MARENGO — After the opening quarter, the visiting Rockets from E-B-F just couldn’t keep up with the high flying Tigers of Iowa Valley.
Fifth-ranked Iowa Valley downed E-B-F in the Class 2A, Region 4 semifinals, 79-55, on Friday night in Marengo.
E-B-F closed out its season with a fine 17-6 record, good enough to tie the school record for most wins in a single season.
E-B-F and Iowa Valley were two teams that wanted to press and play up-tempo. The Rockets had dominated many of their opponents with that strategy, but the Tigers were better at it Friday night.
The first quarter ended in an 18-18 tie, but from the start the Rockets struggled to keep up. E-B-F held the lead five different times in the opening eight minutes of play.
The story was the Tiger press and the turnovers that that it created. Many of the nine first quarter turnovers by the Rockets led to close in scores after steals for the Tigers.
E-B-F led 6-4 after a basket by Karlie Taylor, but the Tigers went up 9-6 with five-straight points. Tasha Alexander hit a 3-pointer to tie it and Taylor Leffler’s second basket put E-B-F up 11-9 just past the midpoint of the first.
Iowa Valley went back up 16-13, but Alexander buried another 3-pointer to tie it at 16. Leffler's third score of the quarter tied it at 18 to end the first. Leffler would have her best scoring night of the season with 12 points.
The second quarter put the game away as Iowa Valley outscored E-B-F 30-8. The press continued to wear on the Rockets and they would be forced into more turnovers in the first half than they usually made in a whole game.
“We didn’t expect to turn the ball over against the press that much,” said E-B-F coach Tony Fenton. “We made some lazy passes early and they turned almost everyone into a score.”