Waukon overcomes turnovers, Chiefs

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Not enough Chiefs. Too many Indians.

 

Fourth-ranked Waukon more than atoned for 28 turnovers, jumping in front early and defeating No. 15 Keokuk, 56-39, in a Class 3A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Our defensive presence and pressure took a toll, I think, and gave us the lead,” said Waukon Coach Gene Klinge, who picked up his 931st career win, seven short of the state record.

“Even when we weren’t getting baskets, we were still wearing them down.”

The Indians (21-2) advance to meet No. 1 Ballard in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday. Ballard (24-1) defeated Harlan last night to reach the semifinals for the fourth straight year.

“We’ll have to take better care of the ball,” said Mary Halvorson, who led all players in points (16) and rebounds (10). “It’s good to get the first one under our belts and get used to the floor. We’ll play better (Thursday).”

The Indians survived the turnover rash. And they withstood an extremely physical style of play from the Chiefs, who retired at 18-7.

Waukon shot 32 free throws, making 20.

“I got hit in the mouth. I got hit in the face,” said Carissa Berger, who added 14 points and collected eight steals.

“It hurt. But I’m OK.”

Waukon gained separation early. Trailing 4-3, the Indians went on an 18-2 run, holding the Chiefs without a field goal for more than 9 minutes.

That made it 21-6, and the margin stayed in double figures the rest of the way.

“I felt like our girls never got over the excitement of being here,” said Keokuk Coach Michael Davis. “The bright lights and the atmosphere were more overwhelming than the game itself.”

Keokuk’s last glimmer of hope came late in the third quarter, scoring seven straight points to creep within 36-26. But Waukon answered with an 8-2 run to push the margin back to 16.

Kristyna Herman added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Indians. Tatum Meyer tallied eight points, Logan Hjerleid seven.

The pace of the game was fast, to the liking of both teams.

“There are teams in our conference that are just as fast as Waukon,” Davis said. But we haven’t seen anyone that’s as disciplined.”

Still, the turnovers were a concern for Klinge.

“How many did we have?” he asked.

Twenty-eight.

“Wow!”

He paused.

“The second half, Keokuk really turned up the pressure. There were some things that were going on that ordinarily would be stopped. When those aren’t called, you’ve got to fight through it.”

Halvorson, Berger and Meyer played the entire 32 minutes.

Waukon shot 49 percent from the field, compared to 31 percent for Keokuk. The Chiefs were 4 of 23 in the first half.

Shelsey Stanley led the Chiefs with 11 points. McKenzie Piper scored nine.

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One Response to “Waukon overcomes turnovers, Chiefs”

  1. Waukon overcomes turnovers, Chiefs | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

    […] Read full article […]

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