Respect earned: Wallis, Spartans face bitter end in 2A title game

The Grundy Center girls basketball team poses with its state runner-up trophy after falling to Cascade in the 2A title game in Des Moines. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

DES MOINES – Matt Lindeman hopes when people from outside of Grundy County hear the Grundy Center name in girls basketball, they think of Saturday night's Class 2A state championship game.


Not necessarily the final result, a 41-37 Cascade victory, but the relentless effort shown by the Spartans when everything was going against them offensively.


"It was just symbolic of our season," said Lindeman, Grundy Center's head coach. "It wasn't pretty, but the way these girls fought back, people will remember a lot longer."


Understandably, that doesn't ease the pain of Saturday's loss.


Hailey Wallis was named all-tournament captain in Class 2A after a one-of-a-kind 29-point performance on Saturday, including 18-of-18 from the free-throw line and scoring all 22 of the Spartans' second-half points, along with eight rebounds and five steals. The Spartans finished 8 of 49 (16.3 percent) from the floor.


"It's a great accomplishment," Wallis said of the all-tournament honor. "And I'm glad every effort I put in the game went to the team. But I'd rather be a state champion than a captain."


Brooke Flater had four points, four blocks and seven rebounds for the Spartans. Kylie Willis scored four points with six rebounds and Cora Saak had four steals. Maddie McMartin joined Wallis on the all-tournament team.


The Spartans went exactly 16 minutes without a field goal, from the 1:32 mark in the first quarter to 1:32 left in the third quarter.


By the end of the third quarter, Cascade held a 33-24 lead and looked well on its way to the championship.


"We knew no matter what, we had to keep fighting," Flater said. "Once we got the defensive flowing, the offense would come."




The Spartans are certainly favorites to return to Wells Fargo with all five starters returning for their senior season in 2018-19, and just two seniors total on the roster – Landry Luhring and Brianna Heltibridle.


"They didn't get on the floor much but they have four years of experiences and memories to take with them," Lindeman said. "That's what being part of a team means, no matter what role it is, you're a special member of that, and for them to end it in the state championship game, that's pretty special."   


The full story is in the Mar. 8 Grundy Register.



GC                   13  2   9  13—37

Cascade            14  8  11  8  —41

   GC–Hailey Wallis 4 18-18 29, Maddie McMartin 0 0-0 0, Sydney Mathews 0 0-0 0, Kylie Willis 2 0-1 4, Brooke Flater 2 0-0 4, Reegan Zinkula 0 0-0 0, Sarah Lindeman 0 0-0 0, Cora Saak 0 0-0 0. Totals 8-49 18-19 37.

   Cascade–Nicole McDermott 4 6-8 15, Anne Ryan 5 1-1 13, Jordan Simon 4 0-0 11, Rachel Trumm 0 0-0 0, Abby Welter 0 2-3 2, Skylar Dolphin 0 0-0 0, Zoe Ryan 0 0-0 0, Molly McElmeel 0 0-0 0. Totals 13-40 9-12 41.

   3-pointers: GC 3-25 (Wallis 3-12). Rebounds: GC 29 (Wallis 8, Flater 7, Willis 6, McMartin 3, Lindeman 2, Saak, Zinkula, Mathews); Casc 40 (Trumm 12, McDermott 9, Welter 7). Assists: GC 7 (Mathews 3, McMartin 2, Flater 2); Casc 8 (McDermott 4, Trumm 3, Dolphin 1). Steals: GC 14 (Wallis 5, Saak 4, Flater 2, Zinkula 2, Willis); Casc 9 (McDermott 8, Simon). Blocks: GC 6 (Flater 4, Willis, Saak); Casc 6 (McDermott 3, Welter 2, Ryan). Fouls: GC 16, Casc 15.


Wallis, McMartin on all-tournament team


Hailey Wallis and Maddie McMartin were the Grundy Center representatives on the Class 2A all-state tournament team, with Wallis serving as the team's captain.


The rest of the team included Jordan Simon and Nicole McDermott of Cascade, Chloe Lofstrom of North Union and Kayla Chapman of Treynor.


In three games at the state tournament, Wallis scored 55 points with 18 rebounds, three assists and 11 steals. McMartin scored just five points with seven rebounds and eight assists in her three games at state but was one of several strong defenders on the defense-minded Spartans.


"She wasn't as confident with herself sometimes at the beginning of the season," Wallis said of McMartin, "and it's awesome now that she's on the all-tournament team and shown that she's gotten over that hump."