Waukee girls in Championship game for the first time

Clint ColeSports Editor
Waukee girls in Championship game for the first time

For the first time in school history, the Waukee girls’ basketball team will play for a State Championship on the last day of the Girls’ State Basketball Tournament. They will play West Des Moines Valley in the Championship game Saturday at 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Warriors got there by beating Dowling Catholic for the second time this season, this time in the State semifinals on Friday afternoon. The Warriors won a low-scoring affair with the Maroons 42-32.

Waukee senior Anna Kollmorgen, who finished the game with nine points and five rebounds, said that the Warriors brought a different energy to this game than the last time they played the Maroons back in December.

“We really pushed the ball,” said Kollmorgen. “They play a slower tempo and we just changed it and made them run, which is harder for them.”

Offense was hard to come by for both teams as only one player in the game was in double figures in scoring. Waukee’s Reilly Jacobson, a junior, led the way with 10 points and tied for a game-high 13 rebounds.

“It was definitely like a Big Ten football game today, Waukee coach Chris Guess said. “It was low scoring and we found a way to grind it out.”

Dowling’s Kennedy Childers, Amber Gierstorf and Audrey Faber tied for a team-high eight points for the Maroons. Faber is the Maroons leading scorer and was averaging 18.9 points per game heading into the tournament.

Waukee senior Ellie Cavanaugh finished the game with seven points and eight rebounds and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

After a low-scoring game on Friday afternoon against Dowling, the Warriors will be looking at a much different, faster-paced game against Valley on Saturday night in the Championship. The Tigers score 69.8 points per game on average while the Warriors average 63.3 points per game.

“Both teams like up-tempo, both teams will really penetrate the lane and look to kick or get all the way to the basket so it ought to be entertaining,” said Guess.

The last time the Warriors played the Tigers this season was back on Jan. 6 at Waukee Field House. The Warriors entered the game as the No. 1 team in Class 5A, but the Tigers came away with a 72-66 victory to take over the top spot in the rankings.

Class 5A will crown a girls’ basketball State Champion on Saturday night and it will either be Waukee or West Des Moines Valley. The game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines tips off at 8 p.m.