Class 2A Girls State Basketball
Pocahontas Area 47, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 36
Pocahontas celebrated its return to the state tournament with a victory over an unbeaten opponent.
Akaysa Duitscher scored 20 points and sixth-seeded Pocahontas, relying on perimeter shooting early and layups at the end, beat No. 3 seed Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 47-36 to complete the Class 2A quarterfinals.
Pocahontas, which made it to state for the first time since winning 3A titles in 2016 and 2017, improved to 21-4 and will face another unbeaten team in the semifinals, taking on second-seeded Central Lyon at 11:45 a.m. on Friday.
Abby Oberhelman added eight points and eight rebounds for the Indians, who have won 14 of their last 15, and Carly Janssen also scored eight points and tied a 2A tournament record with eight steals. The Indians finished with 18 steals in all and forced 23 turnovers.
Duitscher, a Northwestern College recruit, went 6-for-8 from 3-point range and added five rebounds, five steals and four assists. She did not take a shot inside the arc and finished off the scoring with two free throws in the final minute.
Molly Shafer’s 17 points led Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, which made the tournament for the first time as a consolidated program and finishes 24-1. Ava Eastlick added eight points, while Kate Shafer grabbed 13 rebounds, blocked six shots and scored two points. Teammate Whitney Klyn also had six blocks to go with five points and four rebounds.
Nine of the first 12 Pocahontas field goals were 3-pointers as the Indians built a 35-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter and constantly disrupted the Rockets by getting into the passing lanes or knocking the ball away.
Megan Sump’s layup in transition stretched the lead to 37-25 and Pocahontas answered every time EBF scored to stay safely ahead. Alayna Kakacek hit a short jumper for the Indians down the stretch, but their four other field goals were layups.