South Tama Gives No. 1 Ballard a Challenge
By Jeff Linder, Reporter
DES MOINES, Iowa — The South Tama Trojans left their locker room with dry eyes and chins held high.
“It doesn’t feel like a loss,” said Kendra Bradley.
Tenth-ranked South Tama pushed No. 1 Ballard hard throughout, but a 12-0 run by the Bombers allowed them to advance with a 46-39 Class 3A quarterfinal triumph at the girls’ state basketball tournament Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Stanford signee Taylor Greenfield scored 15 of her game-high 17 points in the second half as Ballard (24-1) advanced to face No. 4 Davenport Assumption (23-2) in Thursday’s semifinal round. Assumption defeated Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 67-60, Tuesday.
“We made a couple big plays in that big run and that got us rolling,” Greenfield said. “Then we got their big girl (6-foot-4 Madison Baier) into foul trouble and that gave us an extra urge to take the ball to the basket.
South Tama (22-3) led 28-24 when Bradley connected from long range with 4:30 left in the third quarter, but Greenfield triggered the 12-point run with nine points and a block that led to a layup by Sammy Jensen.
Bradley struck from deep again to get the Trojans within 37-34 with 3:15 to go, but the Bombers stifled the rally at that point.
If this was supposed to be a mismatch, the Trojans weren’t buying it.
“We weren’t going to lay down for them,” Baier said. “We were going to give them a challenge.”
And with all five starters returning for 2011-12, this could be a springboard for the Trojans.
“I know we’ll be back,” Baier said.
Bradley led the Trojans with 11 points. South Tama was 8 of 15 from 3-point range.
Four of the treys came in the first 5 minutes as the Trojans jumped to a 12-4 lead.
Greenfield picked up her second foul at the 6:33 mark of the second quarter, but the Trojans couldn’t capitalize.
They led 16-12, then Baier was whistled for her second personal with 4:04 left in the half. With both teams’ top players sitting until intermission, the Bombers went on a 7-2 run and led 19-18 at intermission.
“(The foul trouble) sucked,” said Baier, who posted eight points and nine rebounds. “I had to watch out and be careful.”
Despite Ballard’s length, South Tama managed a 31-18 rebounding advantage. But that was neutralized by the Trojans’ 22 turnovers. Ballard had just seven.
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