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WATERLOO — A promising start to the first round of the Class 5A regional girls’ basketball tournament turned into heartbreak for Waterloo West Wednesday night.

The Wahawks matched Ames point-for-point for much of the first half. Then Caroline Waite drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 28-23 Little Cyclone lead, and West never recovered in a 67-44 setback at Siddens Gymnasium.

“It was a good first half, but they hit that last-second 3 just before the half,” Wahawks coach Tony Pappas said. “I think in the second half we just lost our composure and they really took it to us.

“Congratulations to them. I give them all the credit. We anticipated them shooting the 3s, but we did not get out there in time to stop it.”

The Cyclones (10-12) connected on 10 long balls from beyond the arc, with Waite nailing three of them on the way to a game high 17 points.

Ames built a 13-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Wahawks stormed back within 13-11 by the end of the period.

Sophomore Lauren Conrey dropped in a jumper to start the second quarter, tying the game, but then the Little Cyclones ran off six unanswered points to build a 19-13 advantage.

West battled back again and trailed just 25-23 when Waite connected on her 3-pointer to end the half.

Ashley Iiams scored seven quick points as the Cyclones outscored the Wahawks 19-9 in the third frame.

“We knew coming into the game that they are quick with the 3s,” West junior Jada Draine said of the Cyclones’ attack. “We were just a step too slow coming out and challenging them. We thought we were prepared, but we couldn’t get some shots to go in and we did not rebound well at all.

“A loss like this will hopefully make us hungry for next year,” said Draine, who led the Wahawks with 14 points. “We just have to work hard in the offseason to get better so this doesn’t happen again.”

Ames 67, Wat. West 44

AMES (10-12) — Kelly Friedrich 5 0-0 13, Caroline Waite 6 2-2 17, Amara Lipsey 2 0-1 5, Ashley Iiams 6 1-1 15, Teagan Lipsey 4 6-7 15, Brooke Spraggins 1 0-0 2, Katelyn Courtney 0 0-0 0, Ashley Nethers 0 0-0 0, Morgan Seibert 0 0-0 0, Ally Frisk 0 0-0 0, Courtney Thompson 0 0-0 0, Morgan Hall 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 9-11 67.

WATERLOO WEST (11-12) — Camryn Meyer 0 0-0 0, Aleah Cook 1 4-4 6, Kaitlyn Meyer 0 0-0 0, Jada Draine 5 1-1 14, Zia Collett 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Moore 2 1-1 5, CeCe Young 1 0-0 2, Shiila Robinson 0 0-0 0, Meredith Eighmey 0 0-0 0, Na’Tracia Ceaser 2 2-2 6, Lauren Conrey 5 1-3 11, Ajla Dzelic 0 0-2 0. Totals 16 9-13 44.

Ames 13 15 19 20 — 67

West 11 12 9 12 — 44

3-point goals — Ames 10 (Waite 3, Friedrich 3, Iiams 2, T. Lipsey, A. Lipsey), West 3 (Draine). Total fouls — Ames 12, West 11. Fouled out — none.

Ames 67, Wat. West 44

AMES (10-12) — Kelly Friedrich 5 0-0 13, Caroline Waite 6 2-2 17, Amara Lipsey 2 0-1 5, Ashley Iiams 6 1-1 15, Teagan Lipsey 4 6-7 15, Brooke Spraggins 1 0-0 2, Katelyn Courtney 0 0-0 0, Ashley Nethers 0 0-0 0, Morgan Seibert 0 0-0 0, Ally Frisk 0 0-0 0, Courtney Thompson 0 0-0 0, Morgan Hall 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 9-11 67.

WATERLOO WEST (11-12) — Camryn Meyer 0 0-0 0, Aleah Cook 1 4-4 6, Kaitlyn Meyer 0 0-0 0, Jada Draine 5 1-1 14, Zia Collett 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Moore 2 1-1 5, CeCe Young 1 0-0 2, Shiila Robinson 0 0-0 0, Meredith Eighmey 0 0-0 0, Na’Tracia Ceaser 2 2-2 6, Lauren Conrey 5 1-3 11, Ajla Dzelic 0 0-2 0. Totals 16 9-13 44.

Ames 13 15 19 20 — 67

West 11 12 9 12 — 44

3-point goals — Ames 10 (Waite 3, Friedrich 3, Iiams 2, T. Lipsey, A. Lipsey), West 3 (Draine). Total fouls — Ames 12, West 11. Fouled out — none.

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