DES MOINES — It’s usually a death sentence.
A seven-point deficit. In the fourth quarter. To Ankeny.
But Jade Rogers and the Kennedy Cougars got a last-minute reprieve.
Rogers scored eight of her game-high 14 points in the final 5:32 as fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy rallied for a 46-44 win over No. 4 Ankeny in a Class 4A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
“It was an amazing game,” said Kennedy’s Kristen Hahn. “Blowouts are fun, but these are the games you live for and remember.
“I’ll remember this one.”
Kennedy (21-2) earned a semifinal showdown with No. 1 Linn-Mar; they’ll play at noon Friday. The Lions (24-0) routed Johnston, 60-38, Wednesday.
It’s a wonder the Cougars survived. They shot 15 of 46 from the field, 12 of 24 from the line.
Rogers, a University of Iowa signee, was off most of the game.
And they found themselves trailing a team that prides itself on defense and likes to become very deliberate when it gets ahead.
“We knew they were going to pull the ball out,” Hahn said. “We got a couple steals and made a couple stops. Then Jade finished it out great.”
Rogers scored six straight points — on a 3-pointer, a free throw and a baseline shot — to bring the Cougars within 39-38.
She scored inside to tie the game at 40-40 with 3:05 to go.
“They double-teamed and triple-teamer her all day,” said Kennedy Coach Dennis Roloff. “But you can’t keep her down. She’s a great player, a great competitor.”
Laura Boenish scored a transition basket to put the Cougars ahead. After Rheanna Egli answered for Ankeny (21-3), Haley Brightwell converted a three-point play to put Kennedy in front for good, 45-42, at the 2:14 mark.
The Cougars refused to give the Hawkettes a solid look at a tying trey. Maddy Manning hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to get Ankeny within a point, then Kennedy’s Mariah Duke closed the scoring with 1 second remaining.
“To Kennedy’s credit, they finished the game out and we didn’t,” said Ankeny Coach Scott DeJong.
Rogers finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. She was 5 of 14 from the field, 1 of 7 from the line.
“I had the rest of the team to pick up the slack,” she said. “I looked for other ways to help.”
Boenish added 10 points. Brightwell scored seven.
Manning paced Ankeny with 11 points. Egli scored 10.
Photos by Cliff Jette