Waukon Girls Advance to 3A State Semifinals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waukon Girls Advance to 3A State Semifinals


Make it 955 victories and counting for Waukon coach Gene Klinge.


   The veteran coach and his second-ranked team are headed for the Class 3A semifinals after a 61-50 victory over 12th-ranked Knoxville on Tuesday night.


   But the Indians had to survive the deft long-range shooting of Knoxville senior Sam Abens to advance. Abens tied a state tournament record by making seven 3-pointers and finished with 28 points to lead all scorers.


   Mary Halvorson led Waukon with 23 points and eight rebounds. Halvorson, a 5-foot-11 senior, hit 10 of 20 shots from the field, several coming on soft banks off the glass. Kristyna Herman added 11 points for the Indians and Logan Hjerleid scored nine.


   Abens, who'll play at Southwest Minnesota State next season, finished 7-of-13 from long range. Her seventh 3 drew Knoxville to 46-43 with 3:58 left, but Waukon shifted its defense after that and prevented her from taking another 3-point shot the rest of the way.


   The Panthers still kept threatening, however, and trailed 56-50 after Alex Abens made two free throws with 48.6 seconds to play. But Waukon knocked down five of six free throws to wrap it up.


   Klinge is now 955-218 in 48 seasons, including a 24-1 mark this season.


   Alex Abens added 10 points and six assists for Knoxville, which reached the state tournament for the first time since 1975. The Panthers set a school record for victories this season and finished 23-2.

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