Mustangs qualify for 1A state

ALGONA – The second-ranked (Class 1A) Newell-Fonda girls punched their state tournament ticket here Monday night, earning a regional title over Northwood-Kensett, 79-45.

Claudia Larsen scored a game-high 28 points for the Mustangs (23-2 overall), while Tayler Schrank added 12 and Renee Maneman scored 10.

“I am so happy for our kids,” said Newell-Fonda head coach Dick Jungers. “They played lights out.

“Our pressure was able to dictate the type of game that we wanted.”

Newell-Fonda broke the game open in the second, outscoring Northwood-Kensett (17-9) 28-9. The lead was never in question, as the Mustangs pushed it to 64-33 entering the fourth.

Andrea Christensen added nine points and Brianna Wells tallied five for Newell-Fonda, which is returning to Des Moine and the elite eight for the first time since 2011.

The Mustangs have qualified for state nine times now, including three of the past four years.

Joining Newell-Fonda next week at Wells Fargo Arena will be Villisca, No. 13 Bellevue Marquette, No. 4 Ar-We-Va, seventh-rated Colo-Nesco, No. 1 Central Lyon, Earlham and fifth-ranked Burlington Notre Dame.

The Mustangs will face Villisca (21-4) on Monday.