1920 -- In early March, Drake University in Des Moines invites 27 teams to play in what becomes the first girls state basketball tournament. Twenty-four teams show up for the mid-March event, including a Correctionville squad that had to raise money from fans and local businesses to pay for the trip because the school refused to fund it. After four rounds of competition on Friday and Saturday, Correctionville and Nevada meet in the championship game on March 13. Correctionville, dedicating the game to its generous sponsors, wins 11-4 to become the first state champion in girls basketball. The Des Moines Register reports the winners "played consistently throughout the meet" and notes they never gave up more than six points in a game. Correctionville center Doris Ward later is inducted into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union's Hall of Fame.
Correctionville pulls away late in the game when, according to the Register, a player named Cobb, "emulating her famous namesake Tyrus R., simply ran wild and scored three field goals in rapid succession."
1921 -- Audubon beats Ottumwa 21-11 for the state championship, marking the start of the first dynasty in girls basketball and showcasing the first high-scoring forward. Dorcas Anderson scores 18 points to lead the charge to the title in Audubon's fourth game of the day. Of Audubon's 122 points in the tournament, Dorcas scores 89. She is now in the IGHSAU Hall of Fame and so is her granddaughter, Jan Jensen, who starred at Elk Horn-Kimballton. The tournament, also played at Drake, draws 36 teams. Defending champion Correctionville loses in the quarterfinals.
1922 -- Audubon emerges from an eight-team state tournament, this one at Iowa Falls on a Thursday and Friday, to win its second straight championship. After defeating Hiteman and Newell in the first two rounds, Audubon turns back a tough Cresco team 10-3 for the title. That caps a second consecutive unbeaten season for Audubon, which goes 33-0 in that span.
1923 -- As if the burgeoning dynasty at Audubon needs any more help, this year's state tournament is held ... in Audubon's gym. Twenty teams compete, yet the home club cannot be stopped. Mallard hangs tough in the championship game before Audubon prevails 18-11. A player named Masterson leads the way with some steady free throw shooting, sinking eight from the line to finish with 12 points. It's sweet redemption for Audubon, which lost to Mallard four times during the season.
1924 -- The Audubon girls have to work to make it four in a row. With the tournament back in Iowa Falls and eight teams in the field, Audubon knocks off Delphos and Grand Meadows before outlasting Iowa Falls 21-20 in three overtimes. Though the state tournament is a long way from the spectacle it will become, it's getting more popular. Newspapers report the gym was packed "from floor to girders" for the championship game and the doors had to be locked an hour before the game because all the seats had been taken. It will be 81 years before another school wins four consecutive state championships.
1925 -- Two state champions in one season? It happens this year. District plays sends Aplington, Ida Grove, Muscatine and Perry to the state tournament at Perry. After round-robin play, Aplington and Ida Grove are declared co-champions, each with a 2-1 record.
1925 -- Responding to a growing chorus of concern that high school basketball is unhealthy and inappropriate for girls and decision by the Iowa High School Athletic Association to end sponsorship of the girls state tournament, 25 school administrators, mostly from small rural districts, gather late in the year to try to save the sport. They have been spurred into action by Mystic Superintendent John W. Agans, who had warned at a statewide meeting of superintendents and principals that opponents of girls basketball would find themselves on the wrong side of history. "Gentlemen," he roared, "if you attempt to do away with girls basketball in Iowa, you'll be standing at the center of the track when the train runs over you!" The meeting results in the formation of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, which remains the only high school governing body devoted solely to girls sports.
1926 -- Irene Silka of Maynard becomes the first Iowa Girl to score 100 points in a game, tossing in 110 in a 127-13 victory over Hawkeye. She averages 33 points for the season and finishes her three-year career with 1,707 points. One news item says she is being called "the star girls basketball player of the world." Irene rings up her big numbers in a three-court game that has two forwards, two centers and two guards. There's a center jump after every basket and the ball must be passed from the guard court to one of the centers before it can be advanced to the forwards.
1927 -- With three future Hall of Famers on the court, it's easy to see why Hampton rolls through the first state tournament under the direction of the IGHSAU to win the championship. Hampton goes 3-0 in the round-robin event in Hampton, finishing off its title run with a 57-27 rout of Mystic. How rare was it to score 57 points in those days? It will be 1940 before a team tops that figure in a state tournament game. Deone Gibson leads Hampton with 32 points in the finale and Mabel Kline scores the remaining 25. Both later are inducted into the Hall of Fame, as was jumping center Hazel Smith.
1928 -- Reporting on women in sports has evolved considerably over the years, as evidenced by an Associated Press story on the 1928 state tournament at Centerville that referred to fans watching "the weaker sex do their stuff." The story goes on: "The tournament has so far been featured by terrific playing, considering the fact that it is a girls' meet." But there's nothing weak about the play of Mystic's Leona Dufrasne, who scores 21 points in an upset of Sioux Center. Or in the play of future Hall of Famer Luella Gardeman, who tosses in 28 points, including the winning basket in the final 30 seconds, in Newhall's 38-37 victory over Sioux Center for the championship of the round-robin event.
1928-29 -- Ida Grove becomes the second school to win state championships in consecutive years when it goes 3-0 in round-robin tournaments. The first championship comes on Ida Grove's own court. In 1929, Ida Grove edges Perry 18-17 in Perry's gym to capture the title. The four state tournament qualifiers that year are the last teams standing of the 200 now playing girls basketball.
1930 -- The IGSHAU announces the state tournament will move to the Drake Fieldhouse in 1931 and the number of qualifiers will increase from four to eight. Also, the round-robin format is being dropped in favor of a quarterfinals, semifinals, consolation game and championship game schedule. The tournament will remain at Drake until Veterans Memorial Auditorium opens in downtown Des Moines in 1955.
1931 -- A statewide snowstorm forces fans from Avoca and Centerville to battle drifts and treacherous roads for hours to reach the Drake Fieldhouse for the championship game. The storm keeps many other fans at home and prompts the first live "broadcast" of the girls state tournament. Fred Taylor, captain of the Avoca boys team, describes the action from the Fieldhouse on a long-distance telephone call to the local theater in Avoca, where a special amplifier has been hooked up so fans could listen. They leave the theater happy because Avoca wins the championship with a 17-15 victory in the first title game to go into overtime.
1932 -- Parkersburg sophomore Geneva Langerman puts on a show by scoring a record 91 points in three games to lead her team to the championship at the Drake Fieldhouse. Writing in the Des Moines Tribune, Jack North, who later will become the IGHSAU's first full-time information director, notes that Geneva "gave an exhibition of basket shooting during the three days, the like which has never been seen in any other girls' meet staged in this state." She scores all but six of her team's points in the tournament and is joined on the all-tourney team by her twin sister Josephine, the team's jumping center.
1933 -- It helps to have the Langerman twins on your side. Geneva and Josephine move to Hampton for the 1932-33 season and sure enough, Hampton wins the championship. Geneva scores 89 points this time, including every one of her team's points in the title game, a 33-22 victory over tiny Hillsboro, a town of 281 in Henry County. The twins again are named to the all-tournament team, with Josephine now at guard. Interestingly, the two had played at Whittemore as freshmen and led that team to a third-place finish at state in 1931. Both later are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1934 -- The IGHSAU adopts the state tournament format it will use, with the exception of one year, through the final six-player tourney in 1993 -- 16 qualifiers playing first-round, quarterfinal and semifinal games leading to a consolation game for third place and the championship game. But there's one big difference from later years: the semifinals, consolation and championship games are played on the same day. Wellsburg, with its 1-2 punch of Geraldine Tjaden and Mae Miller, wins the first championship in this format, beating Aplington 30-22 in the finals.
1934 -- Looking to make the game more appealing for fans, the IGHSAU in November adopts a two-court system that puts three forwards and three guards in each half of the court and eliminates the two centers from each team who had roamed the middle section of the floor. Des Moines Register sports writer Bert McGrane sees immediate results in the 1935 state tournament, noting the new rules "developed the most evenly matched group of finalists ever to appear in the state tournament and some of the most polished individual stars made their appearance."
1936 -- Some 4,000 fans jam the Drake Fieldhouse, the largest crowd to date for a girls championship, to see Centerville win its second consecutive title with a 37-24 victory over Cumberland. The Redettes become the first team to repeat since the tournament settled in Des Moines in 1931. After being crowned the state tournament queen, Centerville's Virginia Hayes leads the way in the championship game with 15 points.
1937 -- Letdown? Not for Guthrie Center. After upsetting two-time defending champion Centerville in the afternoon semifinals -- a game that, according to one writer, "gave the dope bucket an explosive kick" -- Guthrie Center returns to the Drake Fieldhouse court Saturday night to beat Waterville for the title. Guthrie Center jumps to a 21-11 halftime lead, then holds on against its pesky opponent from northeast Iowa to win 27-26. The crowd of 2,700 for Friday night's quarterfinal round was the largest ever for that session.
1938 -- West Bend wins the first of two consecutive state championships, but only after a couple of incredible comebacks. A fourth-quarter rally from a 10-point deficit gives West Bend the title with a 44-41 victory over Lenox -- and that wasn't even the team's greatest comeback. West Bend found itself trailing Winterset by 17 points with seven minutes left in a first-round game before storming back to win 43-42 in overtime. So many fans throng the floor after the championship that it takes officials 15 minutes to clear them away so they can present the trophies.
1939 -- By comparison, West Bend's second state title is a breeze. There's a close call in a 37-35 semifinal win over Lynnville -- we'll hear from that town later -- to set up a title game rematch with Lenox, but it's all West Bend this time. Geraldine Gearhart scores 22 points to finish the tournament with 80 and West Bend rolls 53-36.
1940 -- Helen Van Houten sets two state tournament scoring records as tiny Hansell, enrollment 89, storms to the title after falling short in three previous trips to state. Helen scores 31 points in Hansell's 59-20 rout of Waterville in the finals before a Drake Fieldhouse crowd of more than 5,000. She had scored a record 44 points in a first-round victory over Gilmore City and finishes with a record 137 for the tournament -- 46 more than the previous mark. There isn't much celebrating in Hansell, a town of 150 souls, that night because as Mayor William Held put it: "We can't plan anything official until the town gets home. It's all in Des Moines."
1941 -- State tournament crowds just keep growing. This year, 6,200 fans spill into every nook and cranny of the Drake Fieldhouse to watch Numa, once the location of a prosperous mining camp, beat Mallard for the state championship. With Numa clinging to a 36-35 lead and the Ducks threatening, junior Margaret Rowan scores her team's final seven points to produce a 43-39 victory. The next day, at a banquet honoring the new champions, the Minerettes dine on, appropriately enough, roast duck.
1941 -- As fan interest in the tournament grows, so does the number of schools fielding teams. The state has nearly 540 girls basketball teams in the 1940-41 season, mostly in small towns such as Climbing Hill, Sperry and Curlew, although West Des Moines, Waukee, Ankeny, Johnston and Urbandale also have teams. With a population of 8,400, Centerville is the largest city in the state with girls basketball.
1942 -- Ankeny, which will go on to win more state championships that any other school, makes its first state tournament appearance. Ankeny rolls past Bode 62-24 in the opening round, then falls to the Fighting Czechs of Clutier 56-52 in overtime in the quarterfinals. Clutier goes on to beat Wiota 40-26 for the state championship.
1942 -- Ottosen's Bertha Longseth becomes the first Iowa Girl to score 3,000 points in her career. She passes the old record of 2,611 points by Hansell's Helen Van Houten in January, reaches 3,000 during sectional play and concludes her career with 39 points in a first-round state tournament loss to Seymour, giving her a four-year total of 3,195. She also sets a single-season record with 1,108 points.
1943 -- Travel restrictions brought on by World War II force the IGHSAU to reduce the state tournament field to eight. But the competition is as spirited as ever and Steamboat Rock takes home the championship trophy after a 32-24 victory over Havelock. Havelock had reached the finals with a 31-21 victory over Clutier, snapping the defending champs' 51-game winning streak. Championship Coach Ken Amsberry might have felt like writing the game story himself. He majored in journalism at Ohio State and spent two years at the Columbus Dispatch.
1944-45 -- The tournament returns to 16 teams in 1944 and organizers spread the competition over four days instead of three. As result, the semifinals are played Friday night and the championship and consolation games on Saturday. After losing in the 1942 championship game and finishing third in '43, Wiota goes all the way to the top this time, beating Gowrie 41-25 for the title.
The following year, Wiota turns in another superb defensive performance in beating Coon Rapids 30-25 to claim its second straight title. And it should be no surprise that defense is the team's calling card. Coach Joe O'Connor played his college ball at Maryville, Mo., Teachers College under Hank Iba, the future Oklahoma A&M coach who preached discipline and defense. The girls made the most of their time with O'Connor, who guided them through only three hours of regular practice a week because he also coached the boys team.
1945 -- Steamboat Rock's Verdelle Schuneman pours in 51 points in a first-round victory over West Des Moines Valley to set a single-game state tournament scoring record. If she had fallen short in that game, Verdelle would have topped the old record of 44 by Hansell's Helen Van Houten the next day. She scored 46 in a quarterfinal win over Colfax. She finishes the tournament with 133 points, four short of the record at the time.
1945 -- Jeanette Gates scores 14 points for Curlew in a first-round overtime loss to Lacey, including the game-tying basket at the end of regulation. Why is this significant? Well, Jeanette is only 12 years old and in the sixth grade. Curlew has only six girls in the high school and just five joined the basketball team, so Coach F.N. Clauson, the school custodian who was drafted into coaching the team, had to look to the lower grades for players.
Jeanette ends up playing five seasons of varsity ball and is later inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1946 -- The Drake Fieldhouse is bursting at the seams with a record crowd of 6,800 fans, who see a veteran Coon Rapids team, hardened by a state tournament run that ended with a title game defeat the year before, claim the championship this time with a 48-40 victory over New Providence. The New Providence guards bottle up Coon Rapids star Colleen Davis, so she concentrates on rebounding and setting up teammates Buelah Mowrey and Leila Parker. All three score in double figures.
1946 -- On December 20, Helen Corrick, a 15-year-old sophomore from Keswick, scores 101 points a 113-14 win over Martinsburg. It's regarded as the "modern" state record because Irene Silka's 110 points came in the three-court game, in which guards were prevented from, well, actually guarding someone with the ball.
1947 -- The state tournament expands to five days, starting with four first-round games on Tuesday. Previously, the tournament began on a Wednesday with eight first-round games.
1947 -- Following round after round of competition, the state championship comes down to a game matching two schools only eight miles apart. It's Seymour against Numa and the Warriors of Seymour are ruthless in their pursuit of the title. Seymour's guards hold the Numa forwards to 26 percent shooting and the Warriors match the most points ever scored in a title game, winning 59-33. And somehow, Drake University and IGHSAU officials keep finding ways to put more bodies in the stands. The final game draws a record 7,200 fans, who manage to wedge their way into a building designed to hold 5,000.
1947 -- Rod Chisholm is named the first full-time executive secretary of the IGHSAU. Prior to his appointment, various school administrators have filled the top position on a part-time basis. Chisholm, superintendent of schools in Exira, has been the Union's president.
1948 -- The state tournament scoring record falls again. Kamrar's Arlys Van Langen scores 27 points to lead her team past Wilton (then called Wilton Junction) 65-40 for the state championship, giving her 142 for the tournament. That tops the old mark of 137 set by Helen Van Houten of Hansell in 1940. Kamrar's 65 points are the most ever scored in a championship game, which draws an overflow crowd of 7,000.
1949 -- Keswick's Helen Corrick concludes her career with 29 points in a consolation game victory over Hartley, giving here 1,323 for the season and 3,271 for her career. Both are state records. Wellsburg beats Oakland 56-40 for the championship, capping its 10th state tournament appearance with a second title.
1950 -- Oakland's Mary Ann Jensen, described as "the gal with the magic touch in her finger tips," scores 68 points in a first-round victory over Sperry to break the state tournament's single-game scoring record. The old record had been 51 by Steamboat Rock's Verdelle Schuneman in 1945. The two-team record of 153 points in the 82-71 sizzler also is a state tournament record.
1951 -- Media coverage of the state tournament continues to increase and for the first time, the event is televised. WOI-TV in Ames, channel 4 at the time, shows the semifinals Friday night and the consolation and championship games Saturday night. Bill Riley, who'll become known statewide for his work at the Iowa State Fair, does the announcing. Additionally, 10 radio stations broadcast the finals, including five that carry every game. According to one source, an estimated 160,000 people watch the grainy telecast.
1952 -- Monona's 6-foot-4 Norma Schoulte becomes the state's new single-game scoring leader, pouring in 111 points in a 132-12 sectional tournament victory over Harper's Ferry. In the first half alone, she's 38 of 41 from the field.
1952 -- Not long after that, Norma finishes with 174 points at the state tournament, breaking the old mark of 142 by Arlys Van Langen of Kamrar in 1948 and running her career total to 4,187, also a state record. But her scoring isn't quite enough and Monona finishes as the runner-up for the second straight year, falling to Reinbeck 61-55 in the championship game after beating the Ramettes during the regular season.
Reinbeck is led by the Billerbeck twins, Frances, a forward who scores 32 points in the title game, and Francine, an outstanding guard. Frances later will marry Russell Lorenzen of Reinbeck and they'll have a daughter they name Lynne, who'll make quite a splash of her own in the sport.
1953-54 -- Led by Sandra Fiete, Garnavillo wins back-to-back championships in the final state tournaments played at Drake Fieldhouse. Known as the "candy kids" because of their youth and the red and white stripes on their uniform skirts, Garnavillo beats New Sharon for the 1953 title, then returns the following year outlast Oakland 48-45 for the crown.
1954 -- In April, 32-year-old E. Wayne Cooley is named the IGHSAU's executive secretary, replacing Rod Chisholm. Cooley, who has been an assistant to the president at Grinnell College, will bring a sharp business sense and P.T. Barnum-like showmanship to the state tournament, turning it into an extravaganza that will become the most popular high school sporting event in the state and the envy of every state athletic association in the country.
Cooley actually is the board of directors' second choice. A contract had been drawn up for Earl O. Berge, superintendent and girls basketball coach at Seymour, but he refused to sign it, according to the Des Moines Tribune. Berge also had turned down the job a week earlier, the Tribune reported. Cooley signed his contract on Monday, April 5, for a $7,400 salary plus expenses.)
1954 -- In early November, Garnavillo beats Fayette 54-43 for its state record 59th consecutive victory. Seymour, the previous record holder, won 58 in a row in the late 1940s. Garnavillo's streak will hit 60 before ending with a 43-38 loss to archrival Monona.
1955 -- Sandra Fiete's record-breaking career ends with Garnavillo's 50-48 loss to Monona in the district finals, denying her team a chance to win its third consecutive state championship. Sandra scores 30 points to finish with 4,875 and knock Monona's Norma Schoulte from the top of the career scoring list. Sandra's total will end up fourth on the state's all-time list. She and Norma will be part of the first Hall of Fame class in 1961.
1955 -- Goldfield wins the first state tournament played at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the massive 15,000-seat structure just north of downtown Des Moines that will become known affectionately to generations of fans and athletes as "The Barn." The arena is so big that every person who lived in the 16 qualifying towns could fit inside and there still would be more than 1,700 seats left. A crowd of 15,015, which will remain the largest ever for a state tournament session, sees unheralded Goldfield rally from 10 points down to edge Holstein 53-51 in overtime for the title. Total attendance for the five-day tournament: 65,217, more than twice what it drew at the Drake Fieldhouse.
1956 -- Talk about fast results. Just six years after reviving its girls basketball program, Maynard wins the state championship. With three future Hall of Famers on the roster, Maynard beats Garrison 62-51 to claim the title before a crowd of 13,517. Sisters Carolyn and Glenda Nicholson and Virginia Henniges, the starting forwards, all will go into the Hall of Fame.
1957 -- Turnabout is fair play. At least it was for Garrison. In a rematch of the 1956 finals, Garrison takes the trophy home this time, beating Maynard 47-46 behind Sylvia Froning's 37 points. This year's five-day run features the highest-scoring state tournament game to date -- Blakesburg's 92-90 quarterfinal victory over State Center. Total attendance each of the past two years has reached 75,000.
1958 -- Emerson and super forward Vivian Fleming create a buzz with some record-smashing performances. Emerson sets a tournament record for points in downing Blakesburg 98-86 in the quarterfinals, eclipsing Blakesburg's quarterfinal win the previous season as the highest scoring game in state tournament history. Vivian sets a tournament record by making 20 straight free throws in that game and finishes the meet with 200 points, also a record. But Emerson can't solve Maynard West Central's gritty guard play in the finals and the Blue Devils prevail 59-51 before a crowd of 14,756 for their second title in three years.
1959 -- A snowstorm socks Des Moines and forces thousands of fans to spend the night at Veterans Auditorium after Gladbrook upsets Maynard West Central, ending the Blue Devils' 58-game winning streak, to win the state championship. The arena eventually becomes the scene of a giant sock hop as young people dance the night away to records spun by Des Moines DJ Frosty Mitchell, who has slogged six miles through wet, blowing snow to reach the auditorium with his music. Mitchell later becomes a prominent radio voice of the state tournament.
Virginia Henniges leads West Central with 40 points in the championship game and becomes the first player to start in 16 state tournament games.
1960 -- Another sellout crowd sees Gladbrook repeat as state champion, a difficult feat in any era. Led by Judy Schade's 36 points, Gladbrook downs Eldora 67-53 to cap an unbeaten season. Demand for admission to the final night was so strong that the IGHSAU ran out of tickets. "We had to make them up to let people in," Executive Secretary E. Wayne Cooley said.
In December, Jack North retires after 45 years with the Des Moines Register and Tribune and becomes the IGHSAU's full-time publicity director. He brings vast knowledge of girls basketball to the job, having picked all-state teams since 1940, and maintains a record-keeping system and historical data that will be taken to a new level by his successor, Mike Henderson.
1961 -- The IGHSAU inducts the first class in its Basketball Hall of Fame, giving the honorees the Victoria Award, later known as "The Vicky." Victoria is Latin for victory or triumph, fitting for those who have accomplished so much. The inductees are Geneva Langerman of Hampton, Myrtle Fisher of Plover, Norma Shoulte of Monona, Sandra Fiete of Garnavillo, Mildred Moore of Hillsboro, Viola Meyer of Wellsburg, Eleanor Lira of Numa and Dorothy Welp of Kamrar.
1961 -- Dianne Frieden, a future Hall of Famer herself, scores 60 points, the most ever in a state championship game, to power Valley of Elgin past Lost Nation 78-62 for the title. Dianne's total matches the third best of all time in any state tournament game.
1962 -- The IGHSAU is forced to move the state tournament to Waterloo because Veterans Auditorium is occupied by a national bowling tournament that runs for weeks. The venue change doesn't bother Van Horne, an unranked team with only one starter taller than 5-feet-5. The scrappy Hornettes knock off teams ranked No. 1 and No. 4 before beating Mediapolis 62-59 for the title.
1964 -- In one of the greatest comebacks in championship game history, West Monona rallies from a 10-point deficit with 4 1/2 minutes left to beat South Hamilton 70-67 for the title. It comes in the school's first trip to state and just its second year of existence after a consolidation. Years later, guard Mary Cartmell will look back on that night as a near miracle. "Every time I watch it (on film)," she'll say, "I think we're not going to pull this out."
1966 -- Everly sophomore Jeanette Olson shows off the shooting touch that will make her one of the best to ever play the game in Iowa. Jeanette scores 158 points in her four games at state, finishing off the week with 36 in the Cattlefeeders' 65-55 victory over Lake City in the finals.
1967 -- South Hamilton's Sharon Tyler sinks 21 straight free throws in a first-round victory over Fredericksburg. She finishes 25 of 26 at the line and scores 51 points. Sharon later will team with her husband, Bob Hanson, to coach Des Moines East and Dowling Catholic to state championships.
1968 -- As a prelude to their classic championship game matchup, Jeanette Olson and Union-Whitten's Denise Long smash the state tournament's single-game scoring record on consecutive nights. Jeanette scores 74 points in a first-round win over Nevada and 24 hours later, Denise pours in 93 in a 114-66 rout of Bennett. Those later two figures, 93 points for a player and 114 for a team, will never be topped in a six-player tournament.
On the final night, Union-Whitten and Everly hook up in what is regarded as the greatest state championship game ever. Jeanette wins the individual scoring duel, tossing in 76 points to 64 for Deniseg. But Union-Whitten claims the state championship, outlasting the Cattlefeeders 113-107 in overtime. It's the final game of a brilliant career for Jeanette, who finishes with 4,634 points. Denise sets a record by scoring 282 points in the tournament, another mark that never will be exceeded.
1969 -- Denise Long, who has become the most widely known girls basketball player in history, treats state tournament fans to one last demonstration of her incredible offensive skills. She scores 79 points in a consolation game loss to Woodbine to finish with a state record 1,986 points for the season -- breaking the record of 1,946 she had set a year earlier -- and an astounding 6,250 for her career, nearly 1,450 more than anyone had scored previously.
1969-71 -- Montezuma, led by future Hall of Famer Sandy Van Cleave, wins consecutive state championships in 1969 and 1970 and builds a record 89-game winning streak. The Bravettes top Garnavillo's previous record of 60 consecutive victories with their 76-59 victory over Manilla in the 1970 title game. Their streak then lasts all the way until the 1971 state tournament, where they lose to Mediapolis 104-103 in an overtime quarterfinal thriller. Barb Wischmeier leads the winners with 71 points, making 30 of 39 shots. Sandy scores 42 in her final high school game.
1972 -- Roland-Story, unranked all season long, survives a 70-point outburst by West Central's Debbie Kaune in a 91-90 semifinal upset. It's the fifth highest single-game point total in state tournament history. Roland-Story then beats another unranked team, Guthrie Center, 68-64 behind Kathy Kammin's 39 points to win the championship.
1973 -- Sophomore sensation Debbie Coates puts on a show for the Veterans Auditorium crowds in leading top-ranked Mediapolis to the championship. Debbie scores 221 points in the tournament, a figure topped only by the great Denise Long in 1968 and 1969. She gets 48 in the championship game, sinking 23 of 35 shots in a 68-51 victory over Adel, and had 72 in a quarterfinal win over Colfax.
1975 -- Lake View-Auburn's offensive patience and active guard court keeps high-scoring Debbie Coates in check, enabling the Blackhawkettes to upset top-ranked Mediapolis 51-50 in overtime to claim the state championship. Deb finishes with 34 points in the final game of her career to give her 594 in state tournament play, trailing only the 625 put up by Everly's Jeanette Olson. She winds up her Hall of Fame career with 5,103 points, behind only Denise Long on the state's all-time list.
1976 -- Mediapolis makes a record 12th consecutive state tournament appearance, winning its first-round game before losing in the quarterfinals. The Bullettes will fail to make back in 1977, then will make five more consecutive trips to state.
1976 -- Andrew guard Kim Peters, born with just one good arm, amazes state tournament crowds with her ability to defend and rebound. She receives a standing ovation after fouling out of a semifinal game and is voted captain of the all-tournament team. Lake View-Auburn repeats as state champion with the same formula it used in 1975 -- patient offense and suffocating defense. This time Manilla is the victim in the championship game, falling to the Blackhawkettes 60-50.
1977 -- The tide is turning as girls basketball catches on in the state's larger schools. Hoover becomes the first Des Moines school to qualify for the state tournament and the championship game features the two largest schools to ever play for the title, Southeast Polk turning back Cedar Rapids Kennedy 51-48. Kennedy ends Lake View-Auburn's bid for a third consecutive title with a 67-58 semifinal victory.
1978 -- A crowd of 14,612 sees Ankeny shoot a blistering 72 percent in beating Lake View-Auburn 78-69 to claim the first state championship for a school that will win many more. The big crowd brings total attendance for the five-day tournament to 93,460, a record that still stands.
1979 -- In one of the most efficient performances by any forward court in a championship game, Des Moines East shoots 73 percent in beating Bettendorf 82-62 before a crowd of 14,225. Lorri Bauman, who later will set an NCAA tournament scoring record at Drake, leads with 39 points, making 15 of 19 shots.
1980 -- For the first time, teams qualify for the state tournament by classes. Ankeny (4A), Norwalk (3A), Britt (2A) and Terril (1A) emerge as class champions before Ankeny edges Norwalk 71-69 on Jacque Meyer's 13-foot jumper with 2 seconds left for its second title in three years.
1981 -- The four-class format continues and Ankeny and Norwalk again emerge as the finalists. But Norwalk gets its revenge and wins on a late shot, just as Ankeny did the year before. Brenda Weed hits a 23-footer with 2 seconds left, lifting Norwalk to a 53-51 victory.
1982 -- The four-class system is scrapped in favor of a two-class format through regional play, with eight teams in each class, 2A and 1A, advancing to the state tournament, which is played as a one-class event. Estherville takes home the title, upsetting Des Moines East 71-70. Estherville guard Debi Niles, who set tournament single-game records for rebounds (16) and blocks (7) in the quarterfinals, is voted captain of the all tournament team.
1982 -- The IGHSAU's board of directors decides in June to add a three-point field goal in all regular season and tournament games starting in the 1982-83 season. Though it takes a while for schools to fully implement the shot into their offense, the three-pointer eventually adds a new and exciting dimension to the game. Clinton Mater Dei's Jane Witt will make the first three-point basket in a state tournament game, connecting in a first-round loss to Des Moines Hoover on March 8, 1983.
1983 -- Scrappy defense carries Fairfield to its first state championship with a 60-50 victory over Des Moines Hoover. With no starter taller than 5-feet-9, Fairfield is outrebounded 120-88 in its four state tourney games, but forces 98 turnovers to finish 29-0 and run its record in the last five years to a dazzling 125-5. Only one of those losses came during the regular season.
1984 -- A Ventura forward named Lynne Lorenzen finishes the season with 1,174 points, the most ever for a freshman. Her total includes 44 points in a first-round state tournament loss to eventual champion Vinton. "I hate to think how good she'll be by the time she becomes a senior," Vinton Coach Harold Shepherd says. Those words will prove to be prophetic.
1984-85 -- In May of 1984, the IGHSAU's board of directors votes unanimously to allow schools to switch to five-player, full-court basketball if they choose or continue with the six-player game. The Union will conduct a tournament series for the five-player schools and stage a state tournament alongside the six-player event in March of 1985.
From 26 teams competing in the tournament series, four qualify for the first five-player state tournament: Linn-Mar, Dubuque Senior, Cedar Rapids Washington and North Scott. Linn-Mar defeats CR Washington 56-40 on the title game, while Senior downs North Scott for third place. The two-class qualifying system remains in effect for the six-player tournament, which Fort Dodge wins in its final season of six-on-six.
1987 -- On February 16, Ventura's Lynne Lorenzen becomes the state and national career scoring leader in girls basketball, breaking the record held by Denise Long. Lynne scores 54 points in an 87-51 sectional tournament victory over Meservey-Thornton to run her career total to 6,266. Denise, who watches the historic moment from the stands, scored 6,250 points in her career at Union-Whitten. The game is moved from its original site to the larger gym at Mason City High because of the fan and media interest in Lynne's quest.
A month later, Lynne caps her career by scoring 59 points to lead Ventura to the six-player state championship with a 90-69 victory over Southeast Polk. That lifts her career total to 6,736 points, a record that remains unbroken. In an incredibly efficient display of offense, Lynne makes 28 of 32 shots to lead her team's 81 percent shooting and, just as impressively, has the assist on 14 of her team's other 15 field goals.
In five-player, Molly Tideback of Waterloo Columbus scores 39 points to break her own single-game state tournament record and lead her team past Des Moines Lincoln 80-56 for third place. Western Dubuque beats North Scott for the title.
1988 -- Brenda Frese, who'll later guide Maryland to the 2006 NCAA women's basketball championship, leads Cedar Rapids Washington to the five-player title. Brenda scores 35 points as Washington beats Bettendorf 65-47 in the finals. She finishes the tournament with 57 points to lead all scorers.
1989 -- As more schools switch to the full-court game, the field for the five-player state tournament is expanded from four to eight. Freshman Jenny Noll, who does not start, posts a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double to help Muscatine beat Durant 52-45 for the championship. The six-player field remains at 16 and Ankeny beats Atlantic 57-36 to become the first school since the IGHSAU began running the event to win three state championships.
1990 -- Cedar Rapids Jefferson breaks three scoring records in a 123-43 first-round victory over Keokuk. It's the most points in a five-player state tournament game, the most in overall state tournament play and the most in any five-player game, regular season or tournament. That same day, Muscatine sophomore Jenny Noll sets a state tournament record by blocking 12 shots in a win over Fairfield.
1993 -- The IGHSAU's board of directors votes on February 3 to end six-player basketball, deciding that after the 1993-94 season, all schools will play the five-on-five, fullcourt version. With the end looming, Hubbard-Radcliffe, led by Lisa Brinkmeyer's 53 points, beats Atlantic 85-66 to win what will turn out to be the final six-player state championship. By the end of March, every conference in the state will have voted to switch to five-player basketball and the six-player version, beloved for generations, a game that set Iowa apart in its promotion of and support for girls basketball, passes into the mists of history.
1993-94 -- Another major decision by the IGHSAU board comes in May of 1993 with a vote to establish a four-class system for basketball, with eight teams from each class qualifying for the state tournament. Each class winner will become a state champion. There will be no playoff for an overall winner as there was in 1980 and 1981. In the first five-player only state tournament, held in 1994, Treynor (1A), Solon (2A), Central DeWitt (3A) and Bettendorf (4A) win the championships.
1995-96 -- Winfield-Mount Union, led by future Hall of Famer Linda Lappe, becomes the first in the five-player era to win consecutive state championships, claiming back-to-back titles in Class 1A.
1996 -- Mary Berdo of Washington becomes the first in the five-player game to score more than 2,000 points in her career, finishing with 2,026. A shooter with unlimited range, Mary leads her team to state tournament appearances in 1994 and 1996.
1997 -- Winfield-Mount Union will build an 80-game winning streak before losing to Lynnville-Sully 51-45 in overtime in the 1A semifinals. Lynnville-Sully, which had lost to Winfield-Mount Union in the 1996 title game, then beats Newell-Fonda in the championship game and goes on to build a long winning streak of its own.
1997 -- Ankeny outlasts Waterloo West 85-81 in five overtimes, the longest state tournament game ever, in the Class 4A semifinals. Erica Junod scores Ankeny's final nine points to secure the victory after neither team scores in the third and fourth overtimes. Ankeny goes on to beat Dowling Catholic 44-43 for its first five-player championship and fourth overall.
1998-99 -- Lynnville-Sully, with 6-foot-4 Jessica Nikkel inside and Carrie Norman running the show at guard, adds two more championships to its string to become the first in the IGHSAU era to win three consecutive titles. The Hawkettes come out of their run with a 79-game winning streak, a victory string that reaches 83 before ending with a 40-36 loss to Tri-County in December of 1999. Tri-County had been the last team to beat Lynnville-Sully before the streak started.
1998-2001 -- Washington's Stephanie Rich leads her team to four consecutive Class 3A state championship games and three straight titles, in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Stephanie leads the Class 3A field in scoring in each of her four years at state. Her 237 career state tournament points and 114 rebounds are five-player records.
2001-03 -- Rock Valley wins three consecutive state championships -- the first in Class 2A, the others in 1A -- behind the sensational shooting of Deb Remmerde. Deb sets numerous scoring records, dazzles fans with her 3-point shooting and becomes the state's career leader with 2,756 points and 353 3-point baskets. She remains the state leader in free throw shooting, hitting 95.5 percent. In four years, she misses only 12 free throws.
2002 -- E. Wayne Cooley steps down after 48 years as the IGHSAU's executive secretary. During his tenure, he has turned the state basketball tournament into a showcase event, worked tirelessly to promote "the Iowa Girl" and helped the organization grow from three sports to nine.
2002-05 -- Ankeny becomes the first school in the modern era to win four consecutive state championships, relying on sticky defense and the stellar play of stars such as Nicky Wieben and Kristina Voss. The Class 4A title run gives Ankeny nine state championships, more than twice as many as any other school. Nicky, Kristina, Megan Wittkop and Kelsey Hood play in all four championship games.
2005 -- Rekindling memories of games past and magical moments cherished forever, the state tournament is played for the last time at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the cavernous brown brick structure affectionately known as "The Barn." Top-ranked Ankeny wins the final state championship game in the revered building, beating No. 2 Cedar Rapids Washington 65-57 to complete its run of four consecutive Class 4A titles. After exactly 1,000 girls state tournament games at Vets, another era passes into history.
2006 -- The state tournament moves across 3rd Street to the brand new Wells Fargo Arena. In the very first state tournament game there, IKM's Margo Muhlbauer outscores future Hall of Famer Jennifer Jorgensen of Southeast Webster Grand 31-28 in leading her team to a 63-45 victory. IKM goes on to win the Class 1A championship.
2008 -- The Class 4A championship game ends in dramatic fashion. Freshman Virginia Johnson catches a long inbounds pass, dribbles to the basket in three long strides and drops in a layup with one second left, giving Iowa City High a 48-46 victory over Cedar Rapids Washington.
2011 -- In the first major change in the basketball format in nearly two decades, the IGHSAU's board of directors approves expansion of the state tournament to five classes, starting in 2013. The move brings eight more teams to the state tournament, giving more players a chance to experience the event and win a championship.
2011-13 -- Davenport Assumption wins three straight Class 3A championships and not even a coaching change can slow the Knights' title run. Jennifer Goetz, a Hall of Fame player at Keokuk Cardinal Stritch, guides Assumption to the 2011 crown. Former Assumption player Mallory Youngblut takes over and coaches the Knights to titles in 2012 and 2013.
2013 -- Along with Davenport Assumption's third straight title, the first five-class tournament results in championships for Southeast Polk (5A), Cedar Rapids Xavier (4A), Western Christian (2A) and Central Lyon (1A).
2015 -- After five runner-up finishes, Newell-Fonda finally breaks through on the final night to win a state championship. The Mustangs, in the championship game for the third straight years, edge Springville 45-43 for the Class 1A title on Hailey Falline's layup with 1.2 seconds left.
2015-17 -- Pocahontas Area delights state tournament fans with its super-charged offense led by 5-foot-4 Elle Ruffridge, finishing second in Class 3A in 2015 and winning titles in 2016 and 2017. En route to the 2016 championship, Pocahontas beats Cherokee 102-91 in the semifinals, the highest scoring game in the history of the five-player tournament. And in the 2017 semifinals, Elle sets five-player tournament records by knocking down eight 3-pointers and scoring 48 points. She finishes her career as the state leader in points (2,951) and 3-pointers (466).
2016 -- Jean Berger is named the IGHSAU's executive director, the first woman to hold the post. Jean brings fresh ideas to the state tournament, including an increased empahsis on the traditions and history of the event.
2016-18 -- Springville bounces back from its 2015 championship game loss in a big way, returning to state and beating Turkey Valley 48-47 to win the Class 1A title. Alyssa Jaeger calmly sinks two free throws with 3.2 seconds to win it for the Orioles, who also win the title the next two years behind their dynamic duo of Mikayla Nachazel and Rylee Menster. Mikayla is the all-tournament captain all three years.