State girls' basketball: Dowling tops Mason City in 5-A semifinals

State girls' basketball: Dowling tops Mason City in 5-A semifinals

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State girls' basketball: Dowling tops Mason City in 5-A semifinals

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Luci Sarcone’s early basketball memories crept back to watching Dowling Catholic play for a state championship in 2004.
The Dowling junior helped her team sink 22 of 27 free throws Friday against Mason City to earn her own chance to compete for a title. She scored 13 points in a 50-43 victory in a Class 5-A state semifinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
“I don’t remember much,” Sarcone said, recalling her seat in the stands nine years ago, “but I knew one day I wanted to play there, too.”
Dowling (21-4) will face Southeast Polk at 8 p.m. Saturday in the championship.
The Maroons outscored Mason City 17-5 in the fourth quarter to win – making 13 of 14 free throws in the final period.

Photos: Dowling Catholic vs. Mason City

Dowling shot 68 percent from the line for the season before Friday. The team made 81.5 percent in the semifinal. Becca Hittner, who went nine-for-nine, led Dowling with 17 points in the game. Sarcone had struggled throughout the season (55.2 percent) made five of six tries.
“I just think, ‘I need to make this shot so we can win this game,’ ” Sarcone said.
That careful aim rallied Dowling after Mason City had led much of the second half.
Mason City all-stater Jadda Buckley’s 3-point shooting touch gave her team a seven-point lead toward the end of the third quarter. Buckley hit a trio of 3-pointers during a 43-second stretch that gave Mason City its biggest lead of the game at 38-31.
She scored 11 points in the period and compiled a game-high 23.
Dowling changed its defense – and its destiny. Buckley made two fourth quarter free throws but was unable to make a basket.
“They switched up their defenses,” Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen said. “They definitely took Jadda out of the game. We had some good looks, but we couldn’t get it done.”
Sarcone scored Dowling’s only two baskets in the fourth quarter.
“They hit big shots,” Buckley said. “You can’t do much about that.”
Mason City (21-4) had beaten Dowling 58-52 on Feb. 11.
Dowling’s players had watched Mason City sink a tournament record 14 3-pointers on Wednesday in a quarterfinal win over Iowa City West.

“We were sitting as a team, watching, knowing they had hit (14) 3s,” Dowling guard Alyssa Beck said. “We had to make them shoot not as many.”
Mason City made six of 18 tries Friday after Dowling worked out a defensive plan.
“We prepared two or three different defenses to go with the man-to-man,” Dowling co-coach Bob Hanson said.
Dowling scored the last 11 points of the first quarter to take a 17-8 lead.
Mason City ended the second period with a 10-2 run to cut Dowling’s advantage to 25-22 at halftime.
Hittner scored nine points in the first half. Buckley had 10.

DOWLING CATHOLIC (50) – Crivaro 0-1 2-4 2, Mauk 1-4 0-0 2, Sarcone 4-7 5-6 13, Beck 1-3 4-6 6, Faber 4-9 2-2 10, Childers 0-0 0-0 0, Michaud 0-0 0-0 0, Lawler 0-0 0-0 0, Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Hittner 4-8 9-9 17, Daniel 0-0 0-0 0, Meek 0-2 0-0 0, Pithan 0-0 0-0 0, Gierstorf 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 22-27.
MASON CITY (43) — Vorba 0-3 2-3 2, Buckley 7-15 5-6 23, Meyer 1-4 2-2 4, Mellman 0-7 1-2 1, Rush 2-6 0-0 6, Notermann 0-0 0-0 0, Cornick 0-0 0-0 0, Whitehill 0-0 0-0 0, Hewett 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 0-0 1-2 1, Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Pederson 2-4 2-2 6, Koehler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 13-17.
Dowling 17 8 8 17 — 50
Mason City 8 14 16 5 — 43

3-point goals–Dowling 0-3 (Mauk 0-1, Faber 0-1, Butler 0-1), Mason City 6-18 (Buckley 4-7, Rush 2-3, Mellman 0-6, Vorba 0-2). Rebounds–Dowling 26 (Faber, Hittner 6), Mason City 25 (Meyer 7). Assists–Dowling 4 (Crivaro 2), Mason City 10 (Rush 6). Fouls–Dowling 17, Mason City 15.

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