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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Ankeny stuns No. 1 Lincoln to reach finals

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

DES MOINES - The good times just keep rolling for Ankeny girls basketball.

Ankeny, which starts two freshmen and a sophomore, will go for its third Class 4A state championship in six years after beating No. 1-ranked Des Moines Lincoln 51-47 in the semifinals on Thursday.

"It's been a really fun season," Ankeny coach Scott DeJong said. "I feel extremely bad for Lincoln. They've got a great team, a great coach and they have some outstanding players.

"Fortunately for our kids, we played just a little bit better and maybe made another shot here or there. It was a great win."

With five state titles, Ankeny already has more than any other school. The fifth-ranked Hawkettes went for their sixth title Friday night against No. 2 Waterloo West, which beat second-ranked West Des Moines Dowling 46-38.

West was looking for its first championship.

Senior Amy Beverly scored all of her 16 points in the second half to lead Ankeny and Megan Wittkop hit two key free throws with 15.8 seconds left.

DeJong, who directed Ankeny to state championships in 1997 and 1999 downplayed the notion that his team was an underdog against Lincoln. The Railsplitters were 24-0 and ranked ninth nationally by USA Today.

"It's who gets hot at the right time," DeJong said. "I've been telling my team that we have a lot of resemblance to 1997 and '99.

"In '97, we had a five-overtime game and nobody gave us much of a chance. Then we went into the finals and still not a chance. We're just going to keep playing our game. We're one win away."

That five-overtime game was an 85-81 victory over Waterloo West in the semifinals.

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