- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Audrey Faber scored 19 of her 26 points in the second half and No. 5 Dowling Catholic fended off No. 9 Southeast Polk 66-55 on Saturday night for the Class 5A championship.

Dowling Catholic (23-3) reversed the outcome of last year’s title game, won 43-34 by Southeast Polk, and claimed its fifth state title.

Luci Sarcone added 14 points and nine rebounds for Dowling Catholic and Hayden Butler scored 11 points.

Becca Hittner finished with five points but was named captain of the all-tournament team.

Sierra Mitchell came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers for Southeast Polk. She led the Rams (18-7) with 12 points.

Aside from Mitchell, the 3-point shooting that had carried Southeast Polk in the first two rounds of the tournament wasn’t there. The Rams finished 8-for-27 from long range after knocking down 19 3s in 43 attempts in their first two games at Wells Fargo Arena.

Annie Penquite and Allee Ira each scored 10 points for Southeast Polk and Abby Penquite had eight. The Penquites combined to go just 3-for-15 from 3-point range.

Dowling was so balanced that all five starters scored in the game’s first 5 1/2 minutes. Despite its shooting woes, Southeast Polk rallied from a 12-point deficit to trail 30-25 at halftime, and Penquite started the second half with a 3-pointer to pull the Rams to within two points.

But Dowling countered with a 10-2 run in which four different players scored. That made it 40-30 - and the Rams never got closer than six the rest of the way.

The two teams had reached the finals by combining to knock off the top four teams in the state rankings.

Dowling beat No. 4 Waukee and top-ranked Iowa City High. Southeast Polk advanced with victories over No. 2 West Des Moines Valley and No. 3 Waterloo West.

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