Western Christian continues three-peat quest with semifinal win - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports


Western Christian continues three-peat quest with semifinal win

Western Christian beat North-Linn, 69-52, in the Class 2A semifinals on Thursday in Des Moines. Western Christian beat North-Linn, 69-52, in the Class 2A semifinals on Thursday in Des Moines.

The No. 3 jersey that Western Christian's Erika Douma wears is entirely fitting.

Douma is the top-ranked Wolfpack's best 3-point shooter and she was on the mark against North Linn in leading her team back to the Class 2A championship game.

The 6-foot senior went 6-for-12 from long range for 18 points as Western Christian beat the fifth-ranked Lynx 69-52 and moved to within one victory of a third consecutive state title. The Wolfpack will take a 26-1 record against No. 4 Hudson in the championship game at 8 p.m. Friday.

Jamie Gesink added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Western Christian, Payton Harmsen scored 10 and Kaira Moss had nine.

Alissa Pollema, the only returning starter from last year's team, did not score but made a key contribution with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Douma's 3-pointer stretched the lead to 15 midway through the second quarter. North Linn got the lead down to 31-22 with a burst of six straight points, but Western finished the half with a 5-0 run to go up 36-22. Douma then knocked down three 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep the Wolfpack safely ahead.

 "I said to the seniors, we get one more chance to compete together," said head coach Bill Harmsen. "Those girls mean the world to me and to our school and they're just great kids, and we get another chance to compete together tomorrow night."

"Coach just talked about how we'd never done it before and how big of an accomplishment that would be," said senior guard Erika Douma. "We worked hard in practices and we're hoping to get another one."

Western will try to become the sixth team in the five-player era to win three consecutive championships. It was done most recently by Davenport Assumption from 2011-13. Assumption lost in the first round of this year's Class 4A tournament.

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