Sioux City North High School Girls’ Basketball Team Advances in Postseason for the First Time in Over a Decade

Sioux City North High School Girls' Basketball Team Advances in Postseason for the First Time in Over a Decade

Sioux City North High School’s girls’ basketball team had a remarkable achievement in the postseason on Wednesday night. After over a decade, they advanced past the first round of the playoffs, securing a 54-37 victory over Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson in the Class 5A Region 5 tournament at North High School. This win marked a significant milestone for the program, as it was their first regional tournament victory since the 2010-2011 season. During that season, the team had an impressive 18-4 record and defeated Sioux City East in the regional semifinals.

North’s head coach, Angie Kristensen, praised the performance of Thomas Jefferson, acknowledging that it was the best game she had seen them play in a long time. The team’s victory was due in large part to the outstanding performance of their freshman, Aurora Koch, who contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Koch was instrumental in the team’s success and played a key role in setting the tone for the game with a 3-pointer that kick-started North’s aggressive offensive approach.

The Stars maintained their lead throughout the game, although Jefferson made several attempts to close the gap. However, North always had an answer, and Koch’s crucial moments came with just over five minutes remaining in the game when she made a steal at midcourt and converted it into a layup, extending the Stars’ lead to 45-37. Koch also made significant contributions to the team’s strategy, which led to numerous trips to the free-throw line, resulting in 25 attempts. The team successfully converted 14 of those attempts.

Coach Kristensen expressed her pride in the team’s performance, particularly in achieving five wins this season, the most the North has had in a couple of years. Despite Jefferson’s efforts to narrow the gap, the Stars stayed united and made crucial runs to secure the victory. Senior Taryn Gant led Jefferson with 16 points, while senior Grace Strong contributed nine points. North’s sophomore Hayden Lovrien also made a significant impact with 12 points and six steals. Lovrien’s two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter helped the Stars maintain their lead, with the second one sealing the victory at 54-37.

Heading into the fourth quarter, Jefferson seemed poised to overtake the lead, gaining momentum with two 3-pointers by junior Demi Pane in the final two minutes of the third quarter. However, North managed to hold onto a three-point advantage heading into the final quarter. Coach Kristensen acknowledged the contributions of the team’s younger players and commended the seniors for their efforts.

Despite being considered underdogs in the upcoming games, the Stars are battle-tested from their competitive run through the Missouri River Athletic Conference this season. As they prepare to face Ankeny Centennial, the top seed, North’s focus is on playing hard and enjoying the opportunity to continue competing. Coach Kristensen emphasized the importance of not just basketball but also the desire for North to get used to winning. Overall, the team is proud of their accomplishments this season and looks forward to the challenge ahead.