Pocahontas Area Girls Clinch State Tournament Berth

The 8th ranked Pocahontas Area girls basketball team earned the program’s first state tournament appearance since 2017 by holding off #11 Underwood tonight (Thur) 50-45 in a Class 2A region final in Carroll.

The Indians never trailed, but Underwood stayed within striking distance all night. Poky started on fire, as threes by Megan Sump, Paige Melohn, and then Carly Janssen gave the Indians a 9-0 lead. Poky led by as many as ten during the 1st quarter, and the lead was 16-8 after eight minutes of play.

Both teams struggled to score early in the 2nd quarter, but another three by Sump, who had made only four threes all season, gave the Indians a 19-10 advantage. Pocahontas Area again got the lead to ten points, but the Eagles got a buzzer-beating three to cut the lead to 24-17 at halftime.

Melohn drilled another three early in the 3rd after Underwood had gotten within four. Underwood again closed the gap to four late in the 3rd before a bucket by Janssen in the final seconds of the quarter put the lead at 35-29.

Duitscher banked in a three a minute and a half into the 4th quarter with the shot clock nearly expired to bring the score to 38-31. The Eagles scored the next four points to get within 38-35. Abby Oberhelman then hit one of two free throws with 4:51 left to make it 39-35. Underwood’s first missed free throw of the game on the front end of a one and one after they made their first 16 free throw shots in a row, led to Janssen getting free on the other end for a layup to increase the lead to six.

Natalie Point hit her only basket of the game, a three-pointer, to put the Poky lead at 44-35 with 3:30 remaining. Underwood refused to fold, as two free throws and a field goal over the next two minutes cut it to 44-39. Sump hit a basket to bump the lead to seven. Underwood nailed a three to make it 46-42. Melohn was fouled with 32 seconds left and hit two free throws to put the Indians lead at 48-42. Underwood then committed a turnover, but Poky missed the front end of a one and one which led to an Eagles three with 14 seconds left to narrow the gap to 48-45. Duitscher was fouled with 12.3 seconds left. She hit the front end of the one and one, missed the second, Underwood committed their second technical foul of the game after Poky rebounded a missed three with 3.7 seconds left. Duitscher hit the second of two technical foul shots for the final margin.

Melohn led the Poky attack with 12 points, and Janssen and Duitscher each contributed 9. Alizabeth Jacobsen led Underwood with 16 points. Between Jacobsen and Aliyah Humphrey, who had 11 points, Underwood finished 18 of 19 shooting free throws

Poky made 10 of 15 foul shots, and hit eight threes. Postgame comments from Duitscher (2:57)…Sump (3:08)…and Melohn (3:24)can be heard below.

Pocahontas Area now sits at 20-4 on the season. The Indians are the #6 seed in the Class 2A state tournament. Their 1st round game is this coming Wednesday, March 1st at 11:45am against 3rd seeded Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont (24-0).


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