A fourth quarter with no field goals was enough to spell defeat for the Mohawks as Dowling shot great from the free throw line and made a few timely layups.
Dowling Catholic survived a 3-point flurry from Mason City and battled its way into the Class 5A championship game.
Freshman Becca Hittner scored 17 points and eighth-ranked Dowling rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the third-ranked Mohawks 50-43 to complete the semifinal round.
Dowling improved to 21-4 and will go for its fifth state championship when it plays No. 7 Southeast Polk at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Maroons won titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000 and finished third three times.
They earned their latest trip with tough defense down the stretch after Mason City threatened to take control of the game.
The Mohawks hit four straight 3-pointers, the final three by Iowa State recruit Jadda Buckley, to open a 38-31 lead with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
But the Maroons held Mason City without a field goal the rest of the way and clawed their way back with a couple of buckets inside from Luci Sarcone and steady free throw shooting.
Sarcone’s layup and Alyssa Beck’s two free throws erased Mason City’s last lead and put Dowling up 43-42. The Maroons then sank seven of eight free throws in the final minute to wrap it up.
Sarcone finished with 13 points and Audrey Faber scored 10 to go with six rebounds. Hittner also had six rebounds and made all nine of her free throws.
Buckley led Mason City with 23 points in her final high school game. Cortni Rush and Lexy Pederson each scored six for the Mohawks, who made the tournament for the third straight year and were seeking their first trip to the championship game.
Dowling held Mason City to 6-for-18 shooting from 3-point range after the Mohawks made a tournament record 14 3s in a quarterfinal victory over Iowa City West. Mason City finished 21-4.
Dowling lost to Mason City in its final regular season game and now has a chance to avenge a 55-34 loss to Southeast Polk in its next-to-last game.
Mason City finishes its best season ever at 21-4.
See the box score here.