Following one of her four steals, Abigail Milburn (13) sprints toward the hoop for two of her team-high 18 points Wednesday night with a pair of Charles City players in pursuit. Also pictured for Decorah are Bryar Duwe (25) and Kylah Quandahl (11) (Photo by Becky Walz)
Following one of her four steals, Abigail Milburn (13) sprints toward the hoop for two of her team-high 18 points Wednesday night with a pair of Charles City players in pursuit. Also pictured for Decorah are Bryar Duwe (25) and Kylah Quandahl (11) (Photo by Becky Walz)

The Decorah girls’ basketball team (12-10) fell to No. 9 Cedar Rapids Xavier (15-7) in the regional playoffs Saturday, Feb. 22, ending its 2019-2020 season in the Class 4A regional semifinals.

The Saints advanced to the finals today, Tuesday, Feb. 25, versus No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock (19-2) in Waverly.


Final home game

The Vikings opened the postseason Wednesday in the regional quarterfinals at home against Charles City (5-17). It was a thrill for the home crowd as Decorah won, 60-49.

Despite scoring first, Decorah trailed 8-7 at the 3:54 mark, but that would be the only deficit, as the Vikings went on to control the tempo in the first quarter to lead, 19-11. 

A Bryar Duwe trey doubled up the Comets score within the first 20 seconds of the second frame. However, Charles City stormed back with an 8-0 run which included two three-pointers to pull back to 22-19. Dropping in two more balls from beyond the arc, the Comets eventually trailed by just one, 26-25, with 50 ticks before halftime. Spurred on with buckets by Abigail Milburn and Emma Nierengarten, Decorah managed to pull ahead 30-25 at the break.

In the second half, Decorah put up the first three quick baskets to lead, 36-25 with 6:01 remaining. From there the two NEIC squads traded baskets down the stretch, ending the third period with a 42-35 Viking advantage. 

The final period belonged to Decorah as the Vikings continued to extend its lead with 14 of their 18 points coming from the free throw line to get the win.

“This was a great game to begin regional play. Charles City played an outstanding game and executed their game plan well. We have continued to improve with each game throughout the season and are playing our best basketball,” said Coach Shannon Quandahl.

Abigail Milburn led the team with 18 points. Bryar Duwe produced 16 points. With 10 points apiece were Emma Nierengarten and Haley Gossman, while Kylah Quandahl came through with six.

Regional semifinal

Decorah was never in contention against the Saints Saturday night, as the latter held a 21-4 lead after the first eight minutes. Xavier further extended its lead to 35-6 at the halfway mark and continued to keep the Vikings in single digits in the second half as well. The Saints outscored Decorah 27-12 in the second half to advance to the regional final.

“We had a great season and continued to improve with each game,” said Coach Quandahl. “Unfortunately, our season came to an end Saturday night — much sooner than we had hoped, but I am proud of our team and their accomplishments this season.”

Four Vikings put points on the board with five each coming from Abigail Milburn and Bryar Duwe. Providing four apiece were Emma Nierengarten and Haley Gossman.