Ankeny owns more state girls’ basketball titles than any other school – nine – but the Hawkettes have an extra incentive to add No. 10 this week.
The school district will add a second high school in the fall. Centennial and Ankeny high will be opponents next season.
No. 2-ranked Ankeny is one win away from playing for a state title, starting at 10 a.m. Thursday against Southeast Polk in the Class 5-A semifinals. The semifinals feature four CIML schools. West Des Moines Dowling Catholic and Mason City meet in the other game.
Ankeny’s immediate goal is to advance to Saturday’s 8 p.m. championship.
“It gives us all the extra drive to win for us and for the community,” said senior guard Brittany Hedrick, who scored a game-high 24 points in Wednesday’s quarterfinal win over Cedar Rapids Washington.
Ankeny is 20-4. The team split two games with Southeast Polk during the regular season, although the Hawkettes took the CIML’s Eastern Division title.
“They’re Hawkettes – they have a lot of pride,” Ankeny coach Scott DeJong said.
All four semifinalists have held the state’s No. 1 ranking at one time this season. Southeast Polk is currently No. 7, Dowling is eighth and Mason City is third. All of the teams have at least three losses this season.
Ankeny (20-4) vs. Southeast Polk (18-5) 10 a.m.
Ankeny beat Cedar Rapids Washington 66-58 in a quarterfinal. Hedrick scored 24 points and Jaali Winters added 17. Ankeny shot 60 percent from the field in the second half. Southeast Polk’s Caitlin Ingle scored 18 points in a quarterfinal win over Muscatine. The Rams beat Ankeny 45-22 on Jan. 25. Ingle scored 23 in that game. Ankeny beat Southeast Polk 44-25 on Dec. 7.
W.D.M. Dowling Catholic (20-4) vs. Mason City (21-3) 11:45 a.m.
Dowling’s Aubrey Faber hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send her team into overtime against Des Moines East in Wednesday’s quarterfinal. Faber scored 21 points in a 47-41 win. Mason City sank 13 3-pointers – a state tournament record – in a 72-53 win over Iowa City West in a quarterfinal. Myah Mellman scored 25 points and made five 3-pointers. Jadda Buckley went four-for-five behind the 3-point line and scored 16 points.