Basketball Girls End Season in Semis

The Atlantic girls basketball team's postseason run was capped in the semifinal round.

The+girls+go+over+the+strategy+one+last+time+before+the+Wednesday+night%27s+game+in+Red+Oak.+The+team+finished+the+season+with+a+record+of+9-14.

Madison Botos

The girls go over the strategy one last time before the Wednesday night's game in Red Oak. The team finished the season with a record of 9-14.

Hana Holtz, Editor

The postseason rolled on for Atlantic girls basketball after a dominating 58-14 win over Clarinda in the Class 3A Region 8 Regional quarterfinal game. The Trojans matched up with Hawkeye 10 foe Red Oak in the next round. 

The 19-3 Tigers hosted the 9-13 Trojans on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The two squads had faced each other twice in the 2019-20 season. In both instances, the Tigers were victorious. Heading into Wednesday’s meeting, Red Oak was ranked #4 in class 3A and was the runner-up in the Hawkeye 10 conference standings at the end of the regular season.

Head coach Dan Vargason sent out juniors Haley Rasmussen, Taylor McCreedy, and Maycie Waters, as well as seniors Kenzie Waters and Corri Pelzer, for the semifinal showdown.

Red Oak opened the game on their home floor with a 7-0 run. After a variety of Tiger fouls, Atlantic had chopped the opposition’s lead to four points, making the score 9-5. The Tigers went on another run, putting up nine unanswered points. With five seconds to go in the first quarter, Rasmussen was fouled. At the line, she hit both of her free throws to put Atlantic closer to grabbing the lead, 20-12.

The girls opened the second frame strong. A steal by McCreedy with a feed to Rasmussen put up a quick two points for the Trojans. The girls tacked on two more points after junior Tessa Grooms tipped a pass and Rasmussen went in for the layup. Atlantic tied the game at 20 early in the second quarter. Red Oak’s three-two zone began to grab the advantage, stopping Atlantic’s offense and converting it to 14 unanswered points. With a little over two minutes until halftime, K. Waters was fouled, making one of her two free throws and ending the scoring drought. At the break, Red Oak was up 36-21.

The Trojans began to chip away at the deficit in the third quarter. Atlantic pulled within nine, making the score 40-31. Red Oak did not let up, stretching the lead back out to fifteen points at the end of the third, 50-35.

Fouls played a huge role in the fourth quarter. After a made Red Oak three pointer, Vargason received a technical, as he believed the girl travelled. With Red Oak up 53-35, the Tigers went to the line, missing both shots. With 7:37 left in the game, Grooms fouled, and Red Oak made both shots of the 1-1, putting them up by 20. Pelzer pulled up on a jumper with 6:14 to go, ending Atlantic’s scoring skid. The Tigers began to waste the clock, passing the ball around the floor. 

With three and a half minutes to go, Atlantic called a timeout to go over the game plan. K. Waters was fouled and made the score 60-38. Shortly after, she stole the ball and went in for two. Rasmussen repeated the play, hitting a layup with 2:58 left in the game. From then on, Rasmussen and M. Waters hit back-to-back three pointers. With 28 seconds left, Rasmussen stole the ball once again, driving in for a field goal. Red Oak would run out the clock, and Atlantic finished the season with a 62-50 loss.

In their final games as Trojans, K. Waters and Pelzer hit 16 and six points, respectively. The girls also had four rebounds each. Pelzer had three blocks, and K. Waters had two against the Tigers.

Red Oak went on to play Creston in the Regional final on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Tigers cruised to a 81-45 victory and qualified for State in class 3A. They will face North Polk in the first round.

The team finishes the season 9-14. They had wins over Griswold, Clarinda, Creston, Kuemper Catholic, Shenandoah, and Des Moines North. In the Hawkeye 10, the girls went 4-6, finishing eighth in the conference standings. Atlantic won five more games this season.

The team scored 1,187 points in their 2019-20 campaign. Rasmussen led the squad with 399 points. K. Waters sunk 286 points this season, and McCreedy had 136. This season, the girls had 536 rebounds. Pelzer had 115 boards to lead the pack. McCreedy and K. Waters followed with 87 and 81, respectively.