Nothing to lose: Spartan girls reach 2A state title game

The Grundy Center girls basketball team celebrates after winning Friday's state semifinal game with Treynor in Des Moines. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

DES MOINES – Saturday evening will be a moment years in the making for the Grundy Center girls basketball team.


The Spartans got the stops when they needed them and hit enough free throws to reach the state championship game, 42-39 winners over Treynor in a Class 2A semifinal at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.


The fifth-seeded Spartans will play Cascade, the third seed, in the championship game at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Grundy Center is going for its second state championship in school history after winning it all in 2005, when the Spartans last made it to the state tournament.


"It's surreal to chase after your goals and then achieve them," Hailey Wallis said. "This has been our dream forever. We played with nothing to lose today, trusted that if we played loose, it'll turn out our way."


Wallis scored 18 points to lead the Spartans and grabbed six rebounds with three steals. Brooke Flater added five points and a team-leading nine rebounds.


Grundy Center coach Matt Lindeman credited the girls with being able to handle Treynor's size advantage by playing the Cardinals in a way he hadn't seen on film.


"We didn't see anyone fronting the post," Lindeman said of 5-foot-10 Madelyn Deitchler and 6-foot junior Sydni Huisman. "We had to do that in there against Deitchler, she's just too big and powerful. And we helped out on the backside because they're so good at rebounding."


The Spartans held Deitchler and Huisman to three points each, and the man defense on Treynor's outside shooting derailed the Cardinals' offense, 13 of 48 (27.1 percent) from the floor.


"We just had to play straight-up defense, make them shoot over the top of us," Kylie Willis said. "And we wanted to keep them from going left as they're a strong left-handed team and we did a good job, our defense was spectacular."




Grundy Center's broken the mold in its state tournament run. Iowa City Regina was denied its third consecutive semifinal berth by the Spartans in Tuesday's quarterfinals. The Cardinals may have thought the championship was theirs for the taking after finishing the 2017 runner-up to Western Christian, what didn't make it out of the regional final. The Spartans made other plans.


"We've got girls playing hard for four quarters, doing everything asked of them and they're able to finish," Matt Lindeman said. "It's unbelievable (to be playing in the championship), but that's pretty normal for tournament time because you just never know."


GC                   12  7   5   18—42

Treynor             8   5  13 13—39

   GC–Hailey Wallis 6 3-4 18, Maddie McMartin 1 0-0 3, Sydney Mathews 0 0-0 0, Kylie Willis 1 4-6 6, Brooke Flater 2 1-2 5, Reegan Zinkula 1 0-0 3, Sarah Lindeman 3 0-1 7, Cora Saak 0 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 8-13 42.

   Treynor–Sydney Carmen 1 0-0 3, Konnor Sudmann 6 2-3 16, Kayla Chapman 5 3-3 14, Madelyn Deitchler 1 1-2 3, Sydni Huisman 0 3-4 3, Tori Castle 0 0-0 0, Mandy Stogdill 0 0-0 0. Totals 13-48 9-12 39.

   3-pointers: GC 6 (Wallis 3, McMartin, Zinkula, Lindeman); T 4 (Sudmann 2, Chapman, Carmen). Rebounds: GC 31 (Flater 9, Wallis 6, Willis 5, McMartin 3, Lindeman 3, Saak 2, Team 2, Zinkula); T 28 (Deitchler 6). Assists: GC 11 (Mathews 4, McMartin 3, Willis 2, Flater, Wallis); T 5 (Deitchler 2). Steals: GC 5 (Wallis 3, Flater 2); T 9 (Chapman 4). Blocks: GC 0, T (Chapman). Fouls: GC 14, T 16. Fouled out: T (Deitchler).