NF girls championship run

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
/ Photos by Mark Schafer

By Mark Schafer Pilot-Tribune Sports Editor NEWELL - Plastered around the Newell Corral are various blue and silver rectangles. All hailing the success of past teams that the Mustangs have produced. Championships from the '90s through the early '00s all hang on the walls throughout the gym. On the west side of the gym are the listed ate accomplishments of the girls basketball teams. Seven banners in total. However, unlike the rest of the banners in the gym, none of the southwest wall banners read, Champions. The team that holds the most 1A state tournament records (16 out of a 26 possible), has the most state title game appearances (six) finally has their championship banner to hang on the wall next season. "It means a lot to us, to finally get that championship," said Erin Gerke, sophomore guard. "For this group to be the one to get it, I'm speechless." Now the Mustangs have their first girls basketball state title. They got there with late game heroics, determination and revenge. On Monday March 2, the Mustangs defeated the Colo-NESCO Royals 70-42 in the quarterfinal round. From there the Mustangs entered the game against the Burlington-Notre Dame Nikes in the semi-finals. Last season Burlington-notre Dame had won the championship over Newell-Fonda in a 57-54 thriller. This year though, Newell-Fonda answered and moved to their third straight championship with a 63-56 victory. In the championship game, the Mustangs once again had a side dish of revenge on their plates. The Springville Orioles, a team that won the 2008 championship over Newell-Fonda (67-60) tried to crush the spirits of the Mustangs once more. However a late lay-up by senior Hailey Falline gave Newell-Fonda a 45-43 victory. Their first championship in girls basketball.