Girls Basketball: Xavier Pitches Second Quarter Shutout In Win

By Douglas Miles and Scott Saville, Reporters

Kayla Armstrong of Cedar Rapids Xavier tries to drive past Washington's Dema Giardino during a Class 4A Regional final at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – First-quarter runs of 8-0 and 7-0 provided the jabs. An 11-0 second quarter delivered the knockout, and the Cedar Rapids Xavier girls’ basketball team is on to the state tournament for the second year in a row.

Xavier allowed just five made baskets and forced 29 turnovers in a dominant 51-15 win over Washington (Iowa) in a Class 4A regional final Tuesday at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School.

“Well I think that if you’re not a great offensive team, you better be a great defensive team,” Xavier coach Tom Lilly said. “We knew that defending will always get you an opportunity at the end of the game to still be in it.”

The Saints were two steps ahead the entire game, challenging the Demons’ defense with long breakaway passes, followed by unrelenting defensive pressure. Up 27-7 in the second quarter, Xavier closed the final two-and-a-half minutes of the half with a trio of stellar defensive plays. Freshman Jenny Dickes deflected a breakaway layup attempt, Maddie Bertsch followed with a block in the post, and senior point guard Sarah Dickes delivered a midcourt steal and runaway layup to close the half at 30-7.

“We know that our offense comes from our defense,” said Sarah Dickes, who finished with eight points. “We pride ourselves on good defense.”

In addition to the second-quarter shutout, the Saints yielded a single free throw in the fourth quarter to end Washington’s season at 14-8.

Grace Redlinger led the Demons with nine points, while leading scorer Lauren Kimball went scoreless, playing on a gimpy left ankle she injured in the first quarter.

Hayley Deutmeyer and Ashley Stulken each added eight points for Xavier (14-9), state tournament qualifiers for the third time in five years. Stulken also grabbed six rebounds.

“I’m happy for our seniors because we graduated a ton of seniors last year,” Lilly said. “We just continually find new groups of seniors that come in and take over.”

Xavier will face Lewis Central (20-3) in the Class 4A state quarterfinals Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena.

“We worked so hard all season as a team, it’s really been a team effort,” senior Kayla Armstrong said. “We’re just glad to have another game.”

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 51, WASHINGTON (IA) 15

AT C.R. KENNEDY

WASHINGTON (15): Mariah Reighard 0 0-0 0, Dema Giardino 0 0-0 0, Natalee Enfield 0 0-0 0, Sammy Ellingson 0 1-2 1, Stephanie Fishback 1 0-0 2, Lauren Kimball 0 0-0 0, Amber Salow 0 0-0 0, Beth Dillon 1 1-2 3, Sydney Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Grace Redlinger 3 2-2 9, Ellie Van Gundy 0 0-0 0, Olivia Hartzler 0 0-0 0, Johannah Vittetoe 0 0-0 0, Addisen Shive 0 0-2 0, Addie Pacha 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 4-8 15.

C.R. XAVIER (51): Kayla Armstrong 3 0-0 6, Hayley Deutmeyer 3 1-1 8, Sarah Dickes 3 1-2 8, Maddie Bertsch 2 2-6 6, Ashley Stulken 2 4-4 8, Allison Chorzempa 0 2-2 2, McKenna Andersen 0 2-2 2, Abby Watson 1 1-2 3, Morgan Breitbach 3 1-4 7, Hannah Chute 0 0-0 0, Jenny Dickes 0 1-5 1, Lizzy Bailey 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 15-28 51.

Halftime: Xavier 30, Washington 7. 3-point goals: Washington 1 (Redlinger), Xavier 2 (Deutmeyer, S. Dickes). Team fouls: Washington 23, Xavier 11. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Washington 18 (Redlinger 4), Xavier 21 (Stulken 6). Assists: Washington 2 (Dillon, Shive), Xavier 9 (Bertsch 3). Turnovers: Washington 29, Xavier 19.
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