Girls State Basketball: Maquoketa Valley Pulls Quarters Upset

By Jeff Linder and John Campbell, Reporters

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By Grant Burkhardt

Below is the game story from the Gazette's Jeff Linder, about how Maquoketa Valley was able to advance at the state girls basketball tournament. Follow IowaPrepSports for live coverage of the whole tournament. Reminder, you can watch every game of the girls state basketball tournament live on KCRG 9.2.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Maquoketa Valley Wildcats arrived at Wells Fargo Arena for the first time, and crafted a masterpiece.

The 14th-rated Wildcats shot 45 free throws, made 34 and upset No. 3 IKM-Manning, 65-57, in a Class 2A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Tuesday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.

“We knew what we had to do, and we did it,” said Maquoketa Valley’s Renee Huber. “We attacked them, but we did it by staying under control.”

Maquoketa Valley (20-5) advances to face No. 2 Lawton-Bronson in a semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Lawton-Bronson (25-1) edged Iowa City Regina, 71-67, Monday night.

The Wildcats will be decided underdogs again. But that sure didn’t stop them Tuesday.

“We’ve been underdogs a lot (in the postseason), and that’s OK,” Brooke Wooten said. “We’ve got a chip on our shoulders and we want to prove people wrong.”

Maquoketa Valley took the lead less than two minutes into the game, and didn’t surrender it.

A 10-point surge in the third quarter provided spacing, and the margin grew as large as 18 points early in the fourth quarter.

“We had to get the tempo our way,” Wildcats coach Scot Moenck said. “We wanted to attack. We weren’t going to be passive.”

The Wildcats are state qualifiers for the first time since 2004, back when the tournament was played across the street at Veterans Auditorium.

They displayed none of the deer-in-headlights characteristics some newcomers exhibit.

“Before the game, we talked about it — we weren’t going to let the arena or the crowd be an excuse for not winning this game,” Moenck said.

Wooten set the tone on Maquoketa Valley’s first possession, making two free throws.

That was the theme. Draw fouls. Get to the line. Convert. Repeat.

Wooten made all eight of her free throws. Huber was 11 of 14. Seven of 12 for Heidi Hoeger.

“We bailed them out a lot when they were driving, and they made free throws like a good team should,” said IKM-Manning’s Kaylee Blake. “We never got into a rhythm of things. There were so many dead balls, and it was a struggle to adjust to that.”

Maquoketa Valley took only 24 shots from the field, but made 13. IKM-Manning (23-2) was 22 of 61.

The Wildcats had a perfect start, making their first three shots (all 3-pointers) and their first six foul shots. That propelled them to a 15-6 advantage halfway through the first quarter.

IKM-Manning drew within 33-30 early in the third quarter, but Maquoketa Valley responded with 10 straight points. It was 51-33 when Hoeger made two free throws with 6:58 remaining, and the closest the Wolves could get was eight points in the final minute.

Wooten posted 19 points and nine rebounds for the winners. Huber scored 17 points, Hoeger added 11 after missing a portion of the first quarter with a slight knee injury.

Blake led IKM-Manning with 16 points. Sarah Schlichte added 10.
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