- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Jess Schaben scored 24 points with nine rebounds and top-ranked Harlan held on in the final 2 minutes to beat No. 8 Western Dubuque 55-51 Saturday night and win the Class 4A state title.

Harlan (26-0) steadied after letting a 13-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter and claimed the basketball title to go with the 4A volleyball championship the Cyclones won in November.

Schaben, a 6-foot-2 junior who has committed to Iowa State for volleyball, made 10 of her 11 shots. She also blocked two shots and handed out an assist.

Rose Simon-Ressler and Megan Maahs led Western Dubuque (23-3) with 12 points each.

Zoey Weber scored nine for the Bobcats, whose rally fell short after they trailed 46-33 early in the fourth quarter.

Like its first two victories at state, which Harlan won by a total of five points, this one wasn’t easy.

Jordyn Moser’s 3-pointer capped a 12-2 run that gave Harlan its 13-point lead with 6:43 left. A little more than 5 minutes later, the Cyclones found themselves in a 50-all tie.

But the Cyclones did just enough after that to pull it out and erase the sting of their 53-52 loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier in last year’s title game.

Harlan worked an inbounds play from the sideline to get a layup for Schaben that broke the tie with 1:13 remaining. After Maahs’ free throw brought Western Dubuque to within a point, the Cyclones made three of four at the line to stay ahead.

Schaben, voted captain of the all-tournament team, helped by rebounding Western Dubuque’s final two misses.

Taylor Frederick added eight points for Harlan and Elle Kloewer scored six, including two free throws that made it 54-51.

Harlan finished with a 26-10 edge in points in the paint and had assists on 17 of its 20 field goals, with Kloewe handing out five and Jordyn Moser six.

Western Dubuque’s Molly Lembezeder hit a 3-pointer and sank two free throws to tie it at 50 with 1:23 remaining. But Harlan followed with the quick Schaben basket and the Bobcats never got the lead.

Western Dubuque made the tournament for the first time since winning the five-player championship in 1987.


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