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DES MOINES — A strong start is all that Treynor needed. A cold start was Grundy Center’s biggest enemy.

The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead, making seven of their first eight shots, and the Spartans never heated up as Treynor avenged a 2018 state semifinal loss to Grundy Center Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena, capturing the Class 2A state championship, 48-30.

“Tip your hat, they executed very well tonight,” Spartans head coach Matt Lindeman said.

The Spartans led just once at 4-2, a lead that lasted for 27 seconds, and for a heartbreaking second consecutive year, they finished as state runner-up.

“It is not the way we wanted it to happen,” senior guard Hailey Wallis said. “Both of us were very deserving, and Treynor is a good team. They made shots, and we struggled to execute on offense at times.

“It shouldn’t take away from the awesome season that we had.”

Using a patient and deliberate attack, the Cardinals took almost 45 seconds every possession looking for the perfect shot. Many times, Treynor got it as it built a 15-7 lead.

The lead ballooned to as much as 15 points in the second quarter as the Spartans (24-1) struggled to find their offensive rhythm. Wallis, the team’s leading scorer, was 0-for-5 in the first half, and Grundy Center, which had made 14 3-pointers in its first two state tournament victories, was 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half.

“It was frustrating,” Wallis said. “But we talked all year about, find a way and just try to not let those things bother you.”

“We got behind a little bit in the second quarter and had a hard time catching up,” Lindeman added. “Proud of my girls and the way they continued to fight.”

Fight is what the Spartans did.

Maddie McMartin hit a 3-pointer with 4:48 left in the third quarter that cut the deficit to 29-20. Then a Regan Zinkula 3 and a Brooke Flater lay-up to open the fourth quarter saw Grundy Center creep within 31-25.

That was as close as the Spartans got.

A missed shot and a turnover with opportunities to trim the lead further hurt. And what hurt further was the Cardinals’ five offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter that extended possessions and cut more precious time off the clock.

And despite constant pressure from the Spartans, Treynor committed just three turnovers in the game.

“That hurt. Opportunities there, and generally we’ve been really good on the boards,” Lindeman said of the offensive rebounds.

Needing to lengthen the game, Grundy Center began to foul midway through the fourth quarter and Treynor didn’t miss often from the free throw line. All-tournament captain Konnor Sudmann scored a game-high 17, including going 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the fourth.

“They came out ready to play,” said Spartans senior post Brooke Flater, who had six points and eight rebounds. “Their shots were falling, and ours weren’t. The executed well and were the better team tonight.”

Kylie Willis led Grundy Center with eight points, and Wallis, an all-tournament pick, had seven. The Spartans shot just 10 of 35 from the field, and 2-17 from 3-point range.

The loss ended an incredible run for nine Spartan seniors, many of whom helped bring unprecedented success to Grundy Center girls’ athletics in volleyball and basketball. That group won 130 matches in volleyball in four years and earned one state tournament trip, and the basketball team was 89-8 during that same stretch with the two state runner-up finishes.

“That is probably the hardest part about it all,” Wallis said. “We have played with each other for so long. That was our last game together. I don’t think it’s necessarily the loss that hurts the most. That stings, a lot, but playing with my teammates ... there is never going to be anything like it.

“It is hard. But I’m really blessed and grateful for the memories we can have together.”

Treynor 48, Grundy Ctr. 30

TREYNOR (26-1) — Tori Castle 0-3 1-2 1, Mandy Stogdill 3-3 0-0 9, Konnor Sudmann 5-8 7-9 17, Kayla Chapman 3-7 3-4 9, Sydni Huisman 4-11 0-0 8, Noel James 0-0 0-0 0. Sydney Carman 1-5 1-2 4. Totals 16-37 12-17 48.

GRUNDY CENTER (24-1) — Hailey Wallis 2-10 3-3 7, Maddie McMartin 1-4 0-0 3, Sydney Matthews 0-2 0-0 0, Kylie Willis 2-5 4-5 8, Brooke Flater 3-7 0-0 6, Reegan Zinkula 1-5 0-0 3, Sarah Lindeman 0-1 0-0 0, Cora Saak 1-1 1-2 3, Lainy Thoren 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-35 8-10 30.

Treynor 15 11 5 17 — 48

Grundy Center 7 8 8 7 — 30

3-point goals — Treynor 4-14 (Castle 0-3, Stogdill 3-3, Sudmann 0-1, Chapman 0-2, Carman 1-5). Grundy Center 2-17 (Wallis 0-6, McMartin 1-4, Mathews 0-1, ZInkula 1-5, Lindeman 0-1). Rebounds — Treynor 23 (Sudmann 6). Grundy Center27 (Flater 8). Assists — Treynor 7 (Huisman 3). Grundy Center 6 (Wallis 2). Turnovers — Treynor 3 (Sudmann 3). Grundy Center 11 (Flater 3). Total fouls — Treynor 11, Grundy Center 16. Fouled out — none.

ALL-TOURNAMENT — Kayla Chapman (Treynor), Nicole McDermott (Cascade), Alli Masters (Central Decatur), Emma Atwood (Central Decatur), Hailey Wallis (Grundy Center), Konnor Sudmann (Treynor), captain.

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Sports reporter for The Courier

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