Class 4A State Basketball
Bishop Heelan 63, Cedar Rapids Xavier 37
By turning a close game into a rout, Sioux City Bishop Heelan avenged not one but two recent losses to Cedar Rapids Xavier.
The third-seeded Crusaders hit the sixth-seeded Saints with a 28-0 run spanning halftime and went on to a 63-37 victory to close out the Class 4A quarterfinal round.
Xavier beat Bishop Heelan 54-40 in the state championship game last March, then defeated the Crusaders again, 62-54, in late November. But once the Crusaders got rolling in this one, there was little the Saints could do to stop them.
Lauryn Peak led Bishop Heelan with 17 points on near-perfect shooting. Peak made six of her seven shots, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Brooklyn Stanley added 16 points for the Crusaders and Jada Newberg went 4-for-6 from distance in scoring 14 points. Kenley Meis chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.
Libby Fandel, last year’s all-tournament captain, led Xavier with 16 points and Kyla Mason scored 12. The Saints struggled to take care of the ball and missed numerous shots they’d normally make. The 37 points were the fewest they scored in a game this season.
The game between these two state tournament veterans was as tight as had been expected early. After seven lead changes, Xavier was up 20-19 at the 4:24 mark in the second quarter. But the Saints would not score again until midway through the third quarter and Bishop Heelan started making one shot after another.
The Crusaders scored the final 16 points of the half for a 35-20 lead, then opened the second half with 12 straight points to go up 47-20 and essentially nail down the victory.
All told, Bishop Heelan made 11 of 14 shots during the burst, including four 3-pointers. Xavier, meanwhile, missed eight in a row and turned it over eight times. Fandel finally ended the run when she put back her own miss with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
Peck and Maddie Demke followed with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Crusaders their biggest at 53-22 and make it a 34-2 run.
Bishop Heelan is in the tournament for the 13th time and is seeking its fourth state championship. The Crusaders will take a 23-2 record against second-seeded North Polk in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
Xavier, which has won five state titles, finishes 16-8 in its 15th trip to state.