FORT DODGE — Unfortunately for the 15th-ranked Panorama girls basketball team, second-rated West Hancock proved to be all that and more, as the Eagles stopped the Panthers, 67-28, Wednesday in the Class 2A Region 3 Final.
“Our girls had a great season,” first-year Panther head coach Kylee Boettcher said. “West Hancock is an outstanding, senior-led team and one we can learn from.”
Five seniors played extensively for the Eagles (24-1), with Anna Holloway the lone senior for the Panthers (20-4). Holloway had three points and two rebounds in her final game.
Panorama began the season with a last-second one-point loss to a good Woodward-Granger team, then fell, 78-57, to a strong IKM-Manning team to begin the year 0-2 (Panorama avenged their loss to IKM-Manning by knocking the Wolves from the playoffs). A 17-game win streak followed before a surprising 55-50 loss, Feb. 10, to Martensdale-St. Marys.
Panorama is a combined 87-10 over the past four seasons and reached the state tournament in 2018. So strong has the program been that a 17-6 2016 team is the only one not to win at least 20 games in a year since 2010.
That history did not impress West Hancock, who stormed out of the gate to seize a 22-5 lead after the first quarter and leave Panorama reeling. The margin swelled to 42-13 at the half, all but deciding the matter. The Eagles led, 52-17, entering the fourth quarter.
Payton Beckman had 12 points, Angel Poldberg seven, Shey Storesund four, Anna Holloway three and Laci Rishel two for the Panthers. Poldberg had eight rebounds, Beckman six and Storesund five, with Rishel making four steals while Beckman had three assists.
The Panthers were frigid from outside, enduring their poorest shooting night of the season by hitting just 3-of-24 3-pointers. Beckman had two treys and Poldberg one.
West Hancock drained 9-of-22 beyond the arc and had a decided rebounding edge with 38 caroms.
Amanda Chizek had 20 points and 13 boards, with Rachel Leerar adding 18 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists. Mahayla Faust had 10 points, Kennedy Kelley six, Emily Ryerson five, Riley Hiscocks and Ann Horstman three apiece and Leah Aitchinson two.
Leerar had four 3-pointers, Faust two, and Chizek, Hiscocks and Horstman one each.
Storesund and Waddle, both juniors, were the only upperclassmen to have serious playing time this year, with the majority of those on the Panorama roster who saw steady court time — Beckman, Poldberg, Rishel and Gabby Welberg — sophomores.
“I am so proud of these girls and everything they accomplished this year,” Boettcher said. “I am honored to be their coach and look forward to next season.”