By Becky Walz,
The Decorah girls’ basketball team (12-9) fell to fifth-ranked Waverly-Shell Rock (21-2) in the regional playoffs Saturday, Feb. 20 on the road, ending its 2020-21 season in the Class 4A regional semifinals.
Decorah struggled in the early portion of Saturday’s semifinal game in Waverly, producing just two points in the first quarter. The lack of offense allowed the Go-Hawks to go up, 11-2. That early momentum for the home team carried into the second as W-SR put up another 11 points in the second to lead 22-7 at halftime. The Vikes were unable to cut into the lead in the second half and were left trailing 34-15 with eight minutes to play.
Bryar Duwe led the team with 15 points. Haley Gossman produced eight. Sami Mount provided four while Kylie O’Hara added two.
“Although we didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, we had a great season. We will be back next year — stronger, better and hungry for a conference championship,” said Coach Shannon Quandahl.
The Lady Vikes defeated Epworth (4-18) Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the opening round of playoffs at home, 50-26.
Decorah had a quick start to the contest, holding the Bobcats to a pair of free throws in the first until the final 30 seconds. Following the eight minutes, the Vikes were already out front 15-5. By halftime, the Red and Blue had doubled up their opponents, taking a 26-13 lead at the break. Decorah continued to pull away in the second half to win 50-26, holding Epworth to 13 second-half points.
Bryar Duwe came up big against Epworth, scoring 18 points. Abigail Milburn added nine points and five rebounds, while Haley Gossman was in for eight points and 10 boards. Emma Nierengarten provided nine boards and four steals.
“This was a great first-round game and a much-needed confidence post moving into the second round. We did really good things on both ends of the floor and played with confidence,” said Coach Quandahl.
Big names back
Decorah graduates four seniors off the squads — Abigail Milburn, Emma Nierengarten, Fiona Bureh and Abby Moen. However, they return a wealth of underclass experience in current junior Annika Franzen; along with sophomores Bryar Duwe, Kylie O’Hara, Sami Mount, Autumn Schaller and Haley Gossman and freshman Yazmeen Whitsitt.