Your Prep Sports
The postseason saying is survive and advance.
Class 2A third-ranked West Branch was in full survival mode on Friday but the Bears found a way to advance.
Sasha Koenig scored eight of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and Taya Young hit three free throws in the final 15 seconds as West Branch escaped with a 41-37 win over Pella Christian in a Class 2A, Region 3 semifinal in West Branch.
The win was the 16th straight for West Branch (19-1) and sends the Bears into the Region 7 title game where it will face River Valley Conference rival Regina (12-7) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Williamsburg.
Pella Christian closed its season at 9-14.
West Branch trailed 22-21 at the half and 32-30 entering the fourth quarter before Koenig got rolling.
The senior point guard scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter as West Branch took a 37-32 lead.
Pella Christian battled back to tie the game at 37 with a basket with 54 seconds left but Koenig hit 1-of-2 free throws on the ensuing Bear possession to give West Branch the lead for good.
Young hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to push the margin to 40-37 and the Eagles missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with five seconds left.
Young made 1-of-2 free throws with four seconds left to put the game away.
Koenig had 22 points to lead West Branch and added five steals and three assists.
Rylan Druecker had eight points, five rebounds and three steals and Young had seven points and five steals.
Delaynie Luneckas had four points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
Pella Christian 12 10 10 5 – 37
West Branch 12 9 9 11 – 41
West Branch (41) – Sasha Koenig 22, Rylan Druecker 8, Taya Young 7, Delaynie Luneckas 4