IOWA CITY– Attendees of the Thursday, Jan. 26, girls’ junior varsity, sophomore and varsity triple-header were made aware of a killer known as pancreatic cancer.
They were also made aware of just why the Women of Troy were undefeated and are still ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A, as West took care of Cedar Rapids Xavier 52-37 in a match-up of MVC Valley Division leaders.
Pancreatic cancer took a person dear to the hearts of the Women of Troy, Ellyn Found, mother of Caroline Found. Caroline was killed in a moped accident in August, and Ellyn succumbed a month later.
In honor and memory of the two, the varsity contest was named the “Found Family Memorial Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Game.” A fundraiser was held to establish and maintain a piano lounge and comfort area at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Ellyn and Caroline’s names.
And it was commemorated with a win as the Women of Troy used a second-quarter surge to take control of the game.
Ally Disterhoft put up West’s first basket of the night and gave the squad a 4-3 lead with a pair from the free throw line. Disterhoft had eight points in the 14-11 first period. Tatum Klein scored on a put-back and Mackenzie Piper, denied on her first scoring attempt, also sank a basket.
Brianna Sturtz and Shelly Stumpff scored for a 17-13 lead early in the second quarter. Piper dropped in a pair of free throws and a pair of three-pointers to stretch the lead. A two-point basket and free throw from Disterhoft gave West a 30-16 lead going into the halftime break.
The third period saw the Saints trying to close the gap, but a two-point basket and three-bomb from Stumpff made it 42-29 heading to the final eight minutes. Disterhoft scored on her own rebound to open the fourth period for West. Jessica Shull’s basket made it 46-31 and back-to back baskets from Stumpff put the Women of Troy ahead 50-31 with just over three-and-a-half minutes to go.
Klein scored West’s final basket before the Saints made a final five-point push.
Disterhoft led West with 15 points, Stumpff had 13 and Piper put up an even dozen. Klein had six points on the night while Shahana Williams, Sturtz and Shull scored two points each. The team shot 19-41 from the field, including 3-10 from the three-point line, but was 11-13 at the line.
Stumpff had a team-high seven rebounds, while Piper had six and Klein five.
Disterhoft and Stumpff each had four of the team’s 11 steals.
Coach B.J. Mayer’s crew improved to 15-0 overall, 12-0 in the MVC. Xavier dropped to 12-5 and 7-5 respectively.
The Women of Troy lost their first game of the season the next night on the road at Davenport Assumption, 52-48, despite a 27-point effort by Disterhoft.
The West girls are on the road Friday, Feb. 3, at CR Jefferson and again on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at CR Kennedy. West closes out the regular season at rival City High on Saturday, Feb. 11, before beginning the postseason road to Des Moines with a first round bye.
The Women of Troy will face the winner of the Davenport Central vs. Davenport West contest on Saturday, Feb. 18, at home. The winner will then go on to the Regional Final at Tipton High School on Tuesday, Feb. 21.