Newell-Fonda began the first five-class state tournament with an impressive victory.
Five players scored at least eight points in an efficient, balanced effort as the second-ranked Mustangs rolled past Villisca 75-28 in Class 1-A play.
Renee Maneman, a slick 5-foot-5 junior, led the way with 15 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Andrea Christensen, the only senior who starts, added 14 points and freshman Jordan Wilken scored 11.
Newell-Fonda also got nine points from Brianna Wells and eight points, seven assists and six rebounds from Claudia Larsen. The Mustangs, in the state tournament for the third time in the last four years, move on to Wednesday night’s semifinal round with a 23-2 record.
Unranked Villisca had visions of an upset early, taking leads of 8-5 and 10-9. Newell-Fonda’s full-court press then began taking a toll and the Mustangs closed out the first half on a 31-4 run to open a 40-14 lead.
They started the third quarter with a 16-2 burst, setting the continuous clock into play. Newell-Fonda shot 53 percent in the second half and finished with 15 steals.
Villisca made it to state for the first time since 1968 and finished 21-5, tying the school record for victories. Jill Vanderhoof led the Bluejays with 11 points and nine rebounds.
It was the final girls basketball game for Villisca, which will join with Corning next fall to become Southwest Valley.