Girls Basketball: West Defends Its Crown, Beats No. 1 City High

By Jeff Linder and Josh Christensen, Reporters

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Ally Disterhoft believed. Well, up to a point.

"You always expect to win," she said. "But there were times I thought, 'Wow, is this real life?'

"It almost went too perfectly for us."

Disterhoft scored 29 points as 10th-ranked Iowa City West upset No. 1 Iowa City High, 55-42, in a Class 5A regional final girls basketball game Tuesday night at Prairie High School.

The reigning big-school state champion, the Women of Troy (18-5) advance to state for the third straight year. They'll face No. 3 Mason City in a first-round game at 6:45 next Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

"There are going to be so many good teams out there," Disterhoft said. "But if we can play with City High, we can play with anyone."

West didn't just play with City High (20-4). It handled the Little Hawks, who mustered just three 3-pointers in 22 attempts.

"They made shots that we couldn't make," said City High post Haley Lorenzen. "They outplayed us. You've got to give them a lot of credit."

City High won both regular-season matchups, but it became clear in the third quarter that this was West's night.

Up 21-19 at halftime, the Women of Troy opened the second half with a 11-2 run to break it open. Disterhoft (a University of Iowa signee) hit a 3-pointer, then two free throws, they another 3-pointer. Dani Craig's trey made it 32-21 with 4:50 left in the third, and the Little Hawks drew no closer than eight points again.

"We made so many big plays," West coach B.J. Mayer said. "We really didn't have anything to lose.

"We kept getting better all year. The young kids kept picking it up."

Craig, a sophomore, added 14 points to complement Disterhoft's 29.

"We learned from the last time we played them (when City High came from behind late to win, 46-44)," Craig said. "We knew you've never got it until it's over."

Lorenzen, a junior who has committed to the University of Florida, posted 20 points and 15 rebounds. But the outside game wasn't there Tuesday.

"One game doesn't make a season, but there's nothing I could say to make our kids feel any better," City coach Bill McTaggart said. "Tonight, West was the better team."

Said Disterhoft: "They missed some shots they ordinarily make. I think our guards defended their guards well and we executed our game plan."

Disterhoft didn't score until nearly seven minutes had elapsed. She had 21 points in the second half, and also finished with nine rebounds.

"She's the most complete player we've faced since I've been here," McTaggart said.

IOWA CITY WEST 55, IOWA CITY HIGH 42

At C.R. Prairie

IOWA CITY HIGH (42): Kiera Washpun 3-15 3-3 9, Mickey Hansche 3-13 0-0, Courtney Joens 1-6 0-2 3, Haley Lorenzen 9-20 2-2 20, Aliyah Gustafson 0-1 0-2 0, Peyton Koenig 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Blowers 1-1 0-0 3, Sara Blowers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-57 5-9 42.

IOWA CITY WEST (55): Ally Disterhoft 9-14 6-6 29, Laynie Whitehead 0-1 0-0 0, Danielle Craig 4-11 5-5 14, Lauren Larson 0-1 0-0 0, Mikaela Morgan 2-7 2-2 6, Grace Tafolla 2-3 1-3 6, Mollie Mason 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Fairfield 0-0 0-0 0, Kristina Bauer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-37 14-16 55.

Halftime: West 21, City 19. 3-point goals: City 3-22 (Washpun 0-8, Hansche 1-9, Joens 1-3, Koenig 0-1, Sam Blowers 1-1), West 7-19 (Disterhoft 5-7, Craig 1-6, Larson 0-1, Morgan 0-3, Tafolla 1-2). Team fouls: City 15, West 9. Fouled out: none. Rebounds:City 35 (Lorenzen 15), West 26 (Disterhodt 9). Assists: City 7 (Washpun 3), West 8 (Craig 4). Steals: City 6 (Washpun, Joens 2), West 5 (Morgan 3). Turnovers: City 9, West 9.
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