Des Moines- 3rd ranked AGSWR and number 5 North Butler both advanced to the semi-finals of the 1a girls state basketball tournament this afternoon at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
AGWSR 40, NEW LONDON 29
Third-ranked AGWSR relied on its strength to win the opening game of the state tournament.
The Cougars lead the state in defense and they shut down sixth-ranked New London in a matchup of unbeaten Class 1A teams Monday, winning 40-29 to advance to the semifinals.
Macy Ubben led AGWSR with 19 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-2 senior scored 10 of her points in the third quarter, when the Cougars outscored New London 16-6 to take control of the game.
Cassidy Ringena, who plays at the top of the Cougars' tough 1-3-1 zone, and Jessica McDowell each scored nine points.
AGWSR came in allowing only 21.9 points a game and is on pace to set a state record for defense. Only three teams have reached 30 points against the Cougars, who are in the tournament for the fourth straight year.
Ashley Blint led New London with 12 points. The Tigers made their first trip to state since 1999.
New London stayed with AGWSR through the first half and trailed just 17-14 at the break. But Ubben got free for a couple of baskets inside in the third quarter and scored another bucket after rebounding teammate Megan Pieters' missed free throw.
McDowell banked in a 3-pointer for the Cougars, then scored on a nice turnaround shot to make it 31-18. AGWSR led 33-20 going into the fourth quarter and the lead never fell below eight the rest of the way.
AGWSR advances to Wednesday night's semifinal round with a 24-0 record. New London finishes 25-1.
NORTH BUTLER 40, COON RAPIDS-BAYARD 39
North Butler put together a big comeback to move a step closer to another state championship.
The fifth-ranked Bearcats overcame a 10-point deficit, then held on down the stretch to beat Coon Rapids-Bayard 40-39 in Class 1A play on Monday.
Bobbi Boomgarden and Carly Jacobs each scored 10 points to lead North Butler and Elizabeth Schroeder blocked Coon Rapids-Bayard's final shot in the closing seconds.
Coon Rapids-Bayard starts two freshmen and they were among the Crusaders' top scorers, Katie Dentlinger finishing with 11 to lead the team and Mary Halverson adding 10. Heidi Esdohr also scored 10 for Coon Rapids-Bayard and Lindsey Reis had six.
North Butler, which won Class 2A state championships in 2006 and 2007, advances into an 8 p.m. semifinal game on Wednesday with a 22-1 record. Coon Rapids-Bayard had a 13-game winning streak broken and finished 20-6.
Coon Rapids-Bayard ran off six straight points to open a 25-15 lead midway through the second quarter and led 27-22 after Dentlinger scored on a putback. But the Crusaders went the next 14:25 without a field goal and North Butler built a 40-31 lead.
Coon Rapids-Bayard regrouped and ran off eight points in a row to get to within a point, but North Butler dug in on the defensive end and held on.