North Union girls advance with another close win

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla North Union players celebrate their state semifinal win on Wednesday in Des Moines. For more photos, please visit

DES MOINES — The improbable run for North Union will continue.

The Warriors scored their first victory at state as a consolidated school, stunning No. 3 Panorama, 47-46, and advancing to the Class 2A semifinals. No. 10 North Union (22-2 overall) will face sixth-ranked Cascade (23-3) on Friday here inside Wells Fargo Arena at 11:45 a.m.

Chloe Lofstrom was the hero this time, as the sophomore knocked down the second of her two free throw attempts with just 17 seconds left after securing an offensive rebound for the game-winning point. Lofstrom, who finished with 14 points and nine boards in all, also grabbed a loose ball with seven seconds left to help seal the deal.

“Everybody has been stepping up for us,” North Union head coach Dr. Merle Tigges said. “We have great kids and girls who work really hard and have fun.

“We’ re just having a blast this week.”

The Warriors entered state off their incredible finish to oust No. 4 Western Christian in the regional final, as Hallie Reese nailed an off-balanced buzzer-beater that made the rounds on social media.

Prior to the Lofstrom game-winner from the line, North Union worked over a minute off the clock before taking a timeout with 24 seconds left and setting up the final play for Reese, who will play for Buena Vista University next season. Reese was unable to convert, but Lofstrom was there for the rebound.

“Coming off a huge win (vs. Western Christian), we knew it would be a tight game with Panorama, who has lost just once this year to (No. 1, 1A) Springville,” said Tigges, a native of Fenton who played for Sentral. “We tried to find their great shooters and defend them.”

Panorama’s Bailey Beckman, who led her team with 13 points, missed a jumper just outside the lane and a last-second three-point attempt after stealing the in-bounds pass from North Union. Beckman also had five rebounds and three assists, with Morgan Johnk scoring eight points with 10 rebounds.

“We wanted the pass to go at least to half-court, but a great shooter (Beckman) luckily missed and the rest is history,” Tigges said.

As North Sentral Kossuth, the school qualified for state in 2010. Tigges was an assistant that year on the coaching staff of Joel Klocke, who is now his assistant. With the win, Tigges improved to 266-82 overall in 20 years as a coach, including a record of 118-40 with NU.

The biggest lead for the Warriors was 11, which came in the second quarter. They outscored Panorama 19-10 in the first and led by five at halftime, shooting 13-for-23 from the field over the opening 16 minutes.

Samantha Hagedorn scored 13 points with three rebounds and two assists for North Union. Reese had eight points, Kate Anderson seven and Breanna Anderson seven rebounds. The Warriors held a 26-20 advantage in points in the paint.

Cascade has won 10 in a row since a 46-43 loss to Bellevue, which they avenged in the regional final, 50-41, to advance to state. The Cougars earned a 61-44 victory over Dike-New Hartford in the opening round on Tuesday. Nicole McDermott, a sophomore, scored 20 for Cascade, who are returning to the state semifinals for the second consecutive year.

In the first semifinal on Friday will be No. 2 Treynor (23-1) taking on eighth-ranked Grundy Center (23-1) at 10 a.m. Treynor topped West Sioux, 54-30, and Grundy Center downed Iowa City Regina, 46-45.


North Union — Kate Anderson 3-6 0-0 7, Hallie Reese 3-9 1-1 8, Chloe Lofstrom 5-7 4-6 14, Breanna Anderson 0-6 2-3 2, Samantha Hagedorn 6-11 0-0 13, Hope Steinberger 1-1 0-0 3, Rory McClellan 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 18-42 7-10 47.

Panorama — Bailey Beckman 6-15 0-0 13, Kellie Prince 0-1 0-0 0, Hope Wilderman 2-6 4-7 8, Morgan Johnk 3-10 2-2 8, Devvyn Kemble 3-15 1-2 9, Faith Powell 1-3 0-0 3, Nicole Rolfes 1-2 0-0 2, Brooke Halterman 0-0 0-0 0, Ella Waddle 1-2 0-0 3. Totals: 17-54 7-11 46.

Quarter scores: North Union led 19-10, 32-27, 42-38. Three-point goals: North Union 4-14 (K. Anderson 1-2, Reese 1-3, B. Anderson 0-2, Hagendorn 1-4, Steinberger 1-1, McClellan 0-2); Panorama 5-20 (Beckman 1-4, John 0-2, Kemble 2-10, Powell 1-2, Waddle 1-2). Total rebounds: North Union 30, Panorama 34. Steals: North Union 4, Panorama 11. Blocked shots: North Union 3, Panorama 0. Assists: North Union 9, Panorama 8. Turnovers: North Union 16, Panorama 12. Team fouls: North Union 10, Panorama 11. Fouled out: Wilderman.