A second-quarter flurry did the trick for Le Mars in an upset victory at the Iowa High School Girls State Basketball Tournament Tuesday morning (Feb. 27, 2018).

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs hit four 3-pointers in a 17-0 run that put them in control and they held off a late charge by No. 2 Lewis Central to hand the Titans their first loss, 52-43, in the final game of the Class 4A quarterfinals.

The big run put Le Mars up 25-13 at halftime and the Bulldogs closed it out with free throws after Lewis Central threatened in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Jaelynn Dreckman led Le Mars with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Her cousin Madison, a junior, added 13 points and Jenn Schneider scored 10.

Maegan Holt led Lewis Central with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Natalie Rigatuso added eight points for the Titans and Dani Petersen scored seven.

Le Mars had Lewis Central out of sorts early and by the time the Titans finally found their footing, it was too late. The Bulldogs held the Titans to 28.3 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers. Even with 13 steals and a 37-21 rebounding advantage, Lewis Central could not completely overcome its slow start, though the Titans did make a game of it near the end.

An 11-0 run cut the lead to 35-30 and Sidney Baumgartner's only basket of the game, a 3 from the deep right corner, drew the Titans to 43-40 with 2:16 left.

But Jaelynn Dreckman answered with a fastbreak layup and, after Lewis Central missed two shots that could have cut into the lead, the Bulldogs sank seven of eight free throws in the final minute to secure their upset.

Le Mars, in its first trip to state since 2002, will take an 18-6 record against Grinnell in a semifinal at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. Lewis Central set a school record for victories and finishes a fine season at 22-1. It was the first unbeaten regular season in school history.

Story Courtesy of IGHSAU