IOWA CITY — They knew they’d have to go through the defending champion to get there.
Senior Mickey Hansche’s 3-pointer with 29.6 seconds left capped a frantic 13-2 rally as Class 5A second-ranked Iowa City High clinched the Mississippi Division championship with a stunning 46-44 win over Iowa City West Monday night.
“That’s who we want shooting it there,” City coach Bill McTaggart said. “West High came ready to play and they gave us everything we could handle.”
City High junior Haley Lorenzen started strong with 10 of her team’s first 16 points. However, she was held without a bucket for nearly 12-and-a-half minutes as West turned a 16-10 deficit into a 35-26 third-quarter lead.
“We told her to keep her composure, she got a little frustrated there,” McTaggart said.
“I have some incredible teammates, they picked me up when I was down, and I can’t get down like that,” said Lorenzen, who led City High (18-2, 11-1 MVC) with 17 points. “We play as a team, and we need everybody to play as a team.”
With 6:14 remaining, a 3-point basket from West star Ally Disterhoft (24 points) gave the Women of Troy (15-5, 9-3 MVC) a 42-33 lead. City High responded with seven straight points, capped by a 3-point jumper from freshman Courtney Joens to pull within 42-40.
After a West bucket, Lorenzen shook off her struggles with a turnaround left-handed hook shot in the paint with 40.2 seconds left. The ensuing free throw brought City High to within a point.
After a steal, Hansche hit the game-winner from the left corner.
For the Little Hawks, there was added satisfaction in clinching the school’s first division championship since 2007 against their cross-town rival and defending state champion.
“Heck, it’s always good to beat West High, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Lorenzen said.