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The student news site of Dowling Catholic High School

The Dowling Catholic Post

The student news site of Dowling Catholic High School

The Dowling Catholic Post

    Iowa Girls’ State Basketball: A Player’s Perspective

    Dowling Catholic Girls Basketball team holds the state banner after a 59-37 win in the sub-state game. [E. Hulst]

    Girls basketball in the state of Iowa has been flourishing with the success of Iowa natives like Caitlin Clark and Ashley Joens. Iowa has become a hub for great girls basketball players and the state tournament is where stars are born. Every girl who plays high school basketball in the state of Iowa dreams of one day playing in the State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. For myself, and the Dowling Catholic Girls Basketball Team, the state tournament was an experience that we all were able to have this season.

    Our season was filled week after week with tough games in the Central Iowa Metro League (CIML) and our success in the regular season set the stage for a high number four seeding and a winnable path to the state tournament. After a win in district play and a much anticipated regional championship game vs Iowa City West, our team was victorious and had the honor of holding the bright blue state banner that so many Dowling girls before us have raised. It was such an amazing feeling to know what we had accomplished, and share the moment with my teammates, our coaches and families. The win was exciting, and we all knew what the next stop would be: Wells Fargo Arena. 

    The week of the Iowa Girls High School State Basketball Tournament had begun. Monday morning started off exciting, and the team was clapped out by the entire school and our families as we got onto the bus to leave for Wells Fargo Arena. We arrived early to watch two of the 5A quarterfinal games that would take place before we squared off against Davenport North. The short ten minute bus ride seemed to take forever, but as soon as we took the exit off the interstate and Wells came into sight, the energy on the bus was ecstatic. We pulled up to the arena near the back door entrance for teams and players only. I had been to high school games before as a spectator but there is no feeling like walking in through the player entrances and walking through the back halls of the arena that most people never see. You definitely are made to feel like a VIP as a participant in the state tournament.  

    The DCHS girls basketball team poses next to the wall at Wells Fargo Arena that displays the names of all the players in the state tournament. [K. Meyer]

    The locker rooms were quite an upgrade from our pretty basic ones back at Dowling and again we all got a sense of what pro and college athletes that play at “The Well” experience.  A couple neat behind the scenes things that they did included putting up a state shirt in the hallway from every school that played in the state tournament,  and they also had the names of every participant on the walls as you walked from the locker room into the arena. These were neat details that the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union had thought through to help make everyone’s experience more personalized and special.  

    Actually stepping on the court was an experience I will never forget. Everything at Wells Fargo Arena is bigger. The locker room, the size of the crowd and even the actual court size is bigger than what we played on all year. We actually had a practice at Drake’s Knapp Center to get used to the larger court. As a sophomore I feel blessed to have been a part of this experience, especially with the group of friends I have made being a part of this special team. Now that I have gotten a taste of the magic of the state tournament, my teammates and I want to work that much harder to get back there, and win a state championship! 

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    About the Contributor
    Macy Harnden
    Macy Harnden, Staff Writer
    Macy Harnden is currently a sophomore at Dowling Catholic High School. She is on the basketball team at DCHS and plays club basketball for All Iowa Attack. Macy is also involved in Student Ambassadors, Ut Fidem, Special Olympics, Cards for a Cause, and Students for Life. She is excited to be a writer for the post this year!

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