Two of the hottest girls’ basketball teams in the CIML collided Friday night at the Waukee Fieldhouse.
Only one of them continued its winning ways.
Eleventh-ranked Ankeny Centennial led all the way and rolled to a 70-49 victory over No. 6 Waukee. The game was a matchup between the last two Class 5A state champions and a battle for second place in the CIML Central Conference.
“Our defense was really good,” Centennial coach Scott DeJong said. “They were hitting some 3-pointers in the first half, but I thought we had everything else under control. We didn’t think they’d keep hitting them like that, and they didn’t.”
Syd Wycoff made five 3-point goals and scored a game-high 21 points as Centennial (16-5, 7-3 Central Conference) extended its winning streak to six games. She was one of four Jaguars to score in double figures.
“Our preparation was not as good as we wanted it because we’ve had some people sick, but we obviously came out and showed them what we can do,” Wycoff said. “That’s not what we were expecting. We’ve never had a 70-point game against them.”
The loss snapped Waukee’s eight-game winning streak. The Warriors (16-4, 6-4) had not lost since dropping a 47-45 decision at Centennial on Jan. 13.
“Our last loss was to Centennial, and we bounced back pretty well from that,” said Waukee guard Kylie Coleman. “It’s definitely good to get this loss out of the way, and not have it next week (in the postseason).”
Centennial has now won the last five meetings against Waukee dating back to the 2014-15 season, when the Warriors captured the state title. They have lost only six other times in their last 61 games.
“They have a great team and they’ve been playing awesome,” DeJong said of the Warriors. “We’ve had some sickness — we’ve had people missing practice and we made some changes in our lineup — but I can’t be more proud of our kids. They played awesome against a really, really good team.”
Carlie Littlefield scored 18 points to lead the Warriors. Coleman added 15 on five 3-pointers and now has 128 treys for her career, which sets a new school record.
“It means a ton,” Coleman said of the record. “To be able to hit that and do it as a senior, it’s a nice way to go out.”
Both teams will now prepare for regional play. Centennial will host Waterloo West in a semifinal game on Saturday, while Waukee will host Cedar Rapids Washington or Davenport Central.
The Jaguars are seeking a second consecutive Class 5A crown.
“This gives us so much momentum, and we’ve earned it,” Wycoff said. “Our attitudes have changed so much since the beginning of the season, like when we were 5-4 after losing in double overtime to Johnston (on Dec. 22). After that game, we all decided that we’re going to change and come together. That’s what we did tonight.”