Western Christian 62, OA-BCIG 54
Western Christian beat the defending champion and now has a chance to win a title of its own.
The fifth-ranked Wolfpack put together an 8-0 run late in the game to take the lead and toppled No. 1 OA-BCIG 62-54 in the Class 2A semifinals, ending the Falcons’ 52-game winning streak.
With the victory, Western Christian moves into the state championship game at 8 p.m., the first appearance in the basketball finals for a school long known for its outstanding volleyball teams.
Brooke Wolterstorff led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Kim Kroeze added 13 points, including three key 3-point baskets in the second half. Alissa Pollema added eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals for Western Christian, which has no seniors in its starting lineup and is now 24-3.
OA-BCIG lost for the first time since the semifinals of the 2010 state tournament and finished 26-1. Morgan VanDerSloot led the Falcons with 22 points. Jessie Pauley, who’ll play at Northern Iowa next season, added 12 points and nine rebounds.
In a back-and-forth game, OA-BCIG built a six-point lead in the first half, fell behind by four in the third quarter, then rallied to pull ahead. Pauley’s two free throws gave the Falcons a 50-49 lead with 3:29 left before some clutch shooting at the line put the Wolfpack ahead to stay.
Pollema went 4-for-4 at the line, Kenzie VandeVegte sank two free throws and Kroeze fed Wolterstorff for a layup, sending Western Christian into a 57-50 lead with 1:43 to play.
Four straight free throws by VanDerSloot cut the lead to 57-54 with 1:13 remaining, but the Wolfpack hit five of eight free throws to wrap it up.
Western Christian finished 23 of 35 at the line and outrebounded OA-BCIG 41-33.
Pella Christian 60, IKM-Manning 49
Clutch shooting and solid defense down the stretch has put Pella Christian in the Class 2A state championship game.
Sparked by Paige Engbers’ 50-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer ending the third quarter, the 15th-ranked Eagles pulled away to beat No. 3 IKM-Manning 60-49 in semifinal action.
They’ll take on No. 5 Western Christian in the title game at 6 p.m. Friday, a rematch of a midseason game that Western won 74-72. Pella Christian has won 15 of 16 since then and is now 23-3.
Christina Nolte led three Pella Christian scorers in double figures with 14 points. Tayler Stursma added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Jasmin Schelhaas scored 10. Nolte went 4-for-6 from 3-point range and handed out three assists.
Tember Schechinger, Kaylee Blake and Kenzie Cast led IKM-Manning with nine points each and Liz Halbur scored eight. Schechinger, who’ll play at Northwest Missouri State next season, handed out six assists and blocked three shots. Blake led all rebounders with nine.
The Wolves, in the state tournament for the sixth time in eight years, finished the season 24-3.
Pella Christian rallied after falling behind 15-6 in the first quarter. A 14-0 run in the second quarter that included 3-pointers by Schelhaas and Cali Vink pulled the Eagles into the lead, but IKM-Manning came right back with three straight 3s to go up 26-22.
The Wolves led 26-24 at halftime and the game stayed close until Pella Christian made its move at the end.
Pella Christian was leading 44-42 when Engbers launched a desperation shot from just beyond half-court as the third quarter ended. The ball banked in, giving her team a 47-42 lead and momentum heading into the final quarter.
The Eagles started the fourth quarter with a 6-2 run and were in control the rest of the way, holding the Wolves to one field goal in the period.