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The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Mason City girls win quarterfinal round at state
by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — What’s the best way to describe taking down the No. 1 team in Class 4A?

“Surreal. I can’t even explain what just happened because I’m so hyped for our team,” said Mason City senior Marci Wolters.

The explanation is this: Eighth-seeded Mason City was cool under pressure down the stretch and handed No. 1 Western Dubuque its first loss Tuesday night by a 47-39 margin in a Class 4A state quarterfinal.

The victory sends the Mohawks to the state semifinals for the second time in school history.

“We just showed everyone that we can beat anyone in this tournament if we play like we can,” senior Rachel Danielson said.

No Mason City girls basketball team has ever played for a state championship. A win Friday morning would give the Mohawks that opportunity.

“I think they are a close-knit group,” Mohawk coach Curt Klaahsen said. “They like each other and they get along. They have that mentality that they are going to fight until the end.”

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, March 02, 2016

No. 9 Mason City upsets top-ranked Western Dubuque 47-39 to reach Class 4A semifinals

by Blake Schultz

DES MOINES — DES MOINES — Making five state tournaments in the last six years has been no small feat for Mason City. Getting wins inside Wells Fargo Arena has been a much tougher task for the Mohawks.

Coming into Tuesday’s Class 4A state quarterfinal vs. Western Dubuque, Mason City had one win in four previous appearances. With a tough 47-39 win over the top-ranked, top-seeded and previously unbeaten Bobcats Tuesday, chalk another one up for the Mohawks.

“We’re excited to win this one, we’re going to enjoy this one, but our kids have a bigger goal in mind,” Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen said.

The way the Mohawks got there Tuesday was through defense and balance on offense.

Mason City held the Bobcats to 11 points under their season average, held them to a 32.6 field-goal percentage and outrebounded (32-29) the much bigger lineup Western Dubuque put on the court.

The Mohawks’ largest lead of the game came early in the second as a 9-0 run push them in front 17-8.

Western Dubuque clawed and scratched its way back from there and it was a slugfest the rest of the way, including a combined seven points in the third quarter.

The Bobcats tried and succeeded, for the most part, in taking the Mohawks’ Makenzie Meyer out of the game. Down the stretch, it was everyone else doing the work for Mason City.

Trailing 33-32 with under three minutes to go, a 3-pointer by Marci Wolters gave the Mohawks the lead. Another 3 from the same spot on the next possession by Wolters sent the Mason City crowd into a frenzy.

When I saw her (Meyer) getting double teamed I knew somebody had to step up,” senior Rachel Danielson said. “Marci stepped up and hit those two threes and we just kind of proved to everyone that Makenzie, she’s our best player and can score a lot, but so can everybody else. That’s when we have to step up to the line with confidence and make our shots.”

Then it was Danielson’s turn.

With the Mohawks holding the ball and a lead, Western Dubuque was forced to foul, and it was Danielson sent back there each time.

Danielson was 7 for 8 at the line as Mason City made 18 of 21 free-throw shots as a team.

Wolters finished with 11 points to lead the Mohawks, who face No. 5 Keokuk (22-2) in the semifinals on Friday at 10 a.m., Makenzie Meyer scored 10 and Megan Meyer had nine.

Megan Maahs led the Bobcats with 20 points and 14 rebounds and Morgan Pitz added 12 points.

“Everybody on our team contributed today,” Makenzie Meyer said. “Maybe it wasn’t with points but our bench was super loud, the girls on defense got steals, they got layups and they made shots.”

Added Wolters, “We definitely have to buy in for every game and I think that’s something that was really special tonight. The bench, the crowd and the people on the floor were buying into it and I’m really proud of our team.”

[Lady Mohawk team members include: Rachel Danielson, Makenzie Meyer, Olivia Pederson, Marci Wolters, Megan Meyer, Jacqueline Eier, Hannah Faktor, Kayla Till and Bailey Baker.

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Mason City reaches Final 4 thanks to excellence at free-throw line
Class 4A State Tournament

by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — One of the more impressive facets about Mason City’s 47-38 win Tuesday night over top-seeded Western Dubuque was its efficiency at the free-throw line.

Despite shooting only 31 percent from the floor against one of the top defensive teams in the state, Mason City found itself in a position to ice the game from the free -throw line.

It did.

The Mohawks were 18 of 21 from the line and 9 of 10 in the final 83 seconds to reach the Class 4A state semifinals, where 22-2 Keokuk awaits Friday morning at 10 a.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena.

A win would push Mason City into its first girls basketball state championship game.

“The word I think of is confidence,” said Rachel Danielson, who was a cool 7 of 8 from the line. “Earlier this week, we did distraction free throws. We were really prepared for those kind of situations. You just have to step up there like you are going to make it.”

The Mohawks (16-8) did that.

A big reason for the success, they say, is because they’ve been in that situation with regularity.

Tuesday’s contest was the ninth time this season Mason City found itself in a game decided by 10 or fewer points.

Mason City finished the game on a 15-6 run over the final three minutes after trailing by a point to stay unbeaten against non-5A competition.

The Mohawks found themselves in an offensive funk in the middle two quarters of Tuesday’s game.

They led 23-17 at the 3:33 mark of the second quarter and only scored three points over the next 11:33 of the game as they entered the fourth quarter deadlocked at 26.

“Then we started trying to get to the basket more,” senior Makenzie Meyer said. “We knocked down free throws and got energy off the bench.”

Mason City is eighth in Class 4A in free-throw percentage at 67.3 percent and has reliable guards who excel from the line in late-game situations.

Danielson was 7 of 8 Tuesday night, Meyer was 6 of 6, and freshman Megan Meyer was 4 for 5.

Both Meyers shoot better than 74 percent from the line.

The 4A tournament was turned upside down in the opening round. All four lower seeds won in the quarterfinals, and defending champion Harlan was upended by Marion on Wednesday morning.

Before the tournament, Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen felt there was no clear-cut favorite in the eight-team field. That’s clearly the case now as teams ranked fifth (Keokuk), seventh (Marion), eighth (Pella) and ninth (Mason City) are left fighting for the 4A crown.

“I still think we are going to go further, but (Tuesday) was a great win,” Danielson said.

~ ~ ~ ~

Tickets, pep bus available for Friday’s game

MASON CITY — Tickets for Mason City’s 10 a.m. Class 4A state semifinal game against Keokuk on Friday will be sold in the main office at Mason City High School from 7:30-3 p.m. on Thursday at a cost of $10 per ticket.

Should the Mohawks win, tickets for the state championship game will be sold right after the game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

A pep bus for high students will also be available with sign up in the high school office at the same time as ticket sales. The cost for the bus, which will depart at 7:30 a.m. on Friday from the High School commons doors, will be $20, which includes a ticket to the game. Students will also need to have a signed permission slip turned into the office by noon Thursday.

Additionally, a middle school pep bus will leave at 7:30 a.m. on Friday from the John Adams Middle School main doors with sign up at the JAMS office during office hours (8 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost, which includes a ticket to the game, is $20. Students will also need to have a signed permission slip turned into the office by noon Thursday.

There will be no adult pep bus to the game and school is being canceled for Friday with the make-up date scheduled to be added to the end of the school year.

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, March 02, 2016

COMMENTARY: Patterson: Wolters lets her game do the talking as Mason City reaches 4A semis
by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — In the span of 43 seconds, Marci Wolters put her fingerprints all over one of the biggest wins in school history.

For the Mason City senior, any show of emotion is a rarity. She’s quiet by nature – the quietest on the team, according to coach Curt Klaahsen – so when she pumped her fist in celebration and let out a yell, you knew the significance of this moment.

Wolters buried 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, turning a 1-point deficit into a 5-point lead with less than three minutes remaining as the eighth-seeded Mohawks toppled top-seeded and previously unbeaten Western Dubuque 47-39 on Tuesday night in a Class 4A state quarterfinal inside Wells Fargo Arena.

Klaahsen said the coaching staff has tried to force Wolters out of her shell.

She’s out of it, coach, and she’s doing it with her play, not her voice.

It was in the regional final that her 3-pointer put Mason City ahead for good to reach this point. She did it a season ago, too, as Mason City reached the Class 5A state tournament. This time, and again with the game on the line, Wolters wasn’t afraid to take – and make – the big shot.

“We definitely had a lot of confidence coming into this game,” Wolters said. “And that was key. We couldn’t back down. We couldn’t be afraid.”

And that meant making plays. That meant battling with a much taller team in Western Dubuque. That meant not being afraid of the moment.

Maybe the best tell of Mason City’s fight in this game was the rebounding margin.

The Bobcats started three players who are 5-foot-11 or taller. Mason City doesn’t have anyone on its roster taller than 5-10.

But yet, Mason City out-rebounded Western Dubuque 32-29.

“It’s got to be a mentality with us,” Klaahsen said. “Every ball that goes up we have to get it. I think our kids know they have to be in good position, have to have a good block out and fight people to get to the ball.”

Mason City did that Tuesday.

They were cool under pressure, hitting 9 of 10 free throws in the final 1 minute, 23 seconds to send Western Dubuque home.

The numbers weren’t flashy Tuesday. Mason City was 12 of 39 from the floor with star Makenzie Meyer struggling on a 2-for-9 night.

But they defended – Western Dubuque shot 32.6 percent from the floor – made free throws, rebounded and fought.

And with two flicks of the wrist from Wolters from the same spot on the floor, the Mohawks hit the key shots.

“Unbelievable,” Meyer said of Wolters. “She’s been clutch. Her second 3-pointer, she was so confident.”

And all of the sudden, Mason City, with the worst record (now 16-8) in the state tournament regardless of class, is oozing confidence.

“With the worst record in every class, people look at that and think we aren’t as good as we actually are. We are the underdog,” Meyer said.

These Mohawks are good. They just aren’t flashy. They don’t always shoot it at a high percentage. They play in close games, and maybe that’s why they found a way to reach the stage of the season where only one team in school history has been before.

At this stage, it’s not about style points. It’s about making winning plays and knowing how to finish. As of late, Mason City has excelled at that, and nobody did it better Tuesday night than Wolters.

“She’s unflappable,” Klaahsen said. “She’s somebody that doesn’t show any emotion, and in a situation like that it’s a pretty good thing. For her to hit that shot, then come out and do it a second time shows a lot of character.”

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, March 04, 2016

Mason City girls basketball advances to championship game
by Jared Patterson

The Mason City Mohawks defeated the Keokuk Chiefs 57-45 Friday in the Class 4A state semifinals to advance to the championship game Saturday against Pella in Des Moines.

Mason City celebrates Friday after defeating Keokuk and advance to their first ever champsionship game Saturday in Des Moines.

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, March 04, 2016

Mason City's sister act helps team to first state championship game
by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES - There was a time last summer when Makenzie and Megan Meyer nearly came to blows on the basketball court. Megan, the younger sister, beat Makenzie in a game of 1-on-1 for the first time.

Now, the two are teaming to help Mason City rewrite the history books. These days, there are no fights. Of late, it's been all celebrations.

The sisters combined for 37 points Friday, and the Mohawks iced the game at the free-throw line as they took down Keokuk 57-45. Pella, which defeated Marion 54-48 in Friday's other state semifinal, is the opponent in today's Class 4A state championship game.

It will be Mason City's first appearance in a state title game.

Getting there is sweet. Claiming gold, however, is what the Mohawks are after.

“I can’t describe it,” Makenzie said. “But I’m so focused right now. I just want to win one more game and enjoy the rest of it.”

The Mohawks have had some exceptional teams, especially of late, as they’ve reached five state tournaments in six years, but no team has reached this point.

Sure, this is the first season competing at the 4A level, but the players and coaches say this is a special group that knows how to win in pressure situations.

That was the case again Friday.

The Mohawks hit 21 of 26 free throws Friday, including knocking down 15 of 17 in the second half. Mason City is 39 of 47 at the line (83 percent) in the tournament.

“The fourth quarter was a lot of composure,” senior Rachel Danielson said. “We knew free throws were going to be big. We just had to knock them down.”

After picking up her third foul in the second quarter, Makenzie Meyer reached the intermission with five points. She scored 15 of her game-high 20 in the second half and finished 10 of 11 from the charity stripe. Megan Meyer scored 12 of her 17 points in the first half, as the Mohawks led by as many as 17.

The defense was swarming throughout, causing Keokuk to turn the ball over 22 times.

“At halftime, we were just talking about how we needed to start the third quarter right. Then, obviously, it went completely wrong. They hits shots. We called timeout and then got ourselves composed,” Megan Meyer said.

Keokuk trimmed Mason City’s lead to 32-28 with 4 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Mason City, though, responded to take a 41-28 lead early in the fourth quarter before Keokuk’s final run brought it within 43-38 with 5:31 left.

But like they’ve done all tournament, the Mohawks followed a rough stretch of basketball with an excellent one.

They closed the game on a 14-7 run. Makenzie Meyer scored nine points in that stretch.

“That was some of the best she’s played this year,” Mohawk coach Curt Klaahsen said.

And now, the Mohawks have a shot to claim the school’s first girls state basketball title.

It’s something the Meyers have thought about for some time.

And just like with those games of 1-on-1, there will be plenty on the line Saturday night.

On Friday, both were cool under pressure.

“Playing AAU and growing up with Makenzie, the beginning of the first game (at state) was pretty nerve-wracking. But I’m lucky to have great role models and a great senior class that helps me stay in the game,” Megan Meyer said.

As for the one time Megan beat Makenzie in 1-on-1.

“It was over the summer. She beat me. She was knocking down shots. We didn’t talk for a while (about a day). My mom kind of yelled at us. It was a bad situation. My mom has it on video. We are kind of punching at each other,” Makenzie said with a laugh.

Now, the Mohawks (17-8) are knocking down opponents. This season has already been a history-making year. Now there’s just one last hurdle to clear.

“I don’t know if I can put it into words,” Danielson said. “It’s great to be playing in it, but we feel like we need to win it. That’s what we came to do. When we step on the floor, we can’t worry about anything else. We just have to worry about the game.”

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, March 05, 2016

Mason City girls are state champions
by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen finally took a moment Saturday night to gain his composure.

“I think you always watch the championship games and imagine how it could happen and how it would feel,” he said.

There’s no need to wonder anymore.

Mason City knows. The teams knows the feeling. The same goes for the coaches and the community.

The Mohawks claimed their first girls state basketball championship Saturday night, toppling Pella 51-44 in the Class 4A title game inside Wells Fargo Arena.

As the clock hit zero, the five players on the floor sprinted toward the bench. Those on the bench barreled toward center court.

From there it was pandemonium.

"I’m just so happy for our kids and our community,” Klaahsen said.

The players couldn’t contain their excitement.

The goal from the opening tip this season was to be posing for pictures after claiming state gold.

On Saturday, that moment became real.

“I can’t put it into words,” said senior Rachel Danielson. “It’s a big win for the group of seniors, the team, the managers.

“It was our goal the whole season,” she said. “And I’m glad we could do it for the coaches. They deserve this as much as we do. So does the community.”

Mason City girls basketball team captures first state championship
Mason City wins 4A state title
Mason City Mohawks 51, Pella Lady Dutch 44
by Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — There were tears. There were hugs. There were roses. There was jubilation.

There was Makenzie Meyer, in her final game in a Mohawk uniform, playing arguably the best game of her brilliant career. The bench was fantastic. The freshman didn’t look like a freshman again in clutch situations.

A Mohawk moment? This was it.

The Class 4A title? It now resides in Mason City.

Special? Yep. Incredible? Yep. A team for the history books? There’s no doubt.

Mason City won its first girls state basketball championship Saturday night, ousting Pella 51-44 in the title game at Wells Fargo Arena.

The moment when the clock hit zero? Indescribable, as you may imagine, for a team that reached the pinnacle.

“Oh my gosh. It’s over. We won it. We’ve accomplished what we’ve been dreaming of for 10 years,” Meyer said after scoring a team-high 25 points and being named captain of the all-tournament team.

“I can’t put it into words. It’s a big win for the group of seniors, the team, the managers. It was our goal the whole season. And I’m glad we could do it for the coaches. They deserve this as much as we do. So does the community,” said Rachel Danielson, one of eight seniors on the roster.

To reach the top, Meyer, one of the best players in school history, authored the signature performance of her career. She scored 14 of her 25 points in the second half, and when Pella grabbed the lead at 37-36 with 7 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, Meyer took over.

After the Lady Dutch grabbed that fourth-quarter lead, Megan Meyer drilled a 3-pointer to put Mason City up for good before older sister Makenzie reeled off 10 fourth-quarter points to ice it.

Makenzie Meyer finished the tournament 29 of 31 from the free-throw line. When it was time for the star to take over, she did.

“I just felt like I needed to get to the basket and score points,” she said. “The team needed me.”

Just how special was Mason City’s path to the pinnacle?

The Mohawks were the lowest seed (8th) in the 4A field.

They took down No. 1 Western Dubuque, No. 5 Keokuk and No. 8 Pella this week. Add in the regional final win over No. 10 Waverly-Shell Rock, and the Mohawks (18-8) took down four straight top-10 opponents.

“We will celebrate this and enjoy it,” Mason City coach Curt Klaaahsen said. “As time goes on, we will understand how big of a thing this is and how big of an impact these kids had on the community.”

The impact in Saturday’s game came in all varieties.

Mason City bench crew of Jacqueline Rier, Hannah Faktor, Kayla Till and Bailey Baker combined for nine points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals. When the Mohawks needed toughness and grit, the quartet provided it.

Megan Meyer only scored five points, but each bucket took away the Pella lead and put Mason City ahead, the first coming on the final play of the third quarter before her triple early in the fourth.

Marci Wolters’ final basket gave Mason City a three-possession lead at 46-39 with 4:09 left.

With Mason City leading by six at 50-44 with eight seconds left, Makenzie Meyer stepped to the free-throw line.

She missed. She laughed. She knew the Mohawks were seconds away from sending a community and a school into a frenzy.

“In the good times, I don’t think we take enough time to thank the coaching staff and our teammates,” Makenzie Meyer said.

There is plenty of time for thanks now.

Eight seniors — Meyer, Danielson, Wolters, Olivia Pederson, Jenni King, Katie Voortmann, Baker and Kaylee Anderson — walked, actually ran, off the court for the final time as champions.

“I’m so happy for our kids and our community,” Klaahsen said. “We have eight seniors who stuck together through thick and thin, and it’s unheard of in this basketball world these days that they all stick with it.”

They stuck with it. And on Saturday night inside Wells Fargo Arena, the Mohawks had their storybook ending.

COMMENTARY: Patterson: It was clear from the start that Meyer was specialby Jared Patterson

DES MOINES — There are moments when you can tell kids are different.

For me, the indication that Makenzie Meyer wasn’t your average basketball player was more than four years ago.

It was Dec. 4, 2012, to be exact.

The Mason City girls basketball team was already cemented as one of the state’s top programs.

That night, the Mohawks played at Southeast Polk against the team that went on to win the Class 5A state championship.

Meyer, a freshman then, was brilliant off the bench, scoring 18 points in a 69-64 Mohawk victory.

Her career has been dotted with magnificent moments since, none better than her 25-point outing Saturday night that helped Mason City to its first state championship with a 51-44 win over Pella in the Class 4A final. She was named the captain of the Class 4A all-tournament team.

“We’ve been best friends for however long,” teammate Rachel Danielson said. “She deserves this. A lot.”

“It’s incredible how hard she’s worked,” said Megan Meyer, Makenzie’s younger sister who seems to be on a similar trajectory.

Meyer finished with 1,590 career points. She played in three state tournaments, was a multiple-time all-state selection and will play in the Big Ten for the University of Iowa.

Talents like her don’t come along very often, although Mason City has been a Division I breeding ground for the better part of five years now.

Meyer is in the discussion as one of the best players in school history, and her significance to this team was paramount.

How important was she this season?

Meyer led the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals.

On Saturday night, she played point guard. She also defended Pella’s post players.

She did many things that go unnoticed as well. Her presence on the floor opened things up for everyone else.

She allowed her younger sister to be the beneficiary of having a single defender assigned to her. That will change for the next three years.

There was a mountain of pressure on Makenzie’s shoulders all season, and in the biggest moment, she delivered.

Mason City could have lost Saturday night. Meyer simply wasn’t going to let it happen despite trailing early in the fourth quarter.

She made her first 12 free throws and finished 13 of 14 in that department. She had five rebounds and two blocks.

“I think I overcame the pressure,” she said Saturday night, finally exhaling.

Meyer is the ideal superstar and representative of a school. She’s cordial. She’s easy going. She loves interacting with kids. She embraces being a role model.

She’s one more thing: A state champion.

“We can give kids plays, but they have to make the plays,” Mohawk coach Curt Klaahsen said. “They just made the plays when we needed them.”

Just how long will this game and this season be talked about in the Meyer household?

“I’m sure I’ll be talking about it with Megan forever. And then at family reunions when we are old, when we are grandmas,” Meyer said with a laugh.

Maybe the stories will get better with time. But for Meyer and the Mohawks, this was the time of their lives.

Mason City reserve players come up big in state titleby Jeremy Koenigs

Makenzie Meyer played all 32 minutes, Megan Meyer played 28 minutes and Marci Wolters played 24 minutes for the Mason City girls basketball team as the No. 9 Mohawks claimed the Class 4A state championship with a 51-44 victory over No. 8 Pella on Saturday.

It was the bench, though, that gave Mason City the spark they needed.

Jacqueline Rier gave Mason City 22 big minutes off the bench, Hannah Faktor and Bailey Baker each played 10 minutes and Kayla Till saw five minutes of action in a reserve role for the Mohawks.

Together, they scored nine points, grabbed 13 rebounds, had three of the team’s seven assists and three of the Mohawks’ five steals.

“It takes a whole team to win a championship,” Mason City coach Curt Klaahsen said. “Some of our starters were struggling and they really came in and did a great job.”

Mason City’s bench produced when first called upon less than four minutes into the first quarter as Baker collected two rebounds in 10 seconds for the Mohawks.

“Pella is such an athletic group and we were giving up too many offensive rebounds,” Klaahsen said. “Bailey came in and got some big rebounds.”

Baker also broke a 7-all tie with a basket and Mason City pushed its lead to as many as 10 points before the halftime break.

Meanwhile, Rier added three first-quarter points and four points in the first half.

“I thought Jacqueline gave us a huge spark right away,” Klaahsen said. “She had spring in her legs and was aggressive. She took the ball to the basket and did a great job getting rebounds. We needed that.”

Faktor had three rebounds in the first half and Till knocked down a 3-pointer – one of three in the first half for the Mohawks.

“Hannah Faktor and Kayla Till also gave us some big minutes,” said Klaahsen, who saw his bench score nine points, grab seven rebounds and record two steals in the opening 16 minutes as the Mohawks built a 27-20 halftime advantage.

In the second half, Rachel Danielson picked up her fourth foul with 2 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Mohawks trailing 32-31.

However, the bench again came up big for Mason City, led by Rier.

“She usually doesn’t get that many minutes but she proved that she could stay calm and confident,” Danielson said. “This was definitely a team win and we couldn’t have done it without the bench. We had players really step up in the biggest game.”

Rier started the fourth quarter with an offensive rebound and 20 seconds later kept a Mason City possession alive with an offensive rebound.

Rier also grabbed a defensive rebound with 5:44 remaining that led to a 3-pointer by Makenzie Meyer which followed a Megan Meyer 3-pointer to give the Mohawks a 39-37 lead, part of an 8-0 run that put Mason City in control.

“It was huge for our bench to step up the way they did,” Megan Meyer said. “They were huge, especially Jacqueline, who really did a nice job.”

Mason City’s bench also earned praise from Pella coach Jerod Garland, who saw Emily Holterhaus score six points off the bench for the Lady Dutch.

“Their bench was really huge for them,” Garland said. “I thought every player that came in for them did something positive.”

Mohawk welcome home rally planned for noon Sunday

MASON CITY — Fans of the state champion Mason City girls basketball team will have a chance to welcome the squad home on Sunday.

A rally will be held at the Mason City High School Gym at noon. A police and fire truck escort will meet the team bus at the Rose Bowl at 11:45 a.m. to take the team to MCHS.

The Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Mason City's Makenzie Meyer named Iowa's Miss Basketball
by Jared Patterson

MASON CITY — It was one of those personal goals that never became public.

As Mason City forged its way to the Class 4A girls state championship, the first for the school, Makenzie Meyer was focused on helping the program reach new heights.

She did that.

Now, she has the state’s most prestigious individual award to put alongside the team championship.

Meyer has been named Iowa’s Miss Basketball by the Iowa Newspaper Association. The award is given yearly to the state’s top high school basketball player. She is the first player from Mason City to win the award.

“To get a state championship and that award in a one-week span … I can’t put it into words,” Meyer said.

“There are so many great players that I think you could just draw one out of a hat because so many girls are deserving of the award, I’m just blessed to get it.” - Makenzie Meyer on being named Iowa's Miss Basketball

Meyer was a three-time all-state selection, finished her career with 1,590 points and helped the Mohawks to three state tournaments.

The University of Iowa signee said she was humbled by the honor.

“There are so many great players that I think you could just draw one out of a hat because so many girls are deserving of the award,” Meyer said. “I’m just blessed to get it.”

Her coach, Curt Klaahsen, said Meyer embodies everything a student-athlete should be.

“She’s almost an ultimate Mohawk,” Klaahsen said. “The way she carries herself, her attitude, her effort. You wish all your kids were like that. We’ve been very fortunate to have a bunch of kids with that drive and determination.”

Klaahsen said it was Meyer’s ability to push herself that led to the ultimate individual accolade.

“She’s very motivated to be the best at whatever she does,” he said. “That’s a trait of great players. She’s just very driven, but she doesn’t brag about it. It was never about her, it was about the team. It was about winning and it always has been. It was great to see her finish her career with the ultimate win.”

Meyer closed her career Saturday night by scoring 25 points as Mason City beat Pella 51-44 in the Class 4A state championship game.

Mason City has produced a pair of Mr. Basketball winners – Dean Oliver (1997) and Jeff Horner (2002).

Now, Mason City has a Miss Basketball winner. Like Oliver and Horner before her, the next step takes Meyer to Iowa City to fulfil a lifelong dream of playing for the Hawkeyes.

“I do want to play next year – that’s one of my big goals. And I want to make an impact all four years,” Meyer said.

Photographs courtesy of Globe Gazette
Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2016



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