Posts Tagged ‘ally disterhoft’

Five months. Three state titles.

And in three of the largest sports, no less.

For high schools around the country, athletics can be an important aspect of the overall experience. From the athletes to the coaches to fellow students and fans, it can become a big ordeal.

So that’s why when a school wins a state championship, the school takes pride in that success and finds a newfound support following that particular’s sports victory.

Or how about three state titles? Now that, is rare. A rarity that Iowa City West triumphed.

Within the last several months, West High athletics has been dominate — there is no other way to say it. Volleyball won a state championship. So did the girls basketball team. And add the boys basketball squad to that list as well. Five months, three state titles. Not too shabby.

“It’s an amazing thing when it happens,” girls basketball star Ally Disterhoft said. “West High has been so fortunate this year to have some great athletic teams … I think this year has just been a really special year in general and unlike any other the community or the school has seen before.”

She’s right.

Not many teams have banners hanging within the rafters of their gymnasium recognizing a state championship. But West High has three, and that is just this school year.

Disterhoft added she’s come to appreciate what has been accomplished, and not simply by the girls basketball team she was on.

“I really enjoyed being apart of it and we all feel very thankful that we’ve had such good fortune throughout the year,” she said.

Heading into the school year, the West High boys basketball team had seemingly the highest expectations. The Trojans were runners-up in 2010-11 and head coach Steve Bergman had his team prepped for another deep run into the postseason.

Then, the entire West High community was shaken.

In August, volleyball player and senior Caroline Found died in a moped accident. The volleyball team, coached by the legendary Kathy Bresnahan (537-159 in her 20 seasons at the helm), went on to win the state championship, albeit a bittersweet one. Bresnahan, who was not available for comment to Johnson County Sports, was named National Coach of the Year for her efforts.

“The most amazing story is volleyball and how that all unfolded,” Bergman said. “I don’t think most people would have picked us to win after some of the things that happened, and I think that’s carried over into everything else.”

Girls basketball head coach BJ Mayer agreed with Bergman’s sentiments.

Following volleyball’s triumph through a tragic situation, the basketball teams kept West High’s athletic profile on top.

Led by juniors Dondre Alexander and Jeremy Morgan — who expressed their emotions via Twitter a lot during the season — the boys squad went undefeated on its way to winning the Class 4A state title. Alexander and Morgan averaged 16 and 14.8 points per game, respectively.

Disterhoft helped lead the girls team, as the Women of Troy went 23-1 on their way to winning state.

“I wouldn’t have bet money ahead of time for us [to win the state championship], but it was plausible after the way volleyball unfolded the way it did,” Bergman said. “It was simply a great year all around.”

While West has had immense success athletically this school year, Bergman said that doesn’t necessarily transition to the entire school as a whole. He added that some students don’t know that he’s the basketball coach — Bergman has coached the Trojans for three-plus decades.

But the success has permeated into other aspects of prep school life. West has also had notable achievements in music, theatre, and in academia throughout this 2011-12 school session.

“We’re a very well balanced school, and I think that has shown up a lot this year,” Bergman said. “We have really strong drama, music, athletics, speech and debate, and the whole thing. I don’t think athletics drives the school, but the kids we have that show up are very supportive.

“I think it’s built up this year. No question.”

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(West High guard Ally Disterhoft — Photo credit to The [Cedar Rapids] Gazette)

Ally Disterhoft learned a lot from winning a state title.

Cohesiveness. Comaradarie. The ability to adapt. The ability to respond.

Disterhoft, who committed to play collegiately at Iowa last month, helped lead the Women of Troy (23-1) to the Class 4A girls basketball state title.

In this brief interview, Disterhoft reflects on the past few of months, specifically on West High securing state titles in not one or even two, but three sports.

Iowa City West junior Ally Disterhoft committed to the University of Iowa last Monday.

Disterhoft is the second verbal commit for the Hawkeyes in the class of 2013. She had multiple offers from Division-I programs, including Iowa State.

A 6-foot guard, Disterhoft averaged 16.8 points per game last season for the Women of Troy as they won the Class 4A state championship. She earned first team All-State honors for her performances throughout the season and also helped lead West to a runner-up finish at state last year as a sophomore.

There is still a way to go before Disterhoft even steps onto the court in a Hawkeye uniform, but she figures to fit in well.

Head coach Lisa Bluder and her staff have relied on a lot of the offensive production to the perimeter, as Iowa’s bread-and-butter has become shooting 3-pointers. Disterhoft is proficient from beyond the arc; she shot 40.8 percent from that range this past season West.

While it’s an adjustment for any prep player to succeed at the same rate as a collegiate player, Iowa will have a combination of guards and forwards that will be versatile and pass-first oriented when Disterhoft dons the Black and Gold (see: Sam Logic, who was a first-team all-Big Ten freshman this winter).

The Hawkeyes will continue to rely on those 3s, and Bluder will be able to depend on Disterhoft some of those times. At first glance, it seems like a good coup for both parties.

State champs.

The Iowa City West girls basketball team defeated Ankeny on Saturday, 61-56, to win the Class 4A state championship.

After following a second place finish in Des Moines last season, the Women of Troy got some payback in 2012. Head coach B.J. Mayer’s squad was heavily-favored since the beginning of the year, and West proved it was worthy of the high standard throughout the season.

The Women of Troy finished the season 25-1 while Ankeny concluded its campaign at 22-4.

Senior Tatum Klein led West with 17 points, including three 3-pointers — one of which tied the score with 18 second remaining in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. Junior Ally Disterhoft had 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Shelly Stumpf added 16.

For Ankeny, star player Maddie Manning scored 24 points. Manning is going to Division-I Oklahoma in the fall.

West led by as many 12 points at one stage in the game, but Ankeny kept fighting back.

But the Women of Troy held strong all the way to the buzzer. Just like they had many times before this season.

Looking ahead, don’t be surprised if West produces similar success in the 2012-12 season. Disterhoft — who is expected to get a flurry of scholarship offers this fall — returns, as well as others.

For now, though, West will enjoy this one.

“It’s amazing – these seniors have been great,” Disterhoft told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. “We’re all like sisters. We wanted to do this for them, send them out on a good note. It’s been a blast playing with them and I’ll really miss them, but this is a great way to end the season. Nothing better.”