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By Kate Huber, Maquoketa Valley senior
DELHI – The Maquoketa Valley girls’ basketball team hosted Bellevue in the third round of regionals, knowing what it had to do.
The Wildcats did exactly as they planned.
Shutting down Bellevue’s best player – and making free throws at the end of the game – helped the Wildcats to advance to the regional final by a score of 41-36. Renee Huber led with 17 points. Nicole Kudrna led on the boards once again with 10 and Heidi Hoeger had six assists while Huber had two steals.
“We played with great energy from start to finish,” Coach Scot Moenck said. “The Ernst girl is tough, but I thought our kids did an outstanding job of defending her.”
Traveling to Oelwein last Monday, the Wildcats took on fifth-ranked North Butler in the regional final, with a berth in state on the line.
After a rough, slow start, Maquoketa Valley was able to fight its way back into the game, taking a lead going into the fourth quarter. Once again, the girls stepped up and made free throws late in the game and were able to pull the upset – a 39-30 win to punch their tickets to the state tournament in Des Moines.
“I am so proud of our kids,” Moenck said. “I couldn’t be more happy for our kids, school and our community. It’s something these kids will never forget.
“We were mentally tough down the stretch and we made free throws which is always big in the tournament. But the thing I have been most pleased with is how we are defending right now.”
Hoeger led the Wildcats with 11 points. Junior Brooke Wooten had seven rebounds. Hoeger and Huber both had two and Hoeger also had two steals.
The Wildcats will play IKM-Manning today at 10 a.m. in the Class 2A quarterfinals inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Maquoketa Valley High School, Delhi, IA
Language Arts/Newspaper adviser