan Griffith 0-0 0-0 0, Alison Sherman 0-0 0-0 0, Hailey Regan 0-0 0-0 0, Aubree Cota 1-2 0-0 2, Margaret Wacker 2-5 0-0 4, Faith Palmer 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Howe 1-1 0-0 2, Molly Brodahl 0-0 0-0 0, McKenzie Cooper 2-7 0-0 5. Totals 18-59 8-14 49.

NORTH POLK (65): Katie Scott 4-6 0-0 9, Abi Zimmer 2-2 1-2 5, Katie Brown 1-7 2-2 5, Jaedon Murphy 8-11 4-6 22, Maggie Phipps 8-15 1-1 20, Katie Berglund 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Alia Springer 1-1 0-0 2, Lucy Schaffer 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Paige Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Carolyn Steffen 1-2 0-0 2, Hannah Foster 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-46 8-11 65.

Halftime: North Polk 34, Waukon 19. 3-point goals: Waukon 5-14 (Ahlstrom 2-5, Goltz 0-2, Griffith 1-3, Ross 0-1, Headington 1-2, Cooper 1-1), North Polk 7-18 (Scott 1-2, Brown 1-2, Murphy 2-5, Phipps 3-8, Schaffer 0-1). Team fouls: Waukon 13, North Polk 16. Fouled out: Ross. Technical: Phipps. Rebounds: Waukon 35 (Griffith 12), North Polk 29 (Murphy 7). Assists: Waukon 10 (Headington 5), North Polk 12 (Scott 6). Steals: Waukon 4 (Ahlstrom 2), North Polk 8 (Zimmer 3). Turnovers: Waukon 12, North Polk 12.

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

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