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DES MOINES — Hailey Wallis has lived 17 years and some change on this earth.

Stephen Hawking is probably the only human that could possibly calculate how many seconds that adds up to be.

Tuesday, Wallis lived 8.5 of the longest seconds of her life.

Fourth-seeded Iowa City Regina missed three good looks in the final 8.5 seconds and as the third miss bounced away, so did the Grundy Center Spartans with a 46-45 victory in a Class 2A first-round state tournament game at Wells Fargo Arena.

“The fourth quarter ... those eight seconds ... were probably the longest of my life,” Wallis smiled. “They got three shots up and luckily they missed every one.”

In a game where neither team held an advantage of more than six and saw 13 ties or lead changes, Grundy Center (23-1) advanced to a Friday showdown against top-seeded Treynor (23-1) at 10 a.m.

The final sequence came after the Spartans’ Kylie Willis saw the front end of a one-and-one go in and out with 27.6 seconds left. Regina held the ball until Grundy Center, which had three fouls to give before the Regals could reach the bonus, fouled.

Then, Lauren Gaarde saw an open 3-pointer rim off to the right, with Kennedy Wallace rebounding with four seconds left and missing a short jumper that hopped to Alexa Lehman. Lehman’s floater from the elbow hit the rim and bounced out just before the buzzer sounded.

“We found a way somehow,” Grundy Center head coach Matt Lindeman said. “They deserved to win that game just as much as we did. You have to have a little luck sometimes, but I think you earn that at different times, too.”

Regina came into the game short-handed after star center Alex Wiese was injured in practice Sunday and her 15.4 points and 10.6 rebounds were unavailable to the Regals. In the bigger scope of things that probably hurt Regina, but it didn’t show much Tuesday. The Regals (21-5) jumped out to an early 8-3 lead.

Then everything from that point on was clawed, fought and battled to win.

The Spartans led by one after every quarter, 12-11, then 23-22 at halftime and 35-34 after three. Grundy did not trail in the fourth quarter, but Regina never left them feel comfortable, even after the Spartans opened the final eight minutes with a 5-0 run to take a 40-34 lead.

Regina got back-to-back 3-pointers from Lehman and Wallace to get the game back to 42-40. Then Mary Crompton, who led all scorers with 20, converted a conventional 3-point play to make it 44-43 with 2:04 left.

“We knew they’d keep fighting back, because that is the team they are,” Spartan forward Brooke Flater said. “We just had to keep fighting, too.”

Willis scored to make it 46-43 with 1:44 to go, and Crompton answered on the other end with 1:23 left to set up the final sequence of plays.

“It seemed like, every time something might open up on either end, the other team would answer,” Lindeman said.

Each team had a chance late -- Grundy Center to extend its lead, and Regina to take it -- and as Lindamen said, both teams deserved to win.

“Give them credit: They executed very well during that late sequence and almost found a way,” Lindeman said.

Willis led the Spartans with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Flater had 11 poiints. Wallis had eight points and three steals.

Now, for the first time since Grundy Center won it all in 2005, it's back in the semifinals.

“It is so awesome,” Wallis said. “When we qualified we were just excited, but once we got here we didn’t want to play just one game. We wanted to play two games. We wanted to play three.”

Grundy Ctr. 46, I.C. Regina 45

GRUNDY CENTER (23-1) — Hailey Wallis 3-7 1-2 8, Maddie McMartin 1-4 0-0 2, Sydney Matthews 1-1 1-1 3, Kyle Willis 5-9 2-5 12, Brooke Flater 5-9 1-1 11, Reegan Zinkula 2-4 0-0 5, Sarah Lindeman 1-3 0-0 2, Cora Saak 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 19-39 5-9 46.

IOWA CITY REGINA (21-5) — Mary Crompton 8-17 2-3 20, Alexa Lehman 1-9 0-0 3, Lauren Gaarde 0-3 0-0 0, Greyson Dumont 6-8 0-0 13, Kennedy Wallace 2-7 0-0 6, Elly Gahan 1-2 1-2 3, Katie Dunn 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 3-5 45.

Grundy Ctr. 12 11 12 11 — 46

I.C. Regina 11 11 12 11 — 45

3-point goals — Grundy Center 3-14 (Wallis 1-5, McMartin 0-3, Willis 0-1, Zinkula 1-2, Lindeman 0-2, Saak 1-1). Regina 6-24 (Crompton 2-7, Lehman 1-7, Gaarde 0-2, Dumont 1-2, Wallace 2-6). Rebounds — Grundy Center 24 (Willis 9). Regina 24 (Crompton 6). Assists — Grundy Center 12 (McMartin 3). Regina 9 (Gaarde 3). Turnovers — Grundy Center 14 (Willis 4). Regina 12 (Dunn 4). Total fouls — Grundy Center 9, Regina 14. Fouled out — none.


Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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