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(Harlan) For the first  time since 1995 the Harlan girls basketball team will play for a state championship. The Cyclones moved on to the championship game with a 41-36 win over Waverly-Shell Rock.


The Cyclones have down 3rd ranked Benton Community and now 2nd ranked Waverly-Shell Rock on their way to the state finals matchup with #5 Cedar Rapids Xavier. In Thursday's semi-final win the Cyclones led for most of the second half, but saw Waverly-Shell Rock make a game of it in the final minutes.


Liz Riessen hit a big three for Harlan to give them a 37-34 advantage late. It was the senior's lone made field goal in the game, but it was a very important one. Taylor Wagner sunk three free-throws in the fourth including a free-throw with 3.5 seconds left to put the game away. The sophomore was Harlan's only double-digit scorer with 13. Jess Schaben's shot blocking and rebounding ability impacted the game in a major way. She had seven rebounds and four blocks.


Harlan improves to 23-2 on the season and will play 16-9 Cedar Rapids Xavier Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. CR, Xavier advanced to the Class  4A title game with an upset over#1 ranked Bishop Heelan Catholic.

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