Class 3A State Basketball Tournament
Sioux Center 79, West Marshall 53
Sharp shooting, balanced scoring and aggressive defense added up to an impressive performance for Sioux Center in the final game of the Class 3A quarterfinals.
All 14 players who suited up got into the game and 10 of them scored as the sixth-seeded Warriors rolled past No. 3 seed West Marshall 79-53 to open Day 2 of the 2023 state tournament.
The Warriors were sharp from the opening tip, knocking down 3-pointers, getting inside for layups and harassing the Trojans with double-teams and quick hands. Sioux Center bolted to a 22-7 lead after one quarter, led by 25 midway through the second quarter and went up by as many as 31 in the second half. And the Warriors did it against a team that was giving up only 32.7 points a game.
Seven players scored for Sioux Center in the first quarter alone and all nine in the main rotation had scored by halftime, when the Warriors led 43-21.
West Marshall, which had won 15 straight after suffering its only loss, missed 12 of its first 13 shots and by the time the shots started falling, the Trojans were too far behind to make much dent in the Sioux Center lead.
Cori Harald led Sioux Center with 14 points, going 4-for-6 on 3-pointers and handing out four assists. Willow Bleeker added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Reagan Jansen had 10 points and five rebounds.
Margo Schuiteman added nine points and six rebounds off the bench and Makenna Walhof scored eight.
Sioux Center shot 49 percent, scored 27 points over turnover and amassed a 38-14 edge in points in the paint. The Warriors came up with 13 steals and had assists in 19 of their 31 field goals.
Keatan Pfantz led West Marshall with 18 points on 6-for-10 3-point shooting. Katy Reyerson had a strong line with 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four blocks, but Sioux Center limited her touches early while it was taking control of the game.
Sioux Center has come back strong after losing three straight games late in the regular season and will take a 19-5 record against second-seeded Solon in a semifinal at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. West Marshall, which made it to the tournament for the 11th time, finishes an outstanding season with a 23-2 record.