DES MOINES – Sioux Center felt the wrath of a well-oiled machine in Saturday’s Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament Class 3A championship game.
Top-ranked Crestwood capped an unbeaten season by rolling to a 73-48 victory over No. 2 Sioux Center at Wells Fargo Arena.
When you’re playing a team with as many weapons as the Cadets (26-0), you have to pick your poison, so to speak, when it comes to playing defense. Sioux Center (24-3) took a gamble by daring senior guard Brynn Bodermann to shoot and she responded in a big way.
The 5-foot-6 Bondermann, averaging 5.8 points per game, scored 26 points, canning six of nine 3-point shots. Most of those came from nearly the same spot on the right side of the arc, but the Warriors had little choice but to leave her open.
That’s mostly because of the presence of 6-foot-2 sophomore Sharon Goodman, who added 20 points en route to all-tournament honors. The Cadets were able to throw the ball up and over Sioux Center’s defense to the towering Goodman, who also grabbed four rebounds and blocked four shots.
Shannon Pisney, another all-tournament pick, scored 16 points and senior twins Emily (10) and Ellie (9) Friesen combined for 19 assists.
You get the picture. Crestwood is a highly-talented team that was rarely challenged this season. In fact, the closest anyone came to the Cadets was 12 points. Four of their victims had 17 points or fewer in an entire game.
“This was a very good team, we have nothing to hang our heads about,” Sioux Center Coach Doug Winterfeld said. “This is a very balanced team, we knew that going in. They had a post player we weren’t going to be able to stop one-on-one and we had to make some decisions and we did.
“We put it in the hands of another player and that player knocked down the shots tonight. We were playing the odds there, she averaged 5.8 and the other girl (Ellie Friesen) averages 5.8. We were going to try to slow the other three down, double the post inside. If they’re going to make the shots they’re going to win the game and if not we’re going to have a shot at it.”
Bodermann made her first two shots of the game and went on to connect on 9 of 14, including four 3-pointers in the first half.
“Coach always told me if they leave you open you shoot the ball, you beat them,” Bodermann said. “He puts that on us and trusts us and knows we can do it. I knew even if I missed the first couple of shots, I’ve made more, I can keep making them.”
Sioux Center finished as 3A runner-up for the second consecutive season. The Warriors took a major hit early when all-stater Lexi Toering went to the bench with her second foul at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter. Toering sat for five minutes as Crestwood built leads of 20-8 after one quarter and 42-27 at halftime.
The Warriors cut the deficit to 47-35 midway through the third quarter on a couple of free throws by Toering, who scored 14 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. However, Crestwood answered with a 7-0 run to go back in front by 19 and broke for the third quarter with a 61-38 bulge.
Crestwood spent most of the final quarter playing keep away, having already cemented the school’s first state title.
“Balance has been our key to success all year long,” Crestwood Coach Doug Sickles said. “We got off to a very good start and this has been building all season long. We do not rely on just one kid and that’s been the secret to our success.
“It’s difficult for teams because if they challenge her (Goodman) with double teams that’s going to leave somebody open and we’re very unselfish that way.”
Crestwood’s first two games of the season were routs of 77-13 over Clayton Ridge and 70-17 over South Winneshiek. The Cadets also beat Decorah 85-29 and 1A state qualifier Lansing Kee by 22, which was the second-closest any team came all season.
Toering, a Northwestern College basketball recruit, was named to the all-tournament team for the second consecutive season.
“It didn’t end how we wanted it to and we can’t change anything now, but I am so proud of my entire team,” Toering said. “I am so thankful for Warrior Nation, we have the best support system out there, the best families and best coaches. Being here just means everything to me.
“We had tried to focus the last couple of days on what we were going to do to stop their inside game a little more. No. 22 (Bodermann) came out and hit a lot of good shots. That wasn’t something we were necessarily expecting.”
Sioux Center struggled to get much going offensively, but junior Alyssa Mulder came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers and score 14 points.