Tough break: Without its starting point guard Collins-Maxwell falls to Montezuma in regional final
PLEASANTVILLE – Collins-Maxwell gave it a good go without point guard Alexis Houge in the Class 1A regional finals against Montezuma Feb. 24.
But the No. 12 Spartans eventually wore down against the No. 6 Braves, falling one win shy of reaching their first state tournament with a 62-44 setback.
“Any time you lose a potentially all-state point guard it’s going to be a heck of a challenge,” Collins-Maxwell head coach Justin Flaws said. “I thought that we had a pretty solid game plan. We were able to push them off the 3-point line a little bit, but we just didn’t score enough.”
Houge injured her ankle during last Friday’s 57-47 Spartan victory over No. 15 Baxter in the regional semifinals. But behind the strong play of freshman Erica Houge and senior Reagan Franzen Collins-Maxwell was right in the game at halftime.
The Spartans trailed 28-22 going into the locker room. They got as close as four points on a Houge put-back to start the third quarter and still were within 31-26 after a Franzen basket a little later in the quarter.
But then Montezuma started finding success inside and Collins-Maxwell couldn’t buy a bucket.
The Braves pushed their lead to 12 by the end of the third quarter.
A Kenzi Wierson gave the Spartans one last ray of hope by pulling them within nine midway through the quarter. But Montezuma made 14 of 18 free throws in the final 3:22 to slam the door on Collins-Maxwell's state tournament aspirations.
“They shoot the ball well everywhere,” Collins-Maxwell senior Brooke Christie said. “I give kudos to them for being a really good team. They’re very strong and they have really good shooters. Those two sisters (Elise and Mia Boulton) are incredible.”
Elise Boulton created most of the offense for Montezuma and she ended up with 23 points and five assists.
“Number 20 is a heck of a player,” Flaws said of Elise Boulton. “She can create by driving and she can shoot from the volleyball line on the court, which not a lot of people can do.”
Mia hit two 3-pointers to get the Braves off on the right foot to start the game and she finished with 14 points.
Montezuma center Dylan Holland also played tough inside. She scored 15 points and helped hold Franzen – the Spartans’ all-everything forward – without a point in the fourth quarter.
Having Alexis Houge would’ve been a big help to Collins-Maxwell. She had the ability to slow down Elise Boulton and create more easy baskets in transition for the Spartans on offense.
“She’s an all-stater point guard and she’s super good at what she does,” Christie said. “It’s tough without her. She is such a big key for our team.”
Christie hit three 3-pointers finished with nine points. Erica Houge had 15 points and seven rebounds, Franzen 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Wierson six points.
Collins-Maxwell finished the best season in the short history of the program with a 22-2 record and its first Iowa Star Conference South Division championship.
“All they’ve done is win,” Flaws said. “Whether on the court, in the classroom or in life they excel at it. I think the team GPA is 3.7 or something. They’re intelligent people and they do things the right way.”
Christie and her best friend Franzen are part of the first senior class to go a full four years with the program. She credits Flaws, who has been at the helm since the second season, and her teammates for giving the seniors a special final run.
“Flaws pushed me so hard and made me the player I am and I thank him for that,” Christie said. “Reagan also pushed me hard – she got me out of bed and knew I needed to get up and do something. Two years ago when I was a sophomore I didn’t even really know if I wanted to play basketball. Being here means a lot. I can’t thank my team enough for always having my back. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Montezuma took a 22-1 record into the state tournament.
Montezuma 62, Collins-Maxwell 44
CM 14 8 8 14 – 44
M 19 9 14 20 – 62
Collins-Maxwell (44) - Avery Fricke 0-1 0-0 0, Jane’e Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Kenzi Wierson 3-5 0-0 6, Marissa Boege 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Christie 3-6 0-0 9, Chloe Wierson 1-3 0-1 2, Erica Houge 5-13 5-11 15, Mary Staudt 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Pasquariello 0-0 0-0 0, Elise Robertson 1-1 0-0 2, Reagan Franzen 4-15 2-2 10, Vivian Kahler 0-0 0-0 0, Isabelle Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-45 7-14 44. 3-point field goals (3): Christie 3. Rebounds (32): Franzen 8. Assists (15): Franzen 3. Steals (2): Franzen, Wierson. Blocks (1): Franzen. Fouls: 22.
Montezuma (62) - Madison Johannes 1-5 0-0 2, Shanae Wetering 1-6 2-3 4, Kierstyn Price 2-4 0-1 4, Mia Boulton 4-7 3-4 14, Jadyn Sharer 0-0 0-0 0, Elise Boulton 5-14 10-14 23, Dylan Holland 5-7 5-6 15. Totals: 18-43 20-28 62. 3-point field goals (6): M. Boulton 3, E. Boulton 3. Rebounds (30): Holland 11. Assists (12): E. Boulton 5. Steals (9): Price 2, M. Boulton 2, Holland 2, Johannes 2. Blocks: None. Fouls: 16.