Class 4A State Championship Game
Dallas Center-Grimes 57, North Polk 50

One trip to the finals was all it took for Dallas Center-Grimes to claim a state championship.

The Mustangs combined some timely 3-point shooting with key defensive stops to beat nearby rival North Polk 57-50 in overtime to win the Class 4A title.

Emma Miner scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Dallas Center-Grimes, which dominated the overtime after North Polk missed a shot that could have won it regulation.

The Mustangs had great balance behind Miner, who’ll continue her basketball career at St. Thomas University. Vanessa Bickford, Aubrey Johansen and Finley Fitzgerald each scored eight points and Josie Lampe added seven.

Perimeter shooting made the difference in the closely contested game. Dallas Center-Grimes went 9-for-20 from 3-point range, Miner leading that effort by going 4-for-8. North Polk outrebounded the Mustangs 34-29 and came up with eight steals but shot just 3-for-12 from distance and found itself needing to make tough shots around the basket.

Izzy McCool led the Comets with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting, Liza Schaffer scored 11, MaKayla Boatman 10 and Abby Tuttle eight. Becca Aagard, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, gave the Comets a solid presence in the post with six points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and  three steals. But it wasn’t quite enough and North Polk finished as the state runner-up for the third time.

Both teams had six-point leads in regulation, but neither could keep the other from coming back. Lampe hit two long 3s from the right wing and Fitzgerald buried a corner 3 to help the Mustangs open a 44-38 lead with 4:58 left.

But North Polk held DC-G without a field goal the rest of regulation and chipped away at the lead, finally pulling into a tie at 46 when Boatman drove the left side of the lane and scooped in a layup with 51 seconds remaining. Boatman then stole the ball, giving the Comets a chance to win it, but McCool’s close-in shot bounced off the rim just before the buzzer.

Schaffer’s 3-pointer gave North Polk a 49-48 lead early in the overtime, but Miner countered with her fourth 3 of the day, then sank a free throw for a 52-49 lead. A missed free throw sent the ball back to the Mustangs and Fitzgerald, voted captain of the all-tournament, banked in a runner in the lane to seal to the deal.

Dallas Center-Grimes, which had lost in the semifinals each of the past two seasons, finished with 12 straight wins and a 23-3 record. North Polk, which lost to the Mustangs in its season opener, also wound up 23-3.

Miner, Boatman and Schaffer also made the all-tournament team along with Brooklyn Stanley of Sioux City Bishop Heelan and Alliyah Thompson of Ballard.