GRIMES — Perry senior and three-time INA First Team All-State forward Claire Marburger helped her Southwest squad win the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Tournament Saturday.
The tourney brings together four squads of seniors chosen by the coaches to showcase some of the best talent in Iowa.
Marburger poured in a team-high 25 points in the championship game as Southwest defeated Northwest, 89-78, for bragging rights. Harlan standout and Iowa State volleyball recruit Jess Schaben added 24 for the Southwest, with Western Christian (Hull) star Kensey Bousema leading all scorers with 28 points.
Southwest had defeated Northeast, 78-62, to advance to the title game. Schaben had 22 points in the win, with Marburger adding 12 and IKM-Manning’s Morgan Muhlbauer 11.
The Northeast team was paced by 20 points Edgewood-Colesburg standout Kari Fitzpatrick. North Linn’s Nicole Miller, who was named Miss Basketball by the INA, had 15 points in the loss, with 13 points coming from Hudson’s Amanda Cartney.
The teams were brought together March 25 for five hours of practice and to visit with their new teammates, as this was the first time most of the players had met each other.
“Just the few hours we had to get to know each other was enough that we were able to come together and win the championship,” Marburger said. “We had time to get to know each other off the court and made life-long friendships. We all loved getting to know each other and to have the chance to not only play as a team with great players but to be able to play against teams made up of tremendous players. It was a great time.”
The IBCA added to a long list of accolades earned by Marburger by naming her the Class 4A Player of the Year. She led the class with 541 points and in points per game at 23.5. The Valparaiso recruit was third in 4A in both free throws attempted and made, finished 10th with 66 steals and cleared 7.2 rebounds per contest. She leaves Perry as the all-time leader in career points with 1,853.
Marburger had played several years of AAU hoops with close friend Grace Vander Weide of West Des Moines Valley, who was on the Southwest team along with fellow Tiger Whitney Fuller. Harlan’s Taylor Wagner and Fremont-Mills standout Macy Williams were also on the squad, as were Rachel Smith of Exira-EHK, Steffi Cunard of Logan-Magnolia and McKenna Zanders of Coon Rapids-Bayard.
The team was coached by WDM Valley’s Josef Sigrist. He was assisted by Harlan’s Zach Klaassen.