Maquoketa Valley's sizzling start was too much even for the state's No. 3 ranked team to overcome.
The 14th-ranked Wildcats made their first nine shots -- three 3-pointers and six free throws -- and went on to beat IKM-Manning 65-57 to close out the Class 2A quarterfinal round.
The fast start lifted Maquoketa Valley to a 15-6 lead and the Wildcats stayed in front the rest of the way. They improved to 20-5 and will meet No. 2 Lawton-Bronson in a semifinal game at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Lawton-Bronson is the only other team that beat IKM-Manning this season.
Maquoketa Valley took only 24 shots, making 13 for 54.2 percent, but cashed in at the free throw line -- sinking 34 of 45 attempts. IKM-Manning was just seven of 14 at the line.
Kaylee Blake led IKM-Manning with 16 points and nine rebounds, but early foul trouble limited her to 18 minutes. Blake and another key player, Morgan Muhlbauer, each picked up three fouls in the first half.
Sarah Schlichte scored 10 points and Muhlbauer had eight for the Wolves, who won the state championship in 2009. They finished with a 23-2 record.
IKM-Manning made a run at the Wildcats early in the second half, drawing to 33-30 on Blake's layup. But Maquoketa Valley responded with an 18-3 run to open a 51-33 lead.
The Wolves mounted one more comeback, but could never get closer than the final eight-point margin.
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