DES MOINES- The defending 1A girls basketball champions, the Springville Orioles, advanced to the state semi-finals with a 44-36 win over Martensdale-St. Mary's. Katie Eiben led Springville with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
SPRINGVILLE 44, MARTENSDALE-ST. MARYS 35
Defending state champion Springville survived a scare in the final Class 1A game of the opening session.
The top-ranked Orioles saw most of a 15-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter before holding on to beat No. 13 Martensdale-St. Marys 44-36.
Springville returned all five starters from its championship club and that experience paid off in the end. With the Orioles clinging to a one-point lead with less than a minute and a half to play, they sank seven of 10 free throws during a 45-second stretch to secure the victory.
Katie Eiben, the all-tournament captain a year ago, led Springville with 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Callie Kloubec added 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Sarah Davidson had six points and nine rebounds. Springville went to the boards aggressively and outrebounded Martensdale-St. Marys 50-28, including 18 offensive rebounds.
Martensdale-St. Marys starts only one senior and made the tournament for the first time, but the Blue Devils stayed with it despite trailing 35-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sparked by reserve guard Morgan Halverson, the Blue Devils outscored Springville 16-2 to cut the lead to 37-36 with 1:37 remaining. Halverson scored all of her team-leading 11 points during that run.
But Springville stopped the rally before giving up the lead and when Martensdale-St. Marys was forced to foul, the Orioles made enough free throws to wrap it up.
Springville is now 25-1 and moves into an 8 p.m. semifinal game Wednesday against fifth-ranked North Butler.
Carrie Wood scored nine points and Brittney Kubik six for Martensdale-St. Marys, which started three sophomores and a junior. The Blue Devils finished 21-5.