DES MOINES — They met in a low-key scrimmage over the holiday break.
The stakes are a little higher Friday, when second-ranked Iowa City West faces No. 6 Waukee in a Class 4A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
OK, a lot higher.
Tipoff is at noon, with the winner advancing to Saturday night’s championship game.
“I think we match up well,” B.J. Mayer said. “They’re not 6-foot-2 or 6-3 in the middle. They’re more like 5-11 and 6-foot, so it gives us some options.”
Both teams survived exciting finishes in the quarterfinals.
West (23-1) held off archrival Iowa City High when Ally Disterhoft blocked a last-ditch 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Waukee (20-5) followed with a come-from-behind triumph over Mason City when Amy Nestingen drove for the game-winner just before the horn sounded.
“They’re really good,” Mayer said of the Warriors. “They play really good defense, and they’re solid in the post. (Senior guard Meg) Goodson really makes them go.”
Mayer stayed and watched Waukee’s game Wednesday, sending his team home.
“We thought it would be best to get them back, get them to school (Thursday) and bringing them back Friday morning,” he said.
Mayer considers his team a loose bunch, but said they were a little tight against City High.
“I don’t think we played great,” he said. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds.
“This year, the target is more on us. I think we’ll be more relaxed (Friday).”
Friday’s games at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines:
CLASS 4A SEMIFINAL
Iowa City West (23-1) vs. Waukee (20-5)
Time — Noon
Coaches — B.J. Mayer is 213-114 in 14 years, including 86-34 in five seasons at West. Chris Guess is 298-158 in 21 years, including 146-68 in nine years at Waukee.
Key players — Ally Disterhoft (6-0, jr.) paces West at 16.9 points per game while Mckenzie Piper (6-0, sr.) scores at a 13.3-point clip. Meg Goodson (5-6, sr.) is Waukee’s leader at 13.5 points per game.
How they got here — West fought past archrival Iowa City High, 55-52, in the quarterfinals. Tatum Klein scored 18 points, and the Women of Troy were 7-for-9 from 3-point range in the second half. Waukee edged Mason City, 49-47, on Amy Nestingen’s drive at the buzzer.
Class 4A semifinal — Ankeny (21-3) vs. Southeast Polk (24-1), 1:45 p.m.
Class 1A championship — Bedford (26-1) vs. North Mahaska (27-0), 6 p.m.
Class 2A championship — Western Christian (24-3) vs. Pella Christian (23-3), 8 p.m.