Defense Carries Grundy Center Into 2A Title Game
No seniors in the starting lineup? No problem.
At least it's not for Grundy Center.
The eighth-ranked Spartans bottled up No. 2 Treynor with sticky defense and Hailey Wallis made some key plays down the stretch in a 42-39 victory that sends Grundy Center to the Class 2A championship game at the Iowa High School Girls State Basketball Tournament.
With an all-junior starting lineup, Grundy Center will try to win its second title at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Spartans won their first championship in 2005, taking the 2A crown in the last year the tournament was played at Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
Wallis led Grundy Center with 18 points, including the go-ahead basket with 37 seconds left. She also grabbed six rebounds and her lone assist was a big one.
Sarah Lindeman added seven points for the Spartans, Kylie Willis scored six and Brooke Flater pulled down nine rebounds to go with five points.
Grundy Center kept Treynor from getting the ball inside to Madelyn Deitchler and the Cardinals didn't make enough perimeter shots to force the Spartans to change their defense. Deitchler managed only three points on 1-for-5 shooting and fouled out. She had been averaging 18 a game.
Konnor Sudmann led Treynor with 16 points and Kayla Chapman scored 14.
Treynor trailed by as many as nine points before Chapman scored seven points in an 11-0 third quarter run that got the Cardinals back in it and the game stayed close the rest of the way.
Treynor was leading 33-32 when Wallis got the ball in the lane and passed it out to Lindeman at the top of the key. Lindeman drilled a 3-pointer and Wallis followed with two free throws after being fouled on a drive, putting Grundy Center up 37-33.
The Cardinals weren't finished, though and tied it at 39 on Sudmann's long 3 with 50 seconds left. Wallis quickly broke the tie with a runner in the lane and Flater sank a free throw for the final point after rebounding a Treynor miss. Sudmann's contested 3 fell short just before the buzzer.
Grundy Center, which has lost only to state tournament qualifier AGWSR, takes a 24-1 record to the finals. Treynor, last year's state runner-up, finishes 23-2.
Story Courtesy of IGHSAU