Waterloo West Steals Quarterfinal Win From Cedar Falls [PHOTOS]
Another game, another dramatic victory for Waterloo West.
West reached the Class 5A portion of the Iowa High School Girls State Basketball Tournament with a last second win over Urbandale in the regional finals. Now, the Wahawks are moving on after storming back from a 15-point deficit to edge nearby rival Cedar Falls 51-49 on freshman Sahara Williams' layup with 16 seconds left. Williams hustled to grab a loose ball near mid-court and took it in for the tie-breaking basket.
Cedar Falls, which had no more timeouts, scrambled for a final shot but missed just before the buzzer and West was on its way to the semifinals. The fifth-seeded Wahawks will take a 20-4 record against top-seeded Waukee Thursday at 11:45 AM.
Freshman Halli Poock, who sank two free throws with one second left to lift West past Urbandale, led the Wahawks with 27 points. Playing with a confidence and a fearlessness that belied her age, Poock sank 14 of 17 free throws, grabbed five rebounds, handed out three assists and made two steals. Williams finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, five steals and two assists for a West team that starts just one senior.
Emerson Green's 19 points led Cedar Falls, which split two regular-season games with West. Anaya Barney added 10 points for the Tigers, who finished 19-5 after reaching the state tournament for the fifth time in six seasons.
Cedar Falls appeared to be comfortably ahead at 38-23 midway through the third quarter. Poock then sank three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point shot and West began clawing back, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the other end.
Poock's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter drew West to 42-40 and when she converted a three-point play off a driving layup, the Wahawks trailed just 46-45 with 1:54 left. They finally tied when Poock spun through the lane to make it 49-all, setting the stage for Williams' big basket.
Story By: Chuck Schoffner - Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union