Class 5A State Basketball Tournament
Dowling Catholic 52, Davenport North 38
In a game matching two young teams with promising futures, West Des Moines Dowling Catholic controlled the game after a slow start and beat Davenport North 52-38 to complete the first round in Class 5A.
Sophomore Ava Zediker led the fourth-seeded Maroons with the best overall performance of the opening round: 25 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. She got help from 6-foot-1 freshman Ellie Muller, who contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
That was more than enough to offset North’s sophomore duo of Journey Houston and Divine Bourrage. Houston led the fifth-seeded Wildcats with 14 points and six rebounds, while Bourrage had six points, five rebounds and four steals. Junior Kyra Taylor added eight points for North and senior Mariah Thompson scored seven.
Dowling Catholic overcame 16 turnovers in running its winning streak to 17, a run that includes victories over state tournament qualifiers Johnston, Ankeny Centennial, West Des Moines Valley and Southeast Polk. The Maroons haven’t lost since falling to Southeast Polk 53-50 on Dec. 13.
North, which reached the state tournament for just the second time, made its first three shots in jumping to a 7-0 lead. But the Wildcats suddenly went cold, missing 18 of their next 19 shots, and Dowling steadily built a lead.
The Maroons ran off 11 straight points en route to a 13-9 lead after one quarter and limited North to only two field goals in the second quarter and taking a 28-13 lead into halftime.
Dowling hiked the lead to 32-15 before North started hitting some shots again, but the Wildcats could never get the margin below 10 and Zediker took over in the fourth quarter to keep her team safely ahead. The 5-foot-10 wing player began the quarter with a 3-pointer, dropped in a floater on an inbounds play, hit a runner on the baseline and drove for two layups to finish off a memorable outing.
Dowling Catholic will take a 20-4 record against top-seeded Pleasant Valley in a semifinal game at 11:45 a.m. Thursday. North finishes with a 21-3 record. The Wildcats’ two other losses were to Pleasant Valley.