KEOSAUQUA — Isabel Manning was so determined that she was going to win, that there was enough time remaining in the game for her Van Buren County Warriors to catch up that she did not even realize she had fouled out of the last game of her high school basketball career Friday. Manning put on an incredible performance in the second half trying to rally her team in a Class 2A regional semifinal but Iowa City Regina prevailed 54-45.
The last 1 minute, 3 seconds of the game was delayed due to Regals assistant coach Mark Besler collapsing just as a timeout had been called. He was administered CPR until the ambulance came and is recovering at a hospital after he was airlifted out.
Manning had nine of her team’s points in the first quarter, which ended 14-13 for the visitors. She had all four second-quarter points and the Warrior defense allowed just four. She had seven of the 10 third quarter points.
“What an outstanding player,” Regina coach Mary Halvorsen said. “We just fought hard and did what we could and luckily we made more than they did.”
Ella Jirak scored the last three Warriors points of the third and the first two of the fourth but the Regals scored 14 during that time to build a 40-29 lead with over 6 minutes remaining. Zoe Best had four points and Jaelyn Boly two for Van Buren.
Manning scored the final 16 points for VBC, many on drives to the baseline, then a fadeaway jumper would swish, but the Regals (12-7) were 10-for-14 at the foul line to maintain the lead.
“She’s the best player in 2A,” VBC head coach Matt Zeitler said. “But you see what she has to do. This team overachieved. It’s been the most fun I’ve had coaching. I’m proud of this whole bunch.”
The whole bunch had hugs for Manning, who finished with 34 points, as she left the court and Zeitler got an extended one. “It was a good one. She’s a great one.”
Regina plays No. 3 West Branch (19-1) Wednesday at Williamsburg for a berth in the state tournament.