One quarter doesn’t officially decide a basketball game, although it might be hard to convince those who watched the Regina girls eliminate Wapello from the Class 2A playoffs Tuesday.
Regina held Wapello to just one point in the second quarter and cruised to a 65-24 victory in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal at Regina. The Arrows were outscored 21-1 in the second quarter and trailed 38-10 at halftime.
“When we’re struggling on offense, we make sure that we play through our defense,” sophomore guard Cammy Verducci said. “We can’t always control what shots are going to go in, but we can control our effort, and we tend to start that on defense.”
Wapello junior guard Kristen Keen made a basket that trimmed Regina’s lead to 15-9 with 58 seconds left in the first quarter. Her basket was the last for Wapello in the first half. The Arrows missed all nine of their field-goal attempts in the second quarter.
Senior forward Katie Wick answered with a basket for Regina, making the score 17-9 after the first quarter. Wick’s basket triggered a 21-0 scoring run that lasted until Wapello junior Sydney Reid made one of two free throws with 12.4 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Regals answered the challenge of coach Clark Anderson before the start of the second quarter.
“We started a little slow in the first quarter, so I think in the second quarter we had to pick it up because that’s when it matters,” said Wick, who led three Regina players in double figures with 13 points. “He gave us a talk and he was like, ‘This is it, we’ve got to get away now because we don’t want to mess around.’ “
Regina improved to 17-5 and will face Danville in a regional semifinal Friday at Regina. Wapello finished 9-14.
The Regals closed the regular season with three consecutive losses, and Anderson responded by switching his starting lineup with Verducci and fellow sophomore Kennedy Brown getting the nod Tuesday. Verducci made one of Regina’s four 3-point baskets and finished with eight points, while Brown scored nine points.
Former starter Nicole Becker excelled in her new role coming off the bench by scoring 12 points. She also led Regina with two 3-point baskets.
“They just have been playing so hard, and they’re long and athletic and bring a great intensity,” Anderson said of why he made Verducci and Brown starters. “There is nothing against the players that are coming off the bench. It’s just more of a functional look for our team because we can sub in and we can continue to play our game.”
Regina, which is trying to make back-to-back state tournament appearances, had six players who scored at least eight points during Tuesday’s game.
“The good thing about us is we have a lot of girls that can score. We have a lot of offensive threats, which I think helps us a lot because when one girl is off someone else can take over and do the job,” Wick said.
WAPELLO (24) – Vianey Granado 0 0-0 0, Ashley Hahnbaum 0 0-0 0, Kristen Keen 1 1-2 3, Aubrey Melvin 2 3-8 7, Sydney Reid 2 1-4 5, Molly Lanz 1 0-0 2, Bradlee Hank 2 1-1 5, Mattie Smith 0 0-0 0, Jena Gerot 1 0-0 2, Brianna Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 6-15 24.
REGINA (65) – Katie Wick 6 1-4 13, Kennedy Brown 3 3-6 9, Hannah Seaman 0 0-0 0, Cammy Verducci 3 1-2 8, Jenna Lehman 4 2-2 11, Jenny Wick 1 0-2 2, Nicole Becker 4 2-2 12, Hannah Stein 3 2-3 8, Ashley Gaffey 0 0-0 0, Sarah Lehman 1 0-2 2. Totals 25 11-22 65.
3-point goals – Nicole Becker 2, Verducci, J. Lehman. Total fouls – Wapello 16, Regina 14.