Girls State Basketball: Lawton-Bronson Holds Off Regina

By Jeff Linder and John Campbell, Reporters

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lawton-Bronson was on the verge of winning by knockout.

It settled for victory by decision.

Down 19 points in the fourth quarter, Iowa City Regina pushed the second-ranked Eagles to the end before running out of time. Lawton-Bronson escaped, 71-67, in a Class 2A quarterfinal at the girls' state basketball tournament Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

"Most teams, they're down 19, they put their heads down and say, 'You've got it,' " said Regina's Jenna Lehman. "Not us."

Lawton-Bronson (25-1) advances to a 1:30 p.m. semifinal Thursday against IKM-Manning or Maquoketa Valley. Those teams play their quarterfinal at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The Eagles prevailed because of a big third quarter, when they turned a 28-28 deadlock into a 56-39 advantage.

The margin swelled to 19 points twice, and it was 65-47 with 4:55 to go before the Regals made a final charge that ran out of time.

"We finally started hitting layups," said Lawton-Bronson Coach Trish Martin, whose team leads the state in scoring at 81.5 points per game. "We played our style.

"But this is the state tournament, and (Regina is) a talented team. They don't get here if they're not."

The Eagles ran, and the Regals (19-5) ran with them. But 28 turnovers was their undoing.

"I feel like we left it all on the floor," said Regina Coach Clark Anderson. "We came out of the short end, but we feel with a couple more minutes, that game could have been ours."

Lawton-Bronson missed 11 of its final 14 free throws, allowing Regina to push closer down the stretch. The final four-point margin was as close as the Regals got after early in the third quarter.

Lehman led all scorers with 24 points, and also grabbed seven rebounds as the Regals built a 42-30 advantage on the glass.

Katie Wick added 14 for the Regals, Jordyn Lehman posted 10.

Lawton-Bronson's Josie Kopal finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. Freshman Ali Verzani added 16 points.

Despite 19 turnovers — and a 13-0 Lawton-Bronson run in the first quarter — the Regals played the Eagles to a 28-28 stalemate in the first half.
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