The Women of Troy have more players than just all-state senior Ally Disterhoft …
But the future Hawkeye can be a bit hard to ignore at times.
Disterhoft scored 29 points guiding West to a 46-38 win over Cedar Rapids Xavier, the No. 5 team in Class 4A.
“Too many times we almost look to Ally too much,” West coach BJ Mayer said. “Rightly so.
“But we have kids capable of stepping up.”
On Friday, a day after the defending state champions fell out of the Class 5A rankings, those “kids” were senior Lauren Larson and sophomore Danielle Craig.
Each came up with a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
“They stepped up and hit some big shots,” Disterhoft said. “They were go-to players down the stretch, too.”
The game was tied 35-35 with about six minutes to play. Disterhoft hit 5-of-6 at the line in the next few minutes, but it was those 3-pointers by Larson and Craig, as well as one long-range bomb from Disterhoft, that sunk the Saints.
“When you’re as good as Disterhoft, you grab a lot of attention,” Xavier coach Tom Lilly said. “She’s a four-year varsity starter, and we’re guarding her with freshmen and sophomores sometimes. We’re not going to stop her all night long.”
“I try not to tell them that might be Ms. Iowa Basketball. That’s just another kid in shorts. But they know.”
Xavier tied the game at 35-35 with a 3-pointer by Sarah Dickes and a post bucket from 6-foot-1 Ashley Stulken, but West High put together an 11-0 run after that.
“We defended well enough to win on our home floor,” Lilly said. “I’m more concerned with our lack of offense.”
Mayer was pleased by how West (6-2) stayed plugged in defensively against Xavier (6-3).
“This is a tough place to play,” Mayer said. “They are so physical and we’ve got a bunch of young kids that don’t have much experience. And we’ve been pushed around this year. In the first half, we were weak with the basketball.”
When West needed a boost, they put the ball in the hands of Disterhoft.
“She’s been doing that all year long,” Mayer said. “We look to her. She’s really aggressive.
“She was a little winded. She needs to be on the floor for us. When she didn’t a basket, she got fouled, which is good. She can get a rest on the free throw line, and she’s a pretty good free throw shooter.
Disterhoft was 13-of-16 at the foul line, including 10-of-12 in the second haf.
Xavier was 2-for-12 as a team on the line.
“We made her work,” Lilly said of Disterhoft. “We needed to put clamps on the rest of them.”
Craig finished with 11 points for the Women of Troy. And Mikaela Morgan had nine rebounds.
“We played intense, we played together,” Disterhoft said. “We knew we could get it done.”
(46) – Paige Parker 0 0-0 0, Ally Disterhoft 7 13-16 29, Grace Tafolla 0 1-4 1, Laynie Whitehead 1 0-0 2, Danielle Craig 4 0-0 111, Mollie Mason 0 0-00 0, Lauren Larson 1 0-0 3, Mikaela Morgan 0 0-0 0, Hannah Fairfield 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 14-20 46
XAVIER (38) – Kayla Armstrong 2 0-2 4, Hayley Deutmeyer 0 0-0 0, Sarah Dickes 6 0-0 13, Maddie Bertsch 1 0-2 2, Morgan Breitbach 0 1-4 1, Ashley Stulken 2 0-0 4, J Dickes 0 0-0 0, Abby Watson 1 0-0 2, McKenna Andersen 3 0-0 12. Totals 15 2-12 38.
Halftime – West 22-18. 3-point goals – West 6 (Disterhoft 2, Craig 3, Larson), Xavier 3 (Andersen 2, Dickes).