The third time wasn't a charm for the Meskwaki Settlement's girls basketball squad.
On Monday, the Warriors faced Colo-NESCO for the third time this season. The first two contests were split, with the Warriors winning the early season contest and the Royals taking the Feb. 5 game. This third one was for all the marbles and a berth to the Class 1A Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament.
The seventh-ranked Royals blasted the No. 9 Warriors, 57-36, at Newton Senior High School in the Class 1A Region 5 finals. It's the eighth time the Royals have made the state tournament.
Meskwaki's season ended with a 20-5 record and three of those losses came during the final five games. The Warriors improved from a 10-12 season a year ago.
Meanwhile, it was the 17th-straight win for the Royals, who will take a 23-2 record into the state tournament. The only two losses came to Class 2A No. 8 West Marshall in the first game of the season and to these same Warriors back on Dec. 11 - the last time the Royals suffered defeat.
Meskwaki Settlement beat Colo-NESCO 62-57 on that night, but the Royals returned the favor earlier this month on the Warriors' homecourt. Monday's game was nowhere near as close as the previous two meetings.
The Royals dominated the paint, scoring 38 points inside Monday night. They also didn't make a three-pointer the entire contest.
Turnovers and missed shots doomed the Warriors all night long. Dia Keahna led the Warriors with 20 points in her final game. No other Warrior scored more than six points.
The Royals led 14-9 after one quarter and used an 8-0 run to push the lead to 20-9 early in the second. That was the largest lead of the half for the Royals as they led by 10 at the break.
Colo-NESCO outscored the Warriors 13-4 in the third quarter. The Royals extended their lead to 38-19 heading into the final period. The Royals maintained a large lead in the fourth quarter. The advantage got as big as 23 points. They made 11 free throws in the final frame to clinch the win.