Unity Christian is headed for the Class 3A semifinals after becoming the first lower ranked team to win in the 2014 state tournament.
Kassidy DeJong scored 10 first-quarter points to get the sixth-ranked Knights off to a good start and they went on to beat No. 3 Clear Lake 60-35 for the school's first state tourney victory in four tries.
DeJong, a standout on Unity's state championship cross country teams, showed her versatility on the basketball court, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Sophomore Chanda Zomermaand, a state qualifier in golf, added 12 points and another sophomore, Anna Kiel scored 10. The Knights built a 34-20 rebounding edge and got numerous close-in shots while piling up 34 points in the paint.
Unity shot 64.7 percent in the second half, making 11 of 17 shots, and 56.4 percent for the game.
Unity recovered from an early 5-0 deficit to take a 25-17 halftime lead, then turned back Clear Lake's only second half threat.
DeJong's 3-pointer capped a 10-0 run that stretched the lead to 35-24 and Unity was in control the rest of the way.
"We kept saying this is state, anything can happen, they can come back and obviously they did," De Jong said. "Once we got that 10-0 run we really had momentum going. We were getting excited and I think that was really good. We were really excited and just celebrating a lot and focusing a lot. That was our big thing."
Unity will take a 21-4 record into a semifinal game against No. 2 Crestwood at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.
Alexis Conaway of MOC-Floyd Valley again showed the full range of her game to a state tournament audience, racking up seven points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds.
And that was just in the first four minutes.
Conaway, an Iowa State volleyball recruit and three-time state high jump champion, scored 13 seconds into the game and the top-ranked Lady Dutch put together a 28-point first quarter en route to a 69-42 victory over No. 12 Center Point-Urbana in first-round Class 3A action.
In another boxscore stuffing performance, Conaway approached a quadruple-double, compiling 21 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals before leaving the game for good with 4 minutes left.
Katie Landhuis added 14 points and Emily McDonald scored 13 for the Lady Dutch, who improved to 25-1 and advanced to the semifinals for the third year in a row. Their only loss this season has been to Class 4A qualifier Sioux City Bishop Heelan.
Conaway and Landhuis combined for 25 points and 11 rebounds to help MOC-Floyd Valley build a 40-27 halftime lead. The Lady Dutch then outscored Center Point-Urbana 21-7 in the third quarter to put it out of reach.
"I think we did a really good job of starting out and putting pressure on them right away. It put us in a great position the rest of the game," senior Alexis Conaway said. "It really helped us."
The Dutch will play in the 3A semifinals at 5:00 PM on Thursday.
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