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WATERLOO — Brooklynn Smith has largely operated under the radar most of the season.

Wednesday night when Waterloo West opened Class 5A regional play, the freshman set off warning signals with a stat-stuffing performance in the Wahawks’ 49-30 victory over Dubuque Senior.

The 6-foot-3 Smith scored 12 points, blocked seven shots and gathered in eight rebounds.

“I am very happy with our defense and the way the rebounded,” West coach Tony Pappas said. “I think Brooklynn came of age tonight, and she did a lot of that with four fouls. We had to grind this game out and she was big for us on defense.”

Smith denied the Rams on three successive drives to help turn a 17-16 deficit into a 29-17 lead West never relinquished.

“I think my strongest part of my game is definitely on defense,” Smith said. “But I do like to score, too. We did not treat this game any different from when we played them earlier in the year (a 59-28 road win).

“No matter who we play we are going to come out and wear you down. I think they got really tired late in the third and fourth and became frustrated with our defense. That just gave us extra energy and we did not let up.”

West senior Jada Draine said the Wahawks simply followed their game plan.

“The coaches gave us a great game plan and we went out and carried it out,” she said. “We wanted to get out and out-rebound them, which we did, and we wanted to get into our groove early and not give it up. We didn’t really get the game under control until late, but we knew we would get it done.”

Draine finished with 11 points, including five in the final quarter when West pulled away.

“Once we got into that groove, we were not giving it up,” said Draine. “We carried out a very good game plan tonight and now we play again on Saturday.”

NaTracia Ceaser had a solid night for the Wahawks, as well, with 12 points and Lauren Conrey finished with seven.

“We were on the verge of breaking the game open early, but give Senior credit, they battled back and took the lead,” Pappas said. “We came back and like I said had to really grind this one out, and it was a good win for us.

“Any win in the playoffs is a good win. Now we get ready for Cedar Rapids Washington on Saturday. We will be ready.”

West 49, Dub. Senior 30

DUBUQUE SENIOR (9-12) — Alli Udelhofen 3 5-6 11, Ella Noel 1 0-0 3, Becca Alveranga , Kayla Grall 0 0-2 0, Abbie Edminster 5 0-0 13, Bridget Weber 0 0-0 0, Leah Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Payton Kizer 0 0-2 0, Olivia Baxter 1 0-0 3, Grace Pope 0 0-0 0, Abby Willgang 0 0-0 0, Kathryn Kitchen 0 0-0 0, Rylee Capesius 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-10 30.

WATERLOO WEST (13-8) — Na’Tracia Ceaser 4 2-2 12, Jada Draine 4 2-4 11, Gabby Moore 1 3-4 5, Brooklyn Smith 4 4-5 12, Lauren Conrey 2 1-2 7, Meredith Eighmey 0 0-1 0, Ashley Nystrom 1 0-0 2, Brianna McPoland 0 0-0 0, Ajla Dzelic 0 0-0 0, Kayla Koch 0 0-0 0, Jaide Domatob 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 12-18 49.

Dub. Senior 7 10 7 6 — 30

Wat. West 14 15 5 15 — 49

3-point goals — Senior 5 (Edminster 3, Noel, Baxter), West 5 (Conrey 2, Ceaser 2, Draine). Total fouls — Senior 16, West 15. Fouled out — Noel, Baxter.

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