Top-ranked Pocahontas Pocahontas beat defending champion Nevada to win the Class 3A 2016 Iowa Highs School Girls Basketball Stat Tournament title.

Given a second chance to win a state championship, Pocahontas made sure the opportunity didn't slip away.

The top-ranked Indians broke open the game with a big scoring run at the end of the first half and beat defending champion Nevada 59-49 to win the Class 3A title.

Pocahontas lost to Nevada 58-54 in last year's title game and had a full year to think about that loss. They struggled early in this one, but then got rolling with the type of shooting and fast-paced play their huge fan following has come to expect.

Scoring machine Elle Ruffridge led the way as usual with 23 points and she had plenty of help. Faith Meyer added 13 points and eight rebounds for the top-ranked Indians, Payton Hjerleid scored 10 and Grace Meyer grabbed 12 rebounds to go with eight points.

Lexy Koudelka led Nevada with 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. Abby Stephenson added 13 points for the Cubs, who had a size advantage but couldn't keep up with their quicker opponent.

Ruffridge, an energetic 5-foot-4 junior who has committed to Missouri State, ran her career point total to 2,111, leaving her 646 short of breaking the state record of 2,756 set by Rock Valley's Deb Remmerde. After scoring 769 points this season, Ruffridge will have a shot at the record next season.

And there's good chance the Indians will be back at the state tournament in 2017. Four starters are juniors and they accounted for all but five points in their championship victory.

Nevada knocked down four early 3-pointers and got nine points from the 6-1 Koudelka in building a 25-16 lead. Then Pocahontas took off and finished the half with a 19-1 run.

Grace Meyer, Ruffridge, Hjerleid and Faith Meyer hit consecutive 3-pointers to end a 17-0 burst, and Ruffridge flipped in a runner from the right side just before the halftime buzzer for a 35-26 lead. Two baskets at the start of the second half stretched the lead to 39-26 and Nevada never recovered.

Ruffridge, voted the all-tournament captain, finished with tourney with 83 points, just short of the 86 she scored last year to set the 3A record. Koudelka, a sophomore, also had an outstanding tournament. She finished with 76 points and made 26 of 34 shots.

Koudelka will be back next season, along with Stephenson and starting guard Claire Ausman.

Class 3A All Tourney Team: Payton Hjerleid, Pocahontas Area; Abby Stephenson, Nevada;  Kaely Hummel, Cherokee; Arika Woolridge, Center Point-Urbana; Lexy Koudelka, Nevada; and Elle Ruffridge, Pocahontas Area (captain)

Story Courtesy of IGHSAU


Pocahontas Area vs Nevada
Class 3A State Championship Game
3/5/16 4:00 PM at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

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VISITORS: Pocahontas Area 27-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
03 Meyer, Faith........ *  3-5    1-1    6-8    1  7  8   2  13  2  1  0  0  32
04 Hjerleid, Payton.... *  4-9    2-3    0-0    1  3  4   2  10  0  2  0  1  26
05 Ruffridge, Elle..... *  8-17   2-5    5-6    2  1  3   2  23  3  4  0  2  32
10 Meyer, Grace........ *  3-10   2-7    0-0    3  9 12   0   8  2  1  0  2  32
14 Radig, Autumn....... *  1-1    0-0    3-4    0  0  0   5   5  0  0  0  0  20
12 Weidauer, Ashlyn....    0-2    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   6
40 Brinkman, Janie.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  0  0  12
   TEAM................                            2  2
   Totals..............   19-44   7-18  14-18   7 22 29  13  59  8  8  0  5 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-25 52.0%   2nd Half:  6-19 31.6%   Game: 43.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-11 45.5%   2nd Half:  2-7  28.6%   Game: 38.9%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half: 10-12 83.3%   Game: 77.8%    1


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HOME TEAM: Nevada 23-4
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Ausman, Claire...... *  1-3    1-2    0-0    0  2  2   3   3  0  1  0  0  32
03 Stephenson, Abby.... *  5-11   2-4    1-2    1  2  3   2  13  2  2  1  2  32
15 Koudelka, Lexy...... * 10-13   1-2    5-8    2 10 12   3  26  2  7  3  0  30
23 Fey, Alli........... *  2-9    2-8    1-2    0  1  1   1   7  0  1  0  0  31
35 Cassabaum, Kati..... *  0-5    0-0    0-0    2  2  4   5   0  3  2  3  0  22
25 Kapustka, Izzy......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  0  0  0   3
41 Hornbuckle, Amaris..    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   1
43 Rhodes, Hattie......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   1   0  1  0  0  0   9
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   18-41   6-16   7-12   5 21 26  16  49 10 13  7  2 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-25 40.0%   2nd Half:  8-16 50.0%   Game: 43.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-10 40.0%   2nd Half:  2-6  33.3%   Game: 37.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  2-3  66.7%   2nd Half:  5-9  55.6%   Game: 58.3%    1


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Officials: Randy Wiggins, Art Ousley, Chad Shellmyer
Technical fouls: Pocahontas Area-None. Nevada-None.
Attendance:
Score by Periods                1st  2nd  3rd  4th   Total
Pocahontas Area...............   15   20   11   13  -   59
Nevada........................   21    5    5   18  -   49
Fouled Out: NEV: #35 Cassabaum @ 3:21 (4th)
            PAC: #14 Radig @ 2:25 (4th)