IOWA CITY — Close game. Big shot. Potentially dangerous celebration.
Jordyn Lehman hit a tie-breaking basket with 20 seconds left, and Iowa City Regina upended fourth-ranked North Linn, 43-41, in a Class 2A regional final girls’ basketball game Monday night at West High School.
“I got the ball, the defender went past me and I was able to put it up and in,” Lehman said.
The Regals (19-4) advance to their third state tournament, their first since 2003. They’ll face No. 2 Lawton-Bronson (24-1) in a quarterfinal at 8:30 next Monday night, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
They accepted their blue qualifier banner, then survived a stampede by the student body.
Several players ended up on the floor, and Gabby Dutchik left the gym, wincing, before returning with ice on her knee.
Regina scored the final four points to prevail in a back-and-forth, topsy-turvy contest.
Katie Wick scored on a baseline shot with 44 seconds left to tie it. After a North Linn over-and-back call, Lehman scored inside for the winner.
“It’s great for the girls to come out on top,” said Regina Coach Clark Anderson. “That was as difficult a game as we’ve played all year.”
North Linn (22-2) bowed out in the regional finals for the second straight year.
“Last year felt bad, but if this one could feel worse, it probably does,” said Lynx Coach Brian Wheatley. “I love these kids, and I wanted them to get (to state) so bad.
“It’s going to take a while to get over this one.”
All-stater Nicole Miller had a chance to tie the game, but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3 seconds left. The Regals rebounded, and ultimately ran out the clock.
The Lynx lost the game before that, though. Miller hit Maddie Boer on a backdoor cut to put North Linn up 37-32 with 6:25 left. North Linn got a defensive stop with an opportunity to extend the lead, but turned it over three straight times.
Regina pounced, scoring seven straight points for a 39-37 edge. Hannah Stein tied it with a free throw, then Lehman put the Regals in front. It wouldn’t be the last time she’d do it.
Haley Dudley hit two free throws and Boer scored off Miller’s steal to give the Lynx the upper hand at 41-39, but the Regals had the final, winning push.
Wick scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting to lead the victors.
“I knew somebody had to step up,” she said. “I kept shooting, and it kept going in.”
Lehman tallied eight points. Leading scorer Jenna Lehman was held to six points, but contributed 12 rebounds and five assists.
Miller led the Lynx with 12 points. Brenna Winn added 11.
IOWA CITY REGINA 43, NORTH LINN 41
At Iowa City West
IOWA CITY REGINA (43): Katie Wick 7-10 0-0 14, Gabby Dutchik 3-5 0-1 6, Kennedy Brown 1-4 1-2 3, Jenna Lehman 3-8 0-0 6, Megan Fackler 0-2 0-0 0, Hannah Seaman 1-2 0-0 2, Jordyn Lehman 4-6 0-1 8, Nikki Becker 0-3 0-0 0, Hannah Stein 0-1 1-2 1, Cammy Verducci 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 20-42 2-6 43.
NORTH LINN (41): Haley Dudley 1-13 4-4 7, Maddie Boer 3-4 0-0 6, Nicole Miller 4-12 2-4 12, Brenna Winn 5-8 1-1 11, Libby Falconer 1-9 1-2 3, Morgan Boer 1-2 0-0 2, Brooke Dobney 0-0 0-0 0, Makayla Dobney 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-50 8-11 41.
Halftime: Regina 22, North Linn 18. 3-point goals: Regina 1-5 (Je.Lehman 0-2, Becker 0-2, Verducci 1-1), North Linn 3-14 (Dudley 1-8, Miller 2-5, Winn 0-1). Team fouls: Regina 16, North Linn 12. Fouled out: none. Technical: Regina: illegal substitution. Rebounds: Regina 29 (Je.Lehman 12, North Linn 33 (Falconer 9). Assists: Regina 12 (Je.Lehman 5), North Linn 7 (Miller 3). Steals: Regina 13 (Dutchik, Je.Lehman 4), North Linn 8 (Mad.Boer, Miller 3). Turnovers: Regina 17, North Linn 19.