Ballard towers over Waukon

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Too big. And too much. It’s that simple.

Top-ranked Ballard towered over No. 4 Waukon, literally and figuratively, overwhelming the Indians, 59-30, in a Class 3A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament last night at Wells Fargo Arena.

Ballard’s triple towers — Amanda Zimmerman, Taylor Greenfield and Alexa Hugee stand 6-foot-2, 6-1 and 6-1 — combined for 44 points and 22 rebounds.

“We just didn’t have an answer for their size or press,” said Waukon Coach Gene Klinge.

Ballard (25-1) plays for the championship at 6 p.m. Saturday against No. 7 Sioux City Heelan (20-4).

Ballard has been to state four straight years and still is seeking its first title.

“We all want this really, really bad,” said Hugee.

Waukon (21-3) was never in it. The Indians shot 3 for 17 (18 percent) in the first half — and that included 2-of-3 by Kristyna Herman — as the Bombers took a decisive lead.

It was 15-5 after one quarter, 27-7 at halftime.

“It was really difficult,” Herman said. “I don’t think we ever gave up, though. We just wanted to play hard and try to make it a little closer.”

Herman finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. None of her teammates had more than four points.

Zimmerman, who committed to Iowa State three years ago as a freshman, registered 17 points and 13 rebounds. Greenfield added 16 points, Hugee 11.

Waukon more than doubled its win output from a year ago, when it went 9-12.

“I thought we’d have a winning season, but I didn’t know that we’d win (the Northeast Iowa) Conference and make it to state,” Herman said.

Next year could be even more fun. Klinge needs seven wins to catch Bob Mullen atop the all-time state chart for girls’ basketball coaching victories.

He’ll have the team to do it, probably by Christmas

With an all-junior starting lineup, Waukon figures to be back in 2010. The Indians probably will be the preseason 3A No. 1 in November.

But next year is next year. This is Ballard’s time.


One Response to “Ballard towers over Waukon”

  1. Ballard towers over Waukon | Says:

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