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DES MOINES — It was poetry in motion.

First Ellie Friesen found Shannon Pisney. Then she dished to Sharon Goodman, and finally, sister Emily Friesen was the benefactor of one of Ellie’s sweet passes.

Friesen broke an all-class state tournament record with 18 assists as Crestwood of Cresco advanced to its first state championship game with a 72-48 win over North Polk in the Class 3A semifinals Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

Crestwood will play in the 3A championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Friesen, the Cadets’ senior point guard, had seven points and 11 rebounds in addition to her record assists.

“It is an honor to be a point guard on a team with so many fantastic players,” Friesen said. “I can always count on them. People always say I take pride in getting my girls the best passes possible, but they have to finish them.

“That is a big part of assists, they have to finish them. It is a two-part thing and a team thing.”

Sharon Goodman, Crestwood’s 6-foot-2 sophomore center, turned many of Friesen’s passes into points as part of a 16-for-17, 33-point, eight-rebound effort. Pisney pushed home 22 points, and the Cadets shot 58.2 percent from the field (32 of 55).

“It kind of does put a little pressure on us (to finish),” Pisney said. “It is kind of our role. When Ellie assists us, we have to finish. She is chasing her dreams, and we’re chasing ours, too.”

“It’s all on my teammates,” Goodman added. “I don’t take any credit for those points.”

Friesen assisted on nine of the Cadets’ first 10 baskets and then calmly hit a 3-point shot a second before the buzzer as Crestwood led, 28-7, after one period.

Friesen then assisted on the Cadets’ first two hoops of the second quarter as the lead ballooned as large as 36-12.

“We were clicking right from the gates,” Crestwood head coach Doug Sickles said.

The Comets (22-4) did not go away easily.

North Polk hit five 3-pointers in the second quarter and climbed within 41-24 at half, and an unusually error-prone Crestwood helped the Comets cut that deficit to 47-36 after a Katie Brown 3-pointer with 5:08 to go in the third.

But North Polk never cut the lead to single digits as the Cadets righted their ship and cruised into the finals.

“We were a little frustrated because we usually don’t turn the ball over and we had four turnovers in that sequence,” Sickles said. “Give them credit, too. I think they made five 3-pointers in a row. They whittled it down, and we just told our kids we just need to run our stuff because we kind of got away from it.”

In addition to the single-game mark, Friesen broke the 3A tournament three-game record of 19 assists in just two games. She tied and then surpassed the all-class tournament record of 25 held by Davenport Assumption’s Gabbi Binion (2008) early in the fourth quarter on a Goodman lay-up with 7:36 to go to make it 59-42.

“I’m just so proud of how Ellie’s game has evolved the last two years,” Sickles said. “Two years ago, she was probably a scorer first. But she really takes pride in setting up her team .. she just has good court vision and our girls know if you break open she is going to find you.”

Now Crestwood will be making its first title game appearance since 1922 when Cresco reached an IGHSAU unsanctioned state six-on-six final.

“It is great for our community,” Friesen said. “You see all their support coming all the way from Cresco to Des Moines by the bus load. Seeing their support and seeing how much they care for us ... whether we are in Cresco or away they follow us.

“This is for the whole community.”

Crestwood 72, N. Polk 48

NORTH POLK (22-4) — Becca Ley 3-7 0-0 6, Katie Scott 1-3 0-0 3, Kataie Brown 5-13 0-0 15, Jaedon Murphy 6-11 3-4 16, Maggie Phipps 2-11 0-0 5, Abi Zimmer 0-0 0-0 0, Danielle Bonewitz 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Foster 0-0 0-0 0, Carolyn Steffen 1-1 0-2 3, Sydney Albaugh 0-1 0-0 0, Callie Haupert 0-1 0-0 0, Ciera McCloud 0-0 0-0 0, Maddie Bruggeman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 3-6 48.

CRESTWOOD (25-0) — Emily Friesen 3-4 0-1 8, Shannon Pisney 9-15 2-2 22, Brynn Bordermann 1-8 0-0 2, Ellie Friesen 3-8 0-0 7, Sharon Goodman 16-17 1-1 33, Taylor Shelton 0-0 0-0 0, Laken Lienhard 0-1 0-0 0, Kennedy Gaul 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylee Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Annie Mast 0-1 0-0 0, Brooklyn Ferrie 0-0 0-0 0, Samantha Balk 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-55 3-4 72.

North Polk 7 17 16 8 — 48

Crestwood 28 13 16 15 — 72

3-point goals — North Polk 9-25 (Ley 0-2, Scott 1-2, Brown 5-10, Murphy 1-2, Phipps 1-6, Steffen 1-1, Albaugh 0-1, Haupert 0-1), Crestwood 5-18 (Em. Friesen 2-2, Pisney 2-4, Bordermann 0-5, El. Friesen 1-6, Thomas 0-1). Rebounds — North Polk 18 (Ley 5), Crestwood 36 (El. Friesen 11). Assists — North Polk 5 (Scott 2), Crestwood 24 (El. Friesen 18). Turnovers — North Polk 7 (Brown 2), Crestwood 8 (Bordermann 4). Total fouls — North Polk 6, Crestwood 8. Fouled out — none.


Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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