Grace Berg helped the Indianola Indians to an undefeated season, going 23-0 prior to the tournament. Photo by David Mable.

All-State Basketball Teams Announced

Elle Ruffridge broke the tournament record in scoring. Photo by Hailey Sherman.

Elle Ruffridge broke the tournament record in scoring. Photo by Hailey Sherman.

The Iowa Girls Coaches Association (IGCA) has announced its 2017 All-State Basketball teams.

It’s no surprise to see Elle Ruffridge leading the Class 3A Team. The Pocahontas Area senior led the state in points, three-pointers and assists, and set a 5-player tournament record in points this year. Ruffridge scored 457 points during the season with a 58.4-percent field goal percentage and 53.4-percent made shots from beyond the arc. Even with an abundance of points, she led the league in assists with more than 200 throughout the season, including the state tournament. Ruffridge is committed to attend Missouri State next fall.

As in many other match ups, the Class 1A leaders Tori Hazard of Janesville and Shelby Reicks of Turkey Valley faced each other in the state tournament. Though Reicks’ 21 points helped Turkey Valley move on the round two, Hazard put up 34 points, adding to her 487 for the season. Both players led their teams in points and assists throughout the season, each scoring a double-triple.

Grace Berg helped the Indianola Indians to an undefeated season, going 23-0 prior to the tournament. Photo by David Mable.

Grace Berg helped the Indianola Indians to an undefeated season, going 23-0 prior to the tournament. Photo by David Mable.

In Class 2A Ashtyn Veerbeek scored more than 50 points in first- and second-round games at the state tournament, helping the Western Christian Wolfpack make it to the championship game, where they would face Konnor Sudmann and the Treynor Cardinals. The Cardinals held Veerbeek to only 5 points in the finals, while Sudmann put up 15, but the Wolfpack revenged last years one-point loss to win by two. Both Sudmann and Veerbeek were dominant in 2A play through out the season, Veerbeek leading all scorers with nearly 600 total points by tournaments end.

Though the Carlisle Wildcats were absent from the tournament, senior Agatha Beier led them to the playoffs, earning a spot on the All-State Team. Karli Rucker of Eldridge/North Scott led the Lady Lancers in points throughout the season while mentoring her sophomore sister, who followed close behind.

Named to the Class 5A All-State Team were Grace Berg of Indianola and Hannah Fuller of West Des Moines Valley. Though Valley found itself on the winning end of every game in the tournament, bringing the State Championship trophy home to West Des Moines for the first time in school history, Berg, a junior, led the Indians in scoring to hold the state No. 1 spot going into the tournament.

Teams can be downloaded by clicking here.

Elle Ruffridge was red hot scoring a tournament record 48 points in Pocahontas' semifinal game. Photo by David Mable.

State Basketball Day Four – Record Setting

Elle Ruffridge was red hot scoring a tournament record 48 points in Pocahontas' semifinal game. Photo by David Mable.

Elle Ruffridge was red hot scoring a tournament record 48 points in Pocahontas’ semifinal game. Photo by David Mable.

After being held to 11 points in Pocahontas’ first round game, Elle Ruffridge was lit on fire in their semifinal game, and not like a quiet little candle on fire, but a flames-leaping-high-into-the-sky inferno kind of fire. Lobbing threes like they were lay-ups, the 5-foot, 4-inch senior hit eight of 12 from beyond the arc (state tournament record) and was perfect from the line (16/16) and was hot underneath to put up a new 5-player tournament record 48 points. That pushed Pocahontas past Center Point-Urbana in the final game of the evening, a 3A match-up, 80 to 59.

“We’re best friends on and off the court,” said Ruffridge of she and the group of senior starters. “That’s what makes us so special and such a good basketball team, because we gel so well.”

Pocahontas will face Sioux Center in the championship game on Saturday. The Warriors moved on with the hot hands of Erika Feenstra and Lexi Toering who combined for 41 points to push the Warriors past Cherokee 80-51.

Class 1A kicked off with a dominant performance by Springville’s Mikayla Nachazel who

Treynor's Konnor Sudmann lays it in after her steal to put the Cardinals up to win the game. Photo by David Mable.

Treynor’s Konnor Sudmann lays it in after her steal to put the Cardinals up to win the game. Photo by David Mable.

put up 32 points shooting 68-percent from the field and going 6 for 7 at the line. Springville moves on to the championship game (Friday, March 4 at 4:00 p.m. on IPTV) defeating Kingsley-Pierson 61-43.

We just came out with a lot of energy,” said Nachazel. “We knew we had to be aggressive in this game and had really good ball movement.”

In Class 2A Western Christian’s Ashtyn Veerbeek dominated on offense, from both beyond the arc and in the paint, going 11 of 19 inside and 8 for 10 outside the 3-point line. Her size also helped on the boards, as she pulled 10 back for the Wolfpack. For Iowa City Regina, Alex Weise led the scoring with 14. Final score: Western

Christian 71, Regina 49.

Western Christian will be facing Treynor in the finals (Friday, March 3 at 8:00 p.m. on IPTV) after closing a double-digit deficit against Lisa Tucker and the Cascade Cougars, winning in the final minute with a steal and lay-up by Treynor’s Konnor Sudmann.

“I saw her hold the ball up on her shoulder,” said Sudmann of her steal and bucket. “I thought ‘I see my chance,’ and I just tipped it out of her hand really fast and I just took off and got the lay-up to go.”

Treynor moves on after a strong defensive stand for the final 30 seconds, final score: Treynor 43, Cascade 41.

Interviews and photos are posted on the Central Iowa Sports Network Facebook page.

Iowa Public Television will be airing and streaming all the championship games beginning Friday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m.

Karli Rucker of North Scott drives through the Nevada defense helping her team move to the second round. Photo by David Mable

IGHSAU Basketball Championships, Day two recap

Karli Rucker of North Scott drives through the Nevada defense helping her team move to the second round. Photo by David Mable

Karli Rucker of North Scott drives through the Nevada defense helping her team move to the second round. Photo by David Mable

Another eventful day of the 2017 Iowa Girls’ State Basketball Tournament. Cascade kicked off day two with a victory of 59-56 over Central Decatur in the final seconds by Cascade’s Abbie Ruggeberg’s shot to win the game.

Sioux Center swept PCM off the bracket with their huge victory of 71-27. We spoke with Lexi Toering, #31 of the Sioux Center Warriors, who shared that their defense was a big factor of their victory today.

“It was a dog fight the whole game,” Payton Slaughter of the Cherokee Braves told us in her interview after their win over Crestwood with a score of 70-61.

Davenport Assumption vs Center Point-Urbana kept their fans on their toes with a final score of 50-56, with the win going to Center Point-Urbana.

With an ending score of 46-22, Pocahontas Area doubled their opponents score by the end of the game, giving Clear Lake a tough loss.

Finishing up day two was North Scott vs Nevada with a score of 57-27, giving North Scott the final win of the day.

“The key to our game was to lock out the big girl,” said North Scott’s Karli Rucker after the game. “Hopefully they get a miss and we get the rebound and get a quick outlet, get a fast break up the floor. We were burying some shots and it was just going our way.”

Another eventful day in the books at the 2017 Girls’ State Basketball Tournament. Join us on for all the games live and log onto our Facebook page for coach and player interviews, photos and more.

Madison Goodwin of the Kingsley-Pierson Panthers goes up for a shot against Marquette Catholic's McKenna Michels. Photo by Hailey Sherman.

Day one done at the Girls State Basketball Tournament

Madison Goodwin of the Kingsley-Pierson Panthers goes up for a shot against Marquette Catholic's McKenna Michels. Photo by Hailey Sherman.

Madison Goodwin of the Kingsley-Pierson Panthers goes up for a shot against Marquette Catholic’s McKenna Michels. Photo by Hailey Sherman.

Class 1A
An exciting first day at Wells Fargo Arena kicked off the 2017 Iowa Girls’ State Basketball Tournament. Springfield set the stage with a 56-16 victory over Burlington Notre Dame early this morning.
Kingsley-Pierson defeated Marquette Catholic 65-61 in a close matchup. The next game was a tight, back and forth battle between Janesville and Turkey Valley.
“Survive and advance is the name of the game. We have to put down a way in our minds to try to fight as a team and win as a team,” stated Sadie Nymeyer from Turkey Valley.
Turkey Valley ended up on top, 60-58, to conclude 1A play for day one.

Class 2A
Number one in 2A, Iowa City Regina, faced Logan-Mangolia to start afternoon play. Iowa City Regina finished strong with a 67-54 win. Western Christian won a hard fought battle against North Linn, 58-48.
“I can’t remember the stats exactly, but somebody told me there was like 9 ties and 12 lead changes or something crazy like that. Back and forth, punch for punch,” Western Christian head coach, Justin Negen, expressed in his post-game interview.
In the final 2A matchup of the day, Van Meter faced Treynor. Treynor took home the victory with final score of 60-54. An action-packed first day is just a preview for what we will be experiencing throughout the rest of the tournament.

By Chloe Haverman and Sarah Westholm


Getting to Know You: Dowling Catholic Maroons


When you win a state title, you don’t rest on your laurels.

In the case of the Dowling Catholic Maroons, they don’t expect any opponent to “Step to the Rear” on their way to a second consecutive Class 5A title.

It’s business as usual once again for the Maroons…just the way Bob and Sharon Hanson prefers it. The legendary coaches welcome back 1st team All-Stater Audrey Faber and Becca Hittner (3rd team All-State) to the starting lineup. Marin Daniels also returns, including Kennedy Childers, who was sidelined for most of the year with an knee injury.

The Maroons will start the season off with a bang…against Class 4A defending champion Harlan on December 2nd. Then they’ll meet Iowa City High, who they defeated in the 5A semifinals, and Cedar Rapids Xavier, as part of a non-conference slate.

The Maroons are ranked #1 by the IGHSAU in their preseason Class 5A poll.

Dowling Catholic Maroons

2013-14 record (overall, conference): 23-3, 4-2

Class, Conference: 5A, CIC – Western Division

Head Coaches: Bob and Sharon Hanson, 42th season,  739-227

Assistant: Jerry Schartner

Retunring starters: Audrey Faber 1st Team All State—Becca Hittner  3rd Team All State–Kennedy Childers  Knee Injury last season played limited in state tournament.  Being recruited by 4 or 5 division I colleges.  Marin Daniels returning starter recruited by Iowa State Soccer.

Returning letterwinners: Amber Gierstorf, Jamie Pithan, Callie Andersen, Soph Maddie Andersen.

Players lost to graduation: Lucie Sarcone and Hayden Butler

Key games on schedule: Iowa City High, Harlan, Ankeny Centennial (2), Valley (2), Johnston (2), SE Polk, Mason City, Waukee, CR Xavier

Interesting storylines: Dowling has one of the toughest schedules in the state this season. The Hansons have won 6 state titles (1 with Des Moines East in 1979, and 5 with Dowling, including last season).

Team goals: Develop some very good young players to complement the talented returners.

Follow on social media: @dchsmaroons (Twitter)




Getting to Know You: Valley Tigers


Frank Sinatra once sung about having “High Hopes”. It was used as a campaign song for John F. Kennedy’s successful presidential campaign in 1960.

“Very high hopes” is what Joe Sigrist describes the upcoming season for his Valley Tigers’ girls basketball squad.

Coming off a record-setting 2013-14 year, the Tigers welcome back three returning starters (seniors Grace VanderWeide and Whitney Fuller, and sophomore Hannah Fuller) and three more letterwinners in Emily Smith, Courtney Carr and Lexi Merritt. VanderWeide is an excellent All-Stater who is unafraid of making the big plays in games that matter. Merritt, a junior guard, is regarded by Sigrist as a sharp shooter that can help stretch opponents’ defenses.

Valley will be looking for depth from their sophomore class to solidify their bench.

The Tigers are ranked 4th in the IGHSAU preseason Class 5A poll.


West Des Moines Valley Tigers

2013-14 Record (overall, conference): 22-2, 5-1

Class, Conference: 5A, CIC – Western Division

Head Coach:  Joe Sigrist, 4th season, 69-34 overall (36-9 in 2 yrs at Valley)

Assistant Coaches: Chris Larson, Kelli Morgan, and Molly McClelland

Returning players and positions: Grace VanderWeide (G), Hannah Fuller (G), Whitney Fuller (G, Lexi Merritt (G), Emily Smith, Courtney Carr

Newcomers: Mackenzie Ward, Casey Carr, Leah Lodermeier, Jadyn Loecke, Jamie Feldt

Players lost to graduation:  Madi Agey, Kasey Feldt, Taylor Steil

Key games on schedule:  Dowling (2), Johnston (2), Waukee, SE Polk, Ankeny Centennial, Iowa City West

Team Goals:  Repeat as CIC Conference Champs and win the 5A State Title

Interesting story lines:  VanderWeide committed to continue her playing career at Missouri State. She is the first Valley GBB player in sometime to play for a Division I school, according to Sigrist. Last season was Valley’s first trip to the state tournament since 2007 (10th appearance overall)

Follow on social media: @ValleyGirlsBB (Twitter)



Getting to Know You: Ankeny Hawkettes

AHSHawk202 register mark

Brad Wilkening is accustomed to winning. The Ankeny girls basketball team is accustomed to winning too. Wilkening hopes that the Hawkettes can continue that winning tradition that vaulted the Hawkettes to powerhouse status, including 4 consecutive state titles. Wilkening is in his first season at Ankeny and his first foray into coaching girls basketball. He comes from Storm Lake St. Mary’s, where he led the boys’ basketball squad to a combined 102-5 in a four year span.

Last season was a unusual winter for the Ankeny Hawkettes. They went 1-10 in the CIC Eastern Division. Wilkening knows that rebuilding the Hawkettes’ will not be a quick fix, but then again, taking struggling programs and making them winners has been his calling card.  The Hawkettes will depend on senior returning players Kelsey Yarrow, Jordan Enga, and Carolyn Buell. Sophomore Codee Myers was the 2nd leading scorer on the team.


Ankeny Hawkettes

2013-14 Record (overall, conference): 5-18, 1-10

Class, Conference: 5A, CIC (Eastern Division)

Head Coach: Brad Wilkening, 1st season (

Assistants: Bryce Maschino, Ryan Rassmusen, Shayna Greitzenhouser, Dennis Anderson and Seth Hagerty

Returners: Kelsey Yarrow, Jordan Enga, Carolyn Buelt, Codee Myers

Newcomers: Hannah Shadrava, Annika DellaVedova, Kayla Heitz

Players lost to graduation: N/A

Key Games on schedule: Centennial, DM East, Dowling, and Valley

Team Goals: “The CIC is a competitive league and we’re looking forward to the challenge”, according to Wilkening.

Interesting storylines: If Ankeny gets to the state tournament, it will be their first tournament appearance since the split and creation of Ankeny Centennial, forming two public schools in Ankeny.

Follow them on Social Media: N/A (Twitter)


Who will replace Mikayla Larson as Hoover's go-to player? (Des Moines Register)

Getting to Know You: Hoover Huskies


The Hoover Huskies may have went 9-12 last season, but looks are deceiving. That is because they went 8-3 in the CIC-Metro Conference. Hoover looks to improve and give city rivals Des Moines East and Roosevelt a challenge in the Metro. After graduations to Mikayla Larson and Malaysia Duncan, coach Jason Karadios will look to returning players like Nyachristmas Puok to help the Huskies on the front court.

Is it the Huskies’ year to win the Metro Conference?

Des Moines Hoover Huskies

2013-14 Record (overall, conference): 10-12, 9-3

Class, Conference: 4A, CIC (Metro Conference)

Head Coach: Jason Karaidos, 3rd year (30-37 overall, all @ Hoover)

Assistants: Will Siffin, Jim Petersen, Rachel Chapman, Tristan Maxey

Returning starters/letterwrinners: Nyachristmas Puok (F), Brianna Hale (G), Olivia Evans (P), Emily Hestbech (P)

Newcomers: Madisen Blackford, Hannah Blackford, Hannah Broshar, Drea Turner

Players lost to graduation: Mikayla Larson, Malaysia Duncan, Artorria Jung, Lauren Provost (transferred)… All four were starters

Key Games on schedule: Roosevelt, Perry, and all CIC conference games

Team Goals: Improve each game and gain experience, gain confidence

Interesting storylines: Hoover’s last state tournament appearance was in 2004 (4 overall appearances). The Huskies were runner-ups in the six-player title game in 1983.

Follow them on Social Media: @HooverHuskies (Twitter)


Can the Dowling Maroons girls make it two-in-a-row in the rough and rumble Class 5A?

The 2014 Girls’ Basketball Preview

Sneakers, gyms, nets, and basketball. Hoops season is back. (Maxpreps)

Sneakers, gyms, nets, and basketball. Hoops season is back. (Maxpreps)

The winter sports season is upon us, and that means the start of girls’ and boys’ basketball across the state of Iowa.

As a prelude, CISN will roll out our team preview capsules (better known as “Getting to Know You”) of the teams in the Central Iowa Conference (CIC) that we will be following and covering this winter.

This week, we will start with the girls’, since they start their season on Friday.

Can Dowling Catholic go back-to-back and win their 2nd 5A girls title, or will Southeast Polk get their second title in three years? Does Valley, Des Moines East, and Ames have what it takes to take the crown? Will Hoover and Roosevelt get over the hump and make their return to State?

Or is there a dark horse team that could make a splash?

We’ll find out to all of those answers as the curtain rises for the ’14-’15 season.

We’ll have our first look at several teams starting Tuesday afternoon.




Ames senior Emily Frisk. (Ames Tribune)

Getting to Know You: Ames Little Cyclones


The Ames Little Cyclones are no strangers to the rough and tumble schedule in the Central Iowa Conference (CIC). After a 16-8 season where they lost to Waterloo West in the regional semifinals, coach Joel Sullivan and the Little Cyclones are focused and determined to make a return trip back to state. Ames returns three players from last year’s squad (Ryan Weiss, Emily Frisk, and Molly Sanders), amid heavy graduation.

The challenge for Ames, according to Sullivan, will be their height, which may present some matchup issues going up against taller teams like Dowling Catholic, Ankeny Centennial, and Southeast Polk.

Ames Little Cyclones

Class, Conference: 5A, CIC (Northern Division)

2013-14 Record (overall, conference): 16-8, 5-1

Head Coach: Joel Sullivan, 16th year (211-95 @ Ames, 221-123 overall)

Assistant Coaches: Chuck Stevens, Mike Frisk

Returning players and positions: Molly Sanders (2nd team All Cent. Iowa Conference), G, Emily Frisk, G, Ryan Weiss, G

Newcomers: Haley Melby, Hannah Mumm, Kelly Friedrich, Amara Lipsey

Lost players: Kiana Peterson, Jamie Steyer, Bailee Jackson, Deja McAtee, JeAnn Hiraldo

Key games on schedule: Dowling Catholic, Mason City, Ankeny Centennial, Southeast Polk, Waukee

Team Goals: Get better every day, Come together as a team

Interesting story lines: “We are very short (in height),” according to Sullivan

Follow on Social Media: N/A