MILFORD - The North Union girls were unable to maintain the pace they started with against Okoboji in Tuesday's Class 2A second-round game. The Pioneers took the lead at the end of the second quarter, pulled away in the third quarter and held on for a 61-50 victory to end the Warriors' season.
North Union led by as many as eight, 15-7, in the opening frame and led 15-10 when the second quarter started.
Okoboji upped the defensive pressure and tied the game at 18018, but a basket by Peyton Oleson returned the lead to North Union. Okoboji got the lead back, with North Union taking its last lead at 23-22 after a free throw by Alexis Valvick. But the Pioneers got the last shot and led 25-23 at the break.
Okoboji then opened the third quarter with an 6-0 run. After a basket by North Union's Sarah Rolling ended that run, the Pioneers' Shaelyn Adams and Abby Taylor both knocked in 3-pointers to extend the lead to 10, 35-25.
A 3-pointer by Rolling with about a minute left in the quarter cut the deficit to seven, 39-32, but the Pioneers scored the next five points to lead 44-32 to start the final frame.
North Union tried to battle back in the final frame. Valvick and Aurora Oliver both hit 3-pointers early in the period and two free throws by Rolling cut the deficit to seven, 47-40 with 4:50 remaining. The teams continued to exchange baskets until an Oliver's second 3-pointer cut the deficit to six with 2:13 remaining. A steal by Oliver led to a layup by Madison Bollig as North Union got within four, 53-49.
But Okoboji was able to break North Union's pressure for a couple easy layups and get to the free throw line where they had pushed the lead back to 10, 59-49, with just over a minute left in the game.
Rolling led the Warriors with 19 points, four rebounds and two steals. Valvick and Oliver each finished with 12 points. Oleson, Bollig and Dena Looft each had two points and Madison Irmiter had one.
Megan Peschong led Okoboji with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Darby Jones contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.