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February 27, 2012

Defense lifts top-ranked Warhawks to 1A semifinal

DES MOINES — Top-ranked North Mahaska has held teams in check all season and the unbeaten Warhawks did it again in their first game at the Class 1A state tournament.

North Mahaska scored the game's final 10 points and beat No. 13 North Tama 47-35 to complete the semifinal pairings. The Warhawks will take a 26-0 record against No. 5 West Sioux at 8:30 Saturday night.

Mallory Boyle and Abbie Agan led North Mahaska with 13 points each. Boyle also grabbed seven rebounds, while Agan made four of her team's 12 steals. She turned her final steal into a layup that gave the Warhawks a 10-point lead in the final minute.

Josie Youel and Allison Zobel led North Tama with 10 points each. Teammate Kailey Kladivo pulled down nine rebounds and scored six points.

North Mahaska has given up more than 40 points in a game only twice all season, both times against Lynnville-Sully, which lost in an earlier first-round game at state.

But North Tama, in the tournament for the first time, gave the state's No. 1 team a game.

North Tama trailed just 24-22 at halftime, fell behind by six points, than rallied to cut the lead to 37-35 on Zobel's two free throws with 6:42 left.

North Mahaska then dug in on the defensive end and held the Redhawks scoreless the rest of the way. The Warhawks limited North Tama to four field goals in the second half.

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