DES MOINES — With one of the best players in the state in Megan Meyer, plus a drive to bring home another state title, the Mason City girls basketball team entered Monday night’s Class 4A state quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena with a lot of confidence.
But a tough, physical Grinnell team brought that same stuff with the addition of a stinging defeat last year at state, and by the end it was the Tigers grinding out a 70-51 victory.
“It was really physical,” Mason City junior Megan Meyer said. “We were getting held all over the place, and we were doing the same thing back, but it was a good game for us. They were just making shots and they came out with the win.”
After falling in an early hole, the Mohawks were able to pick themselves back up to play to a competitive first quarter, but they were still down 16-11 after 1.
Grinnell built on that lead even more in the second with the combination of its physical play in the post and some timely 3-pointers, and by halftime it was a Tiger 34-24 lead.
Mason City still had some fight in it in the third, led by senior Hannah Faktor.
Faktor’s seven third-quarter points helped the Mohawks draw closer, down three, 36-33, after a 9-2 run to start the quarter.
The Mohawks trailed by six after three, and then Grinnell started to run a bit in the fourth to put the game well out of reach.
“They were a little more aggressive than we thought,” Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen said. “I thought we could maybe get some things better or more open, offensively, but I thought they took us out of a lot of things we wanted to do offensively.”
Meyer led the Mohawks with 15 points while Faktor and sophomore Anna Deets finished with 13 apiece.
Grinnell forwards Sienna Durr and Kameron Moore tossed in 24 and 22 points, respectively, to lead the Tigers.
Mason City finishes its season with a 14-10 record.
“It was just special to make it down here,” Meyer said. “Obviously it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but there was only a few girls on the team from a few years ago that got to experience state, so it’s cool for the other girls to experience that and hopefully we can come back next year and make some noise.”