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
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.