Regina junior Mary CromptonBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – For three quarters on Friday night West Branch hung right with top-ranked Regina.
Well, almost three quarters.
Regina opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run and Alexa Lehman beat the third quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer helping Class 2A No. 1 Regina pull away for a 70-50 win over West Branch in a River Valley Conference south division showdown at Regina.
“I thought West Branch came out and really fought us tough,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “We weren’t making free throws, we weren’t executing and we weren’t hitting outside shots like we normally do but we just told our kids keep grinding away and if we executed what we are supposed to do we are fine and we started to do that.”
West Branch (5-3, 4-3) cut a 16-point lead to nine late in the third quarter but Alexa Lehman buried a 3-point from the buzzer as time expired to put Regina up 49-37.
The Regals scored the first four points of the fourth quarter and the lead never slipped below 10 points the rest of the game as Regina improved to 7-0 and 6-0 in RVC play.
“I knew the second she released it that it was going in,” Crompton said of the Lehman 3-pointer. “That was really a turning point in the game because that gave us the momentum going into the fourth quarter.”
Crompton had a game-high 23 points and Alex Wiese had 17 points and 14 rebounds as Regina won its seventh straight game by 20 points or more.
Regina shot 68 percent from the field in the second half as it slowly pulled away from a game West Branch team.
“I have to give a lot of credit to West Branch, their kids and coaching staff,” Wallace said. “They were ready for us and they came out with a purpose to really go at us. They played us tougher than any team.”
Regina led 14-10 after one quarter and used a 9-2 run midway through the second quarter to take a 30-19 half time lead.
The Regals opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run that started with a Kennedy Wallace 3-pointer and was capped by a steal and layup by Sarah Lehman.
“The beginning of the half we came out and stuck a 3 and got a 2 pointer and that showed we were focused,” Jeff Wallace said. “I thought that was a big start because we knew they were going to come out in that third quarter and come after us.”
West Branch wasn’t going to go away.
The Bears cut the lead to 44-32 on a Paige Miller driving layup and got as close as 49-37 on a Claire Bridges basket with 46 seconds left.
West Branch had the ball with under 20 seconds left in the quarter with a chance to cut into the lead but turned it over and Alexa Lehman turned the tide with her 3-pointer that just beat the horn.
“We had it at nine points with 15 seconds to go in the third quarter and we turned the ball over and we could have had the last shot of the quarter and then they make a 3,” West Branch coach Jarod Tylee said. “And you could kind of feel it there a little bit but for three quarters I thought our kids were outstanding.”
Wiese had 11 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter as Regina put the game out of reach.
The Regals held West Branch to just three field goals in the final quarter and 40 percent shooting for the game.
“We were not hitting as many shots as we hoped and we had to step it up on defense,” Wiese said. “That’s what won it for us.”
Sarah Lehman added 12 points for Regina which hosts Benton Community on Monday in its final game of December.
Haley Mullinnix had 17 points and Tatum Koenig added 13 for West Branch.
The Bears close out the pre-holiday schedule by hosting Camanche on Monday and Mid-Prairie on Tuesday.
“I think this was a good game for us because Camanche is going to be really good on Monday and Mid-Prairie is going to be tough Tuesday,” Tylee said. “It’s a good game for us going into those two games.”
West Branch 10 9 18 13 – 50
Regina 14 16 19 21 – 70
Regina (70) – Mary Crompton 9-11 2-4 23, Alexa Lehman 1-2 0-0 3, Sarah Lehman 4-4 4-4 12, Greyson Dumont 2-5 0-1 4, Kennedy Wallace 2-11 2-4 7, Megan Wick 2-3 0-0 4, Alex Wiese 7-12 3-8 17, Tea, 27-49, 11-21 70.
West Branch (50) – Abbey Fryauf 1-1 1-4 3, Riley Vaughan 1-2 0-0 2, Paige Miller 3-9 1-2 7, Abby Knoop 2-3 0-3 4, Tatum Koenig 2-8 9-12 13, Haley Mullinnix 7-16 1-2 17, Claire Bridges 1-2 0-0 2, Mackenzie Heise 1-4 0-2 2, Team 18-45 12-25 50.
3-point field goals – ICR 5-18 (Crompton 3-4, A. Lehman 1-1, Dumont 0-2, Wallace 1-10) WB 2-13 (Vaughan 0-1, Miller 0-2, Koenig 0-3, Mullinnix 2-7). Rebounds – ICR 32 (Wiese 14) WB 31 (Knoop, Koenig 8). Turnovers – ICR 16, WB 17. Total fouls – ICR 20, WB 15. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.