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Women of Troy pull off a 3-peat

West downs Jefferson, 61-51
West’s Maddie Huinker and coach B.J. Mayer signal a play Saturday, Feb. 20, at West High against Cedar Rapids Jefferson in a Class 5A regional semifinal. West beat the J-Hawks for the third time this season and advanced to the regional final Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Waukee. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– For the third time this season the West High Women of Troy defeated the J-Hawks of Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The third win came Saturday, Feb. 20, at home in a Class 5A regional semifinal matchup as West prevailed, 61-51, to advance to the regional final Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Waukee.
After a slow start, West took a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter with a pair of 3-point baskets from Jessie Harder and Maddie Fay. The Women of Troy were ahead 33-24 at the half and up 48-39 after three periods of play, even with a 3-pointer for the J-Hawks scoring just before the buzzer.
The situation became tense for the Women of Troy in the fourth period as the J-Hawks mounted a counter-offensive led with another 3-point bucket. Jefferson narrowed the gap to only four points, trailing West 48-44, before freshman Lauren Zacharias sank a huge 3-pointer. West went up 51-44 and rallied to the win.
After the game, Zacharias exhibited the humility and grace that has become a hallmark of West High basketball when she was asked about the 3-pointer.
“It was really nothing,” she said with a smile and a giggle.
Emma Koch, also a freshman, led West with 14 points while Cailyn Morgan, another freshman, put in 11.
The win improved West to 15-7 overall ahead of the aforementioned date with the Waukee Warriors (16-5). The winner will advance to the Class 5A State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines with a quarterfinal round game on Wednesday, March 2.

SCORING: E. Koch 14, C. Morgan 11, R. Saunders 9, L. Cook 9, L. Zacharias 7, M. Huinker 4, M. Fay 3, J. Harder 3, P. Beckner 1.
3-POINT GOALS: Morgan 1, Zacharias 1, Fay 1.
REBOUNDS: Cook 8, Koch 7, Zacharias 5, Morgan 4, Beckner 3, Saunders 2, Huinker 1,
ASSISTS: Zacharias 3, Morgan 2, Saunders 2, Huinker 1, Koch 1.
STEALS: Huinker 2, Zacharias 1, Fay 1, Saunders 1.
BLOCKS: Zacharias 1.