Newell-Fonda emphatically ends Springville's girls' state basketball title reign

Mustangs swipe 37 steals in a 69-39 romp

DES MOINES — Newell-Fonda is tenacious, unrelenting and determined to win it all.

“Their defense is insane,” Springville’s Nichole Kane said after trying to navigate it for 32 minutes.

The top-ranked Mustangs forced 43 turnovers — and 37 of them came directly on steals — in sidelining the Orioles, 69-39, in a Class 1A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

Yes, 43 turnovers. Yes, 37 steals. Olivia Larsen had nine of them, breaking her old 1A tournament record of eight, set three years ago.

“We played Newell-Fonda basketball,” Larsen said. “Our defense is what makes us go. It’s great, so tenacious.”

Newell-Fonda (25-0) will face No. 7 Bellevue Marquette (22-2) in a semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Friday. If the Mohawks are going to compete, they’ll need to find a way to handle the Mustangs’ 94 feet of mayhem.

In preparation, Springville tried eight- or nine-on-five full-court drills in practice. It didn’t successfully mimic what the Mustangs really do.

“You can’t simulate their intensity,” Springville Coach Christina Zaruba said. “And Larsen is a spectacular guard.”


“Out kids really flock to the ball and get into passing lanes,” Mustangs Coach Dick Jungers said. “We’re pretty pesky.”

That’s an understatement.

The Mustangs forced 13 turnovers in the first quarter on the way to a 19-6 lead. Springville (16-10) righted the ship for a while, playing even through the first four minutes of the second quarter. Then the bottom dropped out again, a 14-0 run that staked Newell-Fonda to a 40-14 halftime lead.

“We started making long passes and they got picked off,” Kane said.

Springville had won the last three 1A championships, beating the Mustangs in last year’s final. But it wouldn’t be fair to call this game a rematch, or the outcome revenge. Springville lost four starters to graduation, and all four of them had been vital to the program’s recent success.

Just getting back here, with essentially a new group, was “a huge accomplishment,” Zaruba said.

“People said we weren’t going to be here, but I told this team all along that they would be OK.”

Freshman Lauren Wilson had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Orioles.

“It was fun,” she said. “My teammates were there to support me. We’ve got a good group coming back, we’re going to work hard, and we’ll be back here next year.”


1A State Quarterfinal, at Des Moines

SPRINGVILLE (39): Nichole Kane 2-10 0-0 5, Rylee Chapman 1-1 0-1 2, Melissa Nulle 1-2 0-0 2, Grace Matus 1-3 0-0 2, Lauren Wilson 5-5 0-0 10, Kali Spicer 1-1 2-2 5, Savannah Nealman 2-6 5-6 9, Megan Pearson 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Christiansen 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Nachazel 2-4 0-0 4, Liz Blakely 0-0 0-0 0, Kelcie Clothier 0-0 0-0 0, Caydenze Schultz 0-0 0-0 0, Kelly Kirchman 0-1 0-0 0, Kallee Jacobs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-33 7-9 39.

NEWELL-FONDA (69): Camryn Wilken 1-5 0-0 3, Emma Stewart 2-7 0-0 6, Megan Morenz 1-4 2-2 4, Olivia Larsen 4-13 3-4 11, Ella Larsen 5-12 0-0 12, Bailey Sievers 1-5 0-1 2, Taylor Zeman 0-0 0-0 0, Sophie Stewart 0-1 0-0 0, Macy Sievers 4-10 0-0 10, Maggie Walker 3-8 4-4 10, Paige Roberts 1-1 0-0 3, Ellie Lago 1-2 2-2 4, Ashley Archer 2-5 0-0 4, Anna Bellcock 0-1 0-0 0, Kylie Robinson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-74 11-13 69.


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Halftime: Newell-Fonda 40, Springville 14. 3-point goals: Springville 2-7 (Kane 1-4, Matus 0-2, Spicer 1-1), Newell-Fonda 8-32 (Wilken 1-5, E. Stewart 2-7, O. Larsen 0-3, E. Larsen 2-4, B. Sievers 0-2, M. Sievers 2-4, Walker 0-3, Roberts 1-1, Lago 0-1, Bellcock 0-1). Team fouls: Springville 15, Newell-Fonda 17. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Springville 37 (Chapman 8), Newell-Fonda 33 (E. Larsen 9). Assists: Springville 6 (Kane 3), Newell-Fonda 15 (O. Larsen 4). Steals: Springville 7 (Kane 3), Newell-Fonda 37 (O. Larsen 9). Turnovers: Springville 43, Newell-Fonda 15.

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