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Remsen St. Mary’s Girls Basketball Defeats West Fork in First Ever State Tournament Game

The Remsen St. Mary’s girls basketball team was not content to just make it to the girls state basketball tournament this year. So, they decided to pick up a win in their first state tournament game. 

The Hawks defeated previously unbeaten West Fork in the 1A state quarterfinal on Wednesday in Des Moines by a score of 54-41 to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

The first key for the Hawks once they got to Des Moines on Tuesday was to get used to a different shot in an environment they had never experienced. Head Coach Scott Willman that combined with the Hawks success in track and softball had them ready for state basketball.

A lot of the Hawk players have been to Des Moines to cheer on the boys team in the state tournament. To have the roles reversed was a nice change of pace for junior Mya Bunkers who scored 15 points. She says getting to feel that support back helped propel the Hawks.

The Hawks got out to a hot start in the game leading 17-8 at the quarter break. Part of that hot start came from the three-point shooting of Mya Bunkers. She hit a pair of threes and was well on her way offensively with seven points in the quarter. Coach Willman says Bunkers fed off the energy that the rest of the team played with.

Confidence is and was key on the offensive end on Wednesday night for Bunkers. She says that confidence comes from the trust she has in the rest of her team.

The defensive intensity was evident from the jump in the contest as Remsen St. Mary’s forced eight West Fork turnovers in the first quarter and finished with 22 turnovers forced for the game. Coach Willman says the Hawk defense can be strong in the full court and the half court. 

Carmindee Ricke, once again, led the Hawk defense recording six steals in the win. She says her game is predicated on hard work which begins on defense. 

Remsen St. Mary’s showed their intensity when it came to rebounding the basketball. The Hawks out-rebounded the Warhawks 40-25 with 18 of their 40 rebounds on the offensive end. Coach Willman says that was important because, when the Hawks were not rebounding, they gave up some runs. 

Those runs seemed to oscillate back and forth as the game went along. Coach Willman and the Hawks always had an answer, and he chalks that up to experience.

On deck for the Hawks is a semifinal matchup with the top-seed in the 1A tournament in Bishop Garrigan. To get ready for the tough matchup, the Hawks need to continue doing what has worked all year. Ricke says that includes hard work and determination.

The Golden Bears have been on everyone’s radar all season as the defending champs in 1A. They also sport the state’s top scorer in Audi Crooks who put up 42 in the quarterfinal round. Coach Willman says his team is up for the challenge. 

Remsen St. Mary’s advances to the semifinal round with a 24-1 record. They will play Bishop Garrigan at 1:30 on Friday afternoon. KLEM Radio will carry the game live from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.