No. 9 Waukon corrals No. 7 Crestwood girls at State

DES MOINES - A gritty and determined effort by the Class 3A No. 7 Crestwood girls’ basketball team was not enough to slow down No. 9 Waukon in the first round of the State Tournament on Feb. 25 as the Indians bounced the Cadets, 48-37.
The loss ended Crestwood’s season with a solid 15-6 overall mark. Waukon, who improved to 19-3, advanced to the semifinals where it will face North Polk on Feb. 28.
Although Waukon snagged a 6-0 lead with two minutes left in the first period, the Cadets bounced back to cut the Indians’ lead to 10-6 going into the second.
In the second quarter, Crestwood chipped away at the lead until a two-pointer by Taylor Shelton tied the game at 14-all with 2:30 left. With under one minute left, a three-pointer by Laken Lienhard gave Crestwood a brief 19-17 edge before a late three by Waukon gave the Indians a 20-19 halftime advantage.
The Indians pushed the lead to 26-21 midway through the third before a late bucket by Sharon Goodman sliced Waukon’s lead to 28-26 going into the fourth.
With six minutes left in the fourth, Annie Mast hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 29-all. However, Waukon answered with a 7-2 run to take a 36-31 lead. The Cadets closed the gap to 38-35 at the 3:05 mark, but they couldn’t get any closer as Waukon pulled away late to win.
Although Crestwood shot the ball fairly well from the field (17 for 35), it was turnovers that hurt the team. The Cadets had 25 total turnovers compared to only six for Waukon.
“We had a lot of turnovers, and Waukon did a good job of forcing those turnovers,” Cadet Head Coach Dale Dennler said. “We also had several unforced turnovers, which was too hard to overcome. Some of the turnovers were live-ball turnovers. It might have been better if those turnovers were ones where the ball was thrown out of bounds because then we could get back and play defense.
“But our kids played hard, and they left it all on the line. That’s what I want to see every time we play. I am so proud of these girls for making it back to State. I’m sure many people didn’t think we could get back here, but we did. The girls grew and learned from the mistakes we made during the season.
“Sharon Goodman had to deal with a lot because she was the main focus (on offense), but the other girls stepped up and tried to help her out. All the girls did a good job,” Dennler said.
Junior Sharon Goodman, who led the Cadets with 21 points and 10 blocks, said Monday’s game with Waukon was a physical contest.
“We could have played better, but we hung together as a team,” Goodman said. “The game was tough for me inside the lane compared to other games, but we knew that was coming (from Waukon). It was rough, but Waukon has some good defensive players, and they knew how to stop us (on offense).
“My (overall) game can always improve, and I’m never at the top. But I want to be able to improve. My confidence has improved a lot, and that helps my teammates, too,” Goodman said.
Senior Taylor Shelton noted that experience played a part in the game.
“Some of us girls didn’t have enough (overall) experience that we thought we did compared to last year,” Shelton said. “We were on a high (in terms of confidence) after beating Osage, but against Waukon, we let the little things slip us up, such as the turnovers.
“It was tough on us the way Waukon guarded Sharon, and also the way they wouldn’t let us shoot the ball. It was hard to get open shots against Waukon because they are a very good defensive team,” Shelton said.
Cadet statistics
Goodman had 21 points, had eight rebounds and 10 blocks, which was a State Class 3A record. Shelton finished with nine points, including one three-pointer, had six rebounds and two assists.
Laken Lienhard had four points, including one three-pointer, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Annie Mast had three points on one three-pointer. Brooklyn Ferrie had two rebounds. Kennedy Gaul tallied one assist. Mattie Slavin, Katlin Born and Sam Balk each had one rebound.

Cresco Times

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