DES MOINES – Waverly-Shell Rock looked nothing like a state tournament rookie in beating Winterset.
The second-ranked Go-Hawks, in the five-player tourney for the first time, shot their way into an early 24-5 lead and rolled past the 12th-ranked Huskies 67-45 to reach the Class 4A semifinals.
Waverly-Shell Rock showed excellent inside-outside balance in its fast start, knocking down four 3-pointers and getting baskets inside from 6-foot-2Aftin Phyfe and 6-foot Elena Gray.
Phyfe, the daughter of former Nashua and Northern Iowa player Steve Phyfe, led the Go-Hawks with 19 points and 10 rebounds. When Phyfe wasn’t scoring in the lane, she was drawing fouls and finished 9-for-12 on free throws.
Naomi Phillips when 3-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points. Morgan Neuendorf added 10 points and five assists, Mattie Gray had seven points and seven assists and Elena Gray finished with six points.
Taylor Benshoof’s 17 points led Winterset, which earned its first trip to state since 1951. Mariah Criswell, a skilled 5-foot-9 sophomore, added 12 points for the Huskies.
Waverly-Shell Rock was never seriously threatened after building its big early lead. Winterset did draw to 50-35 on Benshoof’s driving shot at the start of the fourth quarter, capping a run of 12 straight points. But that was as close as it would get the rest of the way.
Waverly-Shell Rock will take 22-2 record into a semifinal game against No. 8 Harlan at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Winterset closed with an 18-6 record.