Five Bomber girls named all-RRC in basketball: Ihle, Loewe are unanimous first-team picks
After winning yet another Raccoon River Conference championship the Ballard girls’ basketball team was well-represented on the 2020-2021 all-conference teams.
The Bombers, who also won the Class 4A state championship, had all five of their starters recognized by the conference coaches after finishing 16-1 in the RRC and 24-1 overall. Bomber head coach Kelly Anderson was also named the RRC Coach of the Year.
The talented backcourt tandem of senior Molly Ihle and junior Brooke Loewe were unanimous selections to the all-RRC first team.
The other unanimous selections were Gilbert’s Ava Hawthorne, North Polk’s MaKayla Boatman, Boone’s Emma Dighton, Bondurant-Farrar's Katelyn Lappe and Winterset’s Jena Young. North Polk’s Lucy Schaffer and Gilbert’s Emma Bulman were also chosen to the first team.
Ihle was a lockdown defender that anchored a Bomber defense that allowed the fewest points in 4A. She also was a strong point guard for the Bombers, averaging 8.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists and steals apiece in conference games.
Loewe led Ballard in scoring at 10.9 points per game. She was also a strong all-around performer, averaging 10.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.1 steals.
Senior shooting guard Josie Fleischmann and junior forward Meg Rietz both made the all-RRC second team. The Bomber tandem was joined on the second team by Bondurant-Farrar's Katie Fogarty and Avery Fried, Carroll’s Ella Collison, Gilbert’s Thea Rotto, Winterset’s Bridget Stover, Carroll’s Ella Collison, Carlisle’s Katie Keeney and Adel-Desoto-Minburn's Nicole Storck.
Fleischmann, who hit a 25-foot game-winning 3-pointer in the 4A state title game against Glenwood, was Ballard’s top outside shooter. She made 40 3-pointers in conference play and averaged 8.8 points and 1.6 steals.
At 6-0 Rietz was a versatile player on both ends of the floor. She averaged 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals.
Senior 6-2 center Cassidy Thompson was named all-RRC honorable mention. Thompson was a strong force at the back end of Ballard’s defense and she put up 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
All-RRC girls’ basketball teams
First team: MaKayla Botaman (So.)*, North Polk; Emma Dighton (Sr.)*, Boone; Ava Hawthorne (Jr.)*, Gilbert; Molly Ihle (Sr.)*, Ballard; Katelyn Lappe (Jr.)*, Bondurant-Farrar; Brooke Loewe (Jr.)*, Ballard; Jenna Young (So.)*, Winterset; Emma Bulman (Sr.), Gilbert; Lucy Schaffer (Jr.), North Polk.
*Denotes unanimous selection.
Second team: Ella Collison (Sr.), Carroll; Josie Fleischmann (Sr.), Ballard; Katie Fogarty (Sr.), Bondurant-Farrar, Avery Fried (Sr.), Bondurant-Farrar; Katie Keeney (So.), Carlisle; Meg Rietz (Jr.), Ballard; Thea Rotto (Sr.), Gilbert; Nicole Storck (So.), A-D-M; Bridget Stover (Jr.), Winterset.
Honorable mention: Emily Ades (Sr.), Boone; Sydney Anderson (Sr.), North Polk; Lauren Carter (So.), Winterset; Katie Currans (Sr.), Gilbert; Hannah Foster (Sr.), North Polk; Grace Hardcastle (Sr.), A-D-M; Zoey Hightshoe (Sr.), Boone; Riley Gilroy (Sr.), Bondurant-Farrar; Nessa Johnson (Sr.), Gilbert; Kennedy Lein (Sr.), Carroll; Mia Miller (Jr.), Bondurant-Farrar; Lydia Olejniczak (So.), Perry; A.J. Smith (Sr.), A-D-M; Laura Sweeney (Sr.), Carroll; Cassidy Thompson (Sr.), Ballard; Abi Zimmer (Sr.), North Polk.
Coach of the Year: Kelly Anderson, Ballard.
Final RRC standings
North Polk 13-5