Two teams with vast championship game experience – and success – will meet for the Class 4A title.
Bishop Heelan of Sioux City completed the championship pairing by hitting a long string of 3-pointers in a 68-51 victory over Glenwood to complete the semifinal round of the 2022 state tournament.
The third-seeded Crusaders (23-2) will go for their fourth title when they meet fourth-seeded Cedar Rapids Xavier (19-6) at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Xavier advanced with a 55-50 victory over top-seeded Dallas Center-Grimes in three overtimes.
Both schools have done well when they get this fall. Bishop Heelan has a 3-1 record in championship games, winning its most recent title two years ago. Xavier is 4-1 in the state finals, claiming its most recent championship in 2013.
Bishop Heelan pulled away from second-seeded Glenwood (20-4) by making six straight 3-pointers in the second quarter to build a 38-25 halftime lead. The Crusaders finished 11-for-16 from long range (68.8) and shot 50 percent overall.
Lauryn Peck and Jada Newberg scored 17 points each to lead the Crusaders, Peck going 4-for-7 from 3-point range and Newberg hitting 3-of-4 from deep. Brooklyn Stanley added 16 points and Kenley Meis scored 13. Both went 2-for-2 on 3-pointers and both had four rebounds and three steals.
Glenwood trailed just 23-21 midway through the second quarter but had no answer after Heelan finished the half with a 15-4 run that included three 3-pointers. The Crusaders eventually led by as many as 19 – 54-35 – when Newberg buried their final 3 of the night from the right corner.
Abby Hughes scored 16 points and Jenna Hopp had 11 for Glenwood, which lost to Ballard in last year’s championship game. Brynlee Arnold added five points and 11 rebounds for the Rams, who went just 6-for-21 from long range and shot 41 percent overall.