DES MOINES– The West High Women of Troy struck gold in the Wells Fargo Arena, earning their first-ever State Basketball Championship Saturday night (March 3) with a stunning win over Ankeny in overtime.
The Tournament campaign started with a stunning 55-52 win Wednesday (Feb. 29) over rival City High.
West had already beaten the Little Hawks twice in the regular season and were expecting a fight from the opening tip-off.
West took the first period 11-6 with buckets from Mckenzie Piper, Brianna Sturtz and Tatum Klein. Piper grabbed a steal and turned it into a layup to open the second quarter while an Ally Disterhoft three-pointer closed it, and sent the ladies to the locker room with a 23-16 lead at the half.
The Little Hawks surged in the third period, coming within one point thanks to a three-pointer, making it 31-30 in favor of West. City took the lead, 34-33, but Klein hit one of her three critical long-bomb three pointers to make it 36-34. A second Klein artillery shot made it 39-36 and a Disterhoft bucket allowed West to go into the final quarter ahead 41-36.
Klein’s final three-point shot opened the period and gave West a 44-36 cushion. City battled back with three back-to-back buckets before Disterhoft hit another field goal for a five point lead at 47-42. Again, the Little Hawks surged with a two-basket run. Sturtz fired off a successful three-pointer, which the Little Hawks answered in-kind. Piper sank a three-bomb and West was up 53-49. A City basket chopped the lead to two points with one minute to go.
With less than 20 seconds to go, Piper fouled and coach BJ Mayer buried his face in his hands. One more point went up for City. A City foul sent Klein to the line for the one-and-one, but she came up empty-handed. Another City foul put Sturtz on the line for the one-and-one, and she hit paydirt on both.
In the closing seconds, City tried for a three-pointer to tie. However, Disterhoft pulled off the play of the day, swatting the shot down as time ran out, and the Women of Troy ran out onto the floor.
Klein led all with 18 points, Piper had 12 and Sturtz put up 10. Disterhoft added seven points for West while Stumpff and Jessica Shull had four apiece. The win advanced the Women of Troy to Friday’s (March 2) Semifinal match-up against the Waukee Warriors.
West entered the contest with a 23-1 record while the Warriors came in 20-5. Waukee upset Mason City in its quarterfinal game.
The Warriors pulled-off a 13-9 lead in the first quarter and were up 22-15 at the half. The Women of Troy exploded in the third period, outscoring the Warriors and taking a 41-32 lead into the final eight minutes. Despite persistent attacks by Waukee, West stayed ahead to pull-off a 64-50 win.
In the third, a Stumpff jumper narrowed the gap to five while a Disterhoft three-pointer cut Waukee’s lead to two, 22-20. The Warriors stretched the gap, but a Shull layup and free throw brought it back to one point. A Stumpff three-bomb tied the game at 26 and a Disterhoft layup gave the Women of Troy their first lead of the afternoon. The tide had turned and West’s momentum continued with a jumper from Piper, a layup by Shull and a pair of charity shots from Disterhoft. A layup by Klein with 1:42 left in the period put West ahead 36-30 while a three-pointer and layup from Sturtz in the final minute closed out the period.
The Women of Troy controlled the final quarter, seemingly scoring at-will. Piper opened the period with a layup and free-throw, and then followed up with another jumper a minute later. Disterhoft, Piper, Shull and Klein kept knocking down field goals to take a 59-47 lead with just over two minutes to go. West’s remaining points came from Disterhoft free-throws as she hit 4-4, and Klein who nailed one in the closing minutes.
Disterhoft led with 18 points, Piper had 11 as did Klein. Shull had a nine-point day while Sturtz and Stumpff put up seven points each. Williams added a free throw to the mix. The win improved West’s record to 24-1 heading into the championship. Waukee retired with a 20-6 record and their fifth straight tournament appearance. The Waukee boys will face the West High Trojans Wednesday, March 7, in boys’ Class 4A quarterfinal action with the tip-off scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
BJ Mayer’s crew came into Wells Fargo Arena with a better record than Ankeny (22-3), but West’s win could arguably be called an upset as the Hawkettes were making their 25th state tournament trip, and hoping to improve on their 10 state titles. Ankeny was knocked out in the first round by Linn-Mar last year, while West fell to Des Moines East.
The 4A match-up came on the heels of the 3A title game, which saw Davenport Assumption take the top honor. Assumption was the only team all season to get a win from West.
Ankeny’s Hawkettes took a 14-9 lead in the first, putting up four points before a Disterhoft layup found the bottom of the net. Stumpff sank a three-pointer, Klein got a layup, and Piper hit a free throw in a period marred by several missed shots by the Women of Troy.
Key three-pointers by Piper and Klein kept it close for West in the second while layups by Disterhoft, Klein and Stumpff coupled with vital free throws from Stumpff put the ladies in green up 25-20 at the half.
West started the third period with a seven-point run, racking up a 32-22 lead thanks to foul shots by Stumpff and Shull, plus a Stumpff three-pointer. The Hawkettes chipped away at that lead, narrowing it to 34-30. After Klein hit a layup with 3:46 left in the quarter, the remainder of the time was a dry spell for West.
The Hawkettes continued hammering away at West in the fourth, led by standout Maddie Manning. Ankeny took the lead 44-43 with 2:33 left in regulation. Disterhoft tied the game with a free throw and followed with a second for a one-point lead.
Ankeny pulled ahead as the squads traded baskets and free throws. The Hawkettes were up 52-49 with 35 seconds to go when Klein nailed a three-bomb to tie. West almost had the win as Williams headed for a layup with three seconds remaining. However, the shot didn’t go, and it was time to reload for an overtime period.
West caught a major break when Manning fouled out after missing a three-point shot with 1:22 left in the game. Manning had 24 points when she sat down for good. The Women of Troy had a 56-52 lead from a Stumpff free throw, a layup by Piper, and a Klein charity shot. The final five points came from the charity stripe as Piper, Disterhoft and Klein plucked the final feathers from the Hawkettes to seal the 61-56 win.
Klein and Disterhoft were named to the 2012 Class 4A All-Tournament Team along with Ankeny’s Krista Pettepier and Manning. Britney Boland of Waukee and Caitlin Ingle of Southeast Polk were also named.