That’s a wrap on Woodward-Granger’s single-best regular season since 2013. After taking down AC-GC (10-10, 8-7) in the regular season finale Tuesday 49-40, the Hawks finished with a 17-4 record overall and 12-3 in conference to sit at third-place in the conference.
While the Hawks came out on top, the game was a buzzard world compared to the rest of the season. Most often, Woodward has needed to spark a comeback and retool their game to take over a game. They were running in reverse Tuesday holding a lead at 24-15 lead at halftime.
The Chargers took on Woodward’s typical role to cut into that lead with a 16-11 third quarter, one of the rare times the Hawks have been outscored coming out of the break. That wasn’t enough to completely reverse fortunes thanks to Emma Anderson breaking away for 16 points and five assists.
Woodward had difficulty controlling AC-GC’s own star in Alaina Bunde, who dominated the glass for eight rebounds and 15 points. But it was Anderson’s greater supporting cast that made the true difference as five more Hawks had at least four points; AC-GC had three.
Natalie Helbling came alive for eight points after making good on 4-of-6 shots. Finley Fitzgerald’s nine points could have reached new heights had her shots from the outside fallen. She was 1-of-7 from three-point range. Mae Anderson and Darby Nixon each contributed six points, and Ava Petersen was in for four.
Even if that wasn’t enough to push Woodward over the edge, the Hawks already had their highest win total since going 18-5 in the 2012-13 regular season. The Hawks fell in the second round of postseason play, and that’s where this team hopes to get over this time around.
W-G has a first round bye to begin regional play and will square off Tuesday, Feb. 18 with the winner between Madrid (0-20) and Ogden (6-15), both of which lost twice to the Hawks this season. A win in the second round would likely send them to face Van Meter (13-8) and the regional final thereafter with No. 3 North Linn on the horizon barring a major upset.
Game Ball: Emma Anderson (7x) - 16 pts, 5-of-11, 5 ast, 3 stl
Putting up 16 points on her own, the sophomore also dished out 10 more points to her teammates, good for over 50 percent of the team’s total output.