Des Moines Iowa — Sioux Center fell to defending 3A State champion Nevada Tuesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the State Tournament in Des Moines. Nevada showed its championship mettle moving another step closer to a second straight title game appearance. The Cubs overcome a nine-point deficit and some early shooting problems to beat Sioux Center 59-44.
Sioux Center jumped to an early 15-6 lead and led 22-15 late in the first half when the third-ranked Cubs began their comeback.They scored the final seven points of the half to tie it, then went ahead to stay with a 14-6 burst to open the second half. Sophomore Lexy Koudelka capped that run with a three-point play off a spinning drive, putting the Cubs up 36-28.
Koudelka, an all-tournament selection last year, led all scorer with 29 points. She went 9-for-12 from the field, including a 3-pointer, made all 10 of her free throws and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Another all-tournament pick from 2015, Kati Cassabaum, added 11 points and six blocks for the Cubs, who returned all five starters from their championship team.
Lexi Toering led seventh-ranked Sioux Center with 13 points and Hannah Dykshorn scored 10. Nevada made 13 of 17 shots in the second half — 76.5 percent — after shooting only 33 percent in the opening two quarters. Still, the Cubs had to work to keep the Warriors at bay.
Sioux Center trailed just 48-42 after Dykshorn’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left. Nevada quickly got the ball inside to the 6-foot-1 Koudelka, who converted a three-point play to return the lead to nine. After Nevada’s Abby Stephenson drove the baseline for a reverse layup, Koudelka sank four more free throws and soon was headed to the bench with the rest of the starters.
Nevada is now 22-3 heading into a semifinal game with No. 2 Center Point-Urbana at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Sioux Center finishes 20-5.