Because of COVID-19 issues, it hasn’t been a perfect season for the Ankeny Centennial girls’ basketball team.
But that didn’t stop the fifth-ranked Jaguars from completing a perfect run through their CIML Iowa Conference schedule.
Centennial raced out to a 40-12 halftime lead and cruised to a 76-35 victory at Mason City on Thursday. The Jaguars, who had already wrapped up the conference title, finished 10-0 in the league and improved to 13-2 overall.
“They’ve always had a good program, and Mason City is a good place to play,” said Centennial coach Scott DeJong. “We’ve played well there over the years, and we happened to come out with a great win going into the tournaments.”
Mason City dropped to 4-6 in the conference and 6-12 overall. The Mohawks lost the first meeting at Centennial, 64-50, on Jan. 16.
The Jaguars went just 4-of-19 from 3-point range in that game, but they went 9-of-23 from behind the arc on Thursday (39.1 percent).
“We shot the ball pretty well,” DeJong said. “We had four players in double figures, so we had good balanced scoring.”
Maggie Phipps scored 15 points to lead Centennial, while Averi Porter chipped in 13. They each had a trio of 3-pointers.
Olivia Anderson and Makenna Clark each had 10 points. Jackie Pippett and Lizzie Strom each added eight.
Bella Robben had another strong all-around game, contributing seven points, 10 rebounds, three assists, four steals and one block.
Thursday’s game was originally scheduled for Friday, but was moved up a day due to a forecast of bad weather. It was Centennial’s final game of the regular season.
The Jaguars were slated to host a non-conference game against No. 11 Des Moines Roosevelt on Saturday, but that contest has been cancelled due to some COVID-19 concerns with the Roughriders.
“Our regular season is over,” DeJong said. “We made it through, and we’re very happy that we got most of our games in.”
Centennial will now have a week off before hosting Urbandale (3-7) in a Class 5A regional semifinal on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. The Jaguars could meet Roosevelt (8-1) in the regional final on Feb. 23.
“We can play better, and we’ll have to,” DeJong said. “But we’ve got some room to grow.”