Back on Nov. 26, 2013, the Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ basketball team played its first game of the regular season and beat Carlisle in blowout fashion by a final score of 62-27. Last Tuesday in the state tournament in Des Moines, however, Carlisle had a loud student section with them and flipped the script, beating the Fillies 53-48 in the first round of the tournament and sending the Fillies home early.
The Fillies jumped out to a quick 10-point lead in the first quarter, but it was Carlisle’s Agatha Beier who made a layup with 2:45 to go in the game to put the Wildcats up 48-46, which was their first lead of the game. The Fillies were only able to make one more basket after that en route to the loss.
DC-G coach Mike Levenhagen said after the game that the Fillies played with a lot of intesity, but that can cause things to "bounce awkwardly" sometimes.
"That’s what kind of happened," Levenhagen said. "We had the lead and got a little complacent offensively. It really came down to rebounding."
The Fillies outrebounded the Wildcats 31-29 in the game, which came as a surprise to Levenhagen. Levenhagen also said that it came down to Carlisle getting the loose balls.
The Fillies opened up the game strong with two baskets by Allie O’Brien and one by Jackie Peyton helping the Fillies to a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the game. The first quarter ended with a 19-9 DC-G lead and things looked to be well in hand for the Fillies.
The Fillies couldn’t keep the same momentum as they went into the second quarter. Dani Heritage hit a 3-pointer, her first of three on the night, to give the Fillies a 22-9 lead, but the Wildcats finished the quarter on a 16-7 run and went into halftime with just a deficit of four points as the Fillies led 29-25.
The third quarter went back and fourth between the Fillies and the Wildcats as they each scored 11 points in the quarter.
In a game where each team always seemed to have an answer when the other team would make a basket, Levenhagen said that staying in those games has to do with composure.
"I felt we kept our composure, really on all the possessions we had, both offensively and defensively," Levenhagen said. "Some of the things just didn’t go our way… In a tight game like that I thought both teams really kept their composure, nobody was in a panic mode."
Heritage finished the game with 15 points, which led all scorers, on a 6-of-14 shooting performance. Heritage, as well as nine of her teammates, were also apart of the DC-G softball team that won the state championship last summer, beating Carlisle in the championship game.
"With softball we had the experience because we were there however many years, but with basketball we’ve only been there three times in our school history so it’s an honor to be playing on the team right now, even if we did get the loss," Heritage said.
The Fillies are graduating five seniors this year: Peyton, Paige Lowary, Heritage, Tara Baker and Madison Waymire, only three of whom were regular starters this year. They will be returning five juniors next year for their senior season. Among them will be O’Brien, who said she is looking forward to next season.
"We have a majority of the people coming back next year and I look forward to hopefully keeping on this tradition and building the program even more," O’Brien said.
The Fillies season ends with a 21-3 record. They won the Little Hawkeye Conference this season, their first season as a member of the conference.