DES MOINES — Two years ago, Hannah Faktor was a role player for the Mason City girls’ state title team. She came off the bench and provided energy for the Mohawks when they needed it, and her contribution in the title game helped the Mohawks bring home a championship.

Her classmate, Autum Anderson, was also on that team but didn’t suit for the final game. She was still a champion nonetheless.

As the next two years went on, the duo grew with the program, and as the only seniors on the team this year, their career ended exactly where they wanted it to: Wells Fargo Arena. The only thing missing was another state title as all they were left with was a 70-51 defeat Monday night in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

In the game’s closing minutes, Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen subbed out Faktor and Anderson, and it was met with a roar from the big Mason City contingent. The two walked down the sideline, tears in their eyes, and finally met Klaahsen at the end of the bench for what amounted to a thank-you and goodbye hug. It marked the end of a great career for the two.

“It kind of makes it set in a little bit more, too, when he’s there and tells me I had a good career,” Faktor said as tears welled up during a post-game interview.

Faktor saved one of her best games for last.

While her 13 points may not have been a career high, it was each of those points that helped Mason City hang around when it absolutely needed something to go its way.

Related

Facing a 10-point deficit at half, the Mohawks came out with a little fire in the third quarter, led by Faktor. She drained a 3-pointer to get a 9-2 run started and finished with seven points in the quarter. It had also brought the Mohawks back within reach.

“Look to our senior and she did a great job stepping up, and I’m happy for her to finish off her career with a good game,” junior Megan Meyer said of Faktor.

The final 16 minutes of Monday’s game showed off exactly what Faktor had given to this team all season.

“That’s her energy, her desire and her work ethic,” Klaahsen said. “That’s who she is and that’s going to mean success for her for the rest of her life.”

Anderson added a 3-pointer in the second quarter to finish with three points.

The two came through the program and exit as the only seniors on the team. Klaahsen said it was their perseverance that got them this far, and that they’ll be able to use that wherever they go.

While their prep careers in the books, emotion poured out Monday night. It was four years they’ll never forget, though.

“They’ve been amazing; I wouldn’t trade them for anything. It sucks that it’s over, but…” Faktor concluded with more tears welling up.