Waukee girls basketball upset in conference showdown
There are many different ways to enjoy a Friday night but in Waukee on Friday, Jan. 8, that included watching a top-5 battle. The top-ranked Waukee girls basketball team welcomed in second-ranked Johnston in a rematch of last years' state title game.
It was their toughest test so far this season and it was a game worthy of being called a postseason battle. Unfortunately for the host Warriors, they were unable to send their hometown fans out with a win, falling short by a 51-45 final. It was their lowest scoring output of the season for a Warriors squad averaging 80 points per contest heading into the night. It also marked the third-lowest scoring total for Waukee across the past 17 games in the series dating back to 2006.
Waukee was trying to turn the recent tides which saw Johnston claim six of the last seven contests between the two teams. Unfortunately, a slow start and a short comeback attempt hindered a potential victory. Even without three of their top-five scorers from last season, the visiting Dragons used a 13-9 second quarter run to top the 10-10 first-quarter tie and put host Waukee in a halftime deficit 23-19.
Overall, it was a game which had a heavy defensive presence as neither team posted their normal rate of shots for the game. Johnston totaled just 34 total shot attempts while Waukee ended up with 39. Across the first half, the normally volume strong Warriors connected on 8-of-18 shots.
Things started to ramp up in the second half for Waukee as they shot 42 percent from the floor and went on a 12-9 third quarter run. That cut the Johnston lead down to just one as both teams headed into the final quarter of action. Despite shooting 50 percent in the fourth quarter alone, Waukee's strong effort was overmatched by Johnston who ended up sealing the win thanks to a 19-14 fourth quarter.
It comes as no surprise to see Katie Dinnebier lead the way on the scoreboard for Waukee. The senior and future Drake University star posted 19 points on the night with a rather efficient outing. Dinnebier connected on 7-of-11 shots including 4-of-6 from the free-throw line and connected on her lone three-point attempt.
Right behind her was fellow senior Megan Earney with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting followed by Reagan Bartholomew with seven points. The junior also paced the team with six total rebounds followed by Earney and Peyton Kelderman with four rebounds each.
As a team, Waukee shot just 38 percent from the floor compared to 52 percent from Johnston. The Dragons also out-edged the Warriors from three-point range connecting on 53 percent compared to 31 percent for Waukee. The Warriors did lead the way from the charity stripe, connecting on 10-of-15 free-throw attempts but from there, the contest was pretty much even. Just two rebounds, two steals and two turnovers separated the two teams.
The loss for Waukee drops their record down to 3-1 on the season. The next game up on the docket for Waukee is another home battle as they welcome in Urbandale on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The Warriors have claimed all prior 11 match-ups since 2006 and will look to add one more to that list beginning at 5 p.m.