Dike-New Hartford completes historic four-peat

Four peat accomplished! The Dike-New Hartford Wolverines wrote history with their fourth consecutive Class 2A Championship on Saturday, becoming one of two teams in five-player basketball history to achieve this feat.
CJ Eilers
Regional Sports Editor
DES MOINES - Six seconds on the clock with a three point lead. What do you do? Guard the three point line, or foul? For anyone who knows Dike-New Hartford coach Bruce Dall, the answer might surprise you. 
“The biggest worry was Jaidyn Sellers getting the rebound,” Dall said. “That weighed in on the decision to foul or not.” 
Maryn Bixby fouled Panorama’s Mia Waddle to put her on the line. Three seconds remain. First shot, good. Timeout. Second shot, off. Payton Petersen corals easily the most crucial board of her entire four-year career. 
The moment quickly sinks in for the five Wolverines on the floor - Maryn Bixby, Payton Foster, Izzy Norton, Payton Petersen, Jadyn Petersen - as history is made in a 48-46 win by Dike-New Hartford over Panorama in the 2024 Class 2A State Championship on Saturday.  
“I’m still processing it,” Payton Petersen said. “I’m sure it’s going to take a week or two before it really hits me.”
The Wolverines wrote their names in Iowa girls athletic history with their fourth consecutive State championship, becoming only the second team (Ankeny, 2002-05) in the state’s five-player high school history to accomplish a four peat. 
“35 years from now, people are going to say ‘wow, I witnessed that’ and these girls will tell their families for years to come,” Dall said. “It's just unbelievable what they have accomplished. You’re talking about factors like keeping kids from not being sick, winning three regional and three state games four years in a row. That’s 24 games. There’s way too many good teams out there. It’s mind-boggling.”
For 32 minutes on Saturday, everything had to be earned on the court. Panorama (25-2) hung their hats on their defense, forcing the Wolverines to cough up the ball eight times in the first quarter alone. While the quarter was an anomaly for DNH, the Wolverines fired back with an 8-0 run in the second quarter to take a 19-11 lead, the largest of the game. Panorama shot back with a 9-3 run to cut the deficit to 22-20 Wolverines. 
“[Panorama] is just so good at what they do,” Dall said. “Yeah, we played sloppy. But they were anticipating very well. They were jumping on the passes, and we were throwing it carelessly around. I don't think we were ready to match their speed at all. And so that's how you get all 12 of those turnovers.”
DNH never strayed from their game. The Wolverines outrebounded the Panthers 37-25, mainly on the defensive glass. While the Panthers won the possession battle 57-37, the Wolverines were more efficient and shot 54.1 percent. 
“This was business as usual going into that second half,” senior Jadyn Petersen said. “Panorama has some great players, but coach told us to keep taking care of the ball, focus on our game and good things would happen for us.” 
Tied at 37, the momentum seemed to shift into Panorama’s favor with a pair of shots falling to give the Panthers their first lead. A crowd-stirring three by junior Izzy Norton, her second of the game, tied the game once more. Payon Petersen scored the final six Wolverine points of the game and the season, finishing with 27 points and 14 rebounds The senior was selected to the Class 2A All-Tournament Team alongside senior Maryn Bixby and sister Jadyn, also being named the tournament team captain for her fourth and final time. 
“No one else can say that achieved that honor,” Dall said. “Caitlin Clark can’t even say that. Payton, Jadyn and Maryn don’t get enough credit as basketball players. What they’ve done on the basketball court is just as impactful as what they’ve achieved on the volleyball court as Wolverines.”
Seniors Bixby, Petersens, Kennedy Syhlman and Miranda Tyler leave a legacy Dall is confident will never be forgotten. Not a single loss to a Class 2A team since the 2020 State tournament. 24-0 postseason record. But if you ask Bixby, the greatest achievement the seniors accomplished was becoming a family. 
“We’ve had something special ever since fourth grade playing basketball together,” Bixby said. “We play so many sports together. To go through these last four years with this class has been amazing. I’m super proud of them.”  


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