Newell-Fonda plays for title shot

DES MOINES – The second-ranked Newell-Fonda girls will look to move one step closer to a state championship here on Wednesday when they face No. 13 Bellevue Marquette in a Class 1A semifinal.

Tip is set for 8:30 p.m. this evening inside Wells Fargo Arena.

The Mustangs (23-2 overall) advanced with a commanding victory over Villisca Monday morning, 75-28. Marquette (17-6) moved on by upsetting fourth-rated Ar-We-Va, 65-57 in overtime.

On the other side of the bracket sits No. 5 Burlington Notre Dame (22-3) and top-ranked Central Lyon (24-2). They play Thursday at 10 a.m., with the finals set for 4 p.m. on Friday.

Newell-Fonda had five players score at least eight points in the win over Villisca, closing out the first half on a 31-4 run to lead 40-14 at halftime. The Mustangs actually trailed 8-5 early on against the Bluejays.

Renee Maneman scored a game-high 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting, while also dealing out six assists and collecting four rebounds and four steals. Andrea Christensen added 14 points and Jordan Wilken scored 11.

Newell-Fonda shot 47-percent from the field, hitting 30 of 64 field goals and going 11-for-12 from the free throw line. The full-court press defense applied by head coach Dick Jungers’ squad forced 31 turnovers.

Marquette is in the state tournament for the second time in three years. Danielle Bender posted a double-double in the quarterfinal round, scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Nicole Blum added 11 points off the bench, as did Theresa Koos.

Jungers is 226-49 in 11 years at the helm. Newell-Fonda has runner-up finishes at state in 1997, 2000 and ’08. This is the ninth state tournament appearance for the Mustangs all-time.