NEWELL - The #2 Newell-Fonda girls' basketball team is just two more victories away from their second consecutive state tournament berth, following their 83-43 romp of Laurens-Marathon Tuesday night.
Thanks to the full-court pressure that has been so effective all year, the Mustangs took control very early on, jumping out to a 32-5 advantage after just one quarter of play. The advantage was 53-16 at the half.
"I was pleased with our girl's effort and intensity tonight," said Newell-Fonda head coach Dick Jungers. "We jumped out on top with a big first quarter and did a lot of nice things."
The Laurens-Marathon girls battled back, scoring 27 of their 43 in the second half, but it was too late for the Chargers as their season came to a close with an 8-13 mark.
"Give Laurens credit," said Jungers. "Their kids played hard the entire game, and they had a lot of issues with injuries. They fought for 32 minutes."
Newell-Fonda came up with 25 steals on the night, fueling the Mustang attack as they eclipsed the 80-point mark for the eighth time this season. The stout defensive led to plenty of extra possessions for Newell-Fonda as they attempted 78 field goals on the night to just 46 by Laurens-Marathon. The Mustangs also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Chargers 50-37.
Four different N-F girls reached double figures led by Katelyn Laursen's 15 points. Karina Overgaard turned in one of her best performances of the year with a near triple-double. The junior forward totaled 14 points, 13 rebounds, and seven steals.
Cheyenne Anderson added 11 points and five steals, and Alisa Christensen totaled 10 points. Becky Seivert finished with six points and seven rebounds.
"Our kids did a great job of getting the ball worked around," said Jungers. "Anytime we get balanced scoring, I am always pleased as a coach. It is great to have a lot of different kids able to step it up."
Amanda Zysltra paved the way for L-M, collecting 12 points and nine rebounds. Holly Hofmaster finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists, and Shelby Heuton notched nine points and eight boards.
The win moves Newell-Fonda to 21-1 overall and advances them into Friday night's semifinal matchup with Algona Bishop Garrigan, who squeaked by West Bend-Mallard 65-64 Tuesday night.
Bishop Garrigan is just 7-15 on the year, but coach Jungers isn't about to take the Golden Bears lightly.
"Garrigan is a quick team that is battle tested playing mostly in a 2A, 3A kind of conference," he said. "They are playing their best ball of the season right now. They really like to shoot the 3's and they get after teams with their defense. We will have to be ready."
Tip-off is scheduled for 7PM in Newell Friday night. The winner advances to Monday's regional final in Algona to face either WCLT(15-8) or #12 Mason City Newman(17-4).