Nicole Buch, Iowa Barnstormers place seventh at national tourney
CINCINNATI – The Iowa Barnstormers, an AAU seventh grade girls basketball team, competed in the National AAU Championships July 12-17 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it placed seventh in the nation.
Nicole Buch of Fairfield is one of the 10 girls on the team. She is the daughter of Jeff and Sue Buch and attends Fairfield Middle School. The Iowa Barnstormers qualified for the Division 1 bracket and competed against 64 teams from across the United States. Opening ceremonies were held at Xavier University.
The Barnstormers scored early wins against California, Dayton (Ohio) and Alabama to advance to the Sweet 16. The team from Iowa then defeated Minnesota for a berth in the Elite Eight.
The Lady Stormers then matched up against the Missouri Magic for a chance to go to the Final Four. The Lady Stormers dominated the first half, building a 21-point lead at half-time. However, the Magic worked their magic to come back and defeat the Barnstormers by a single point on a last-second shot.
The Barnstormers later defeated Missouri in a consolation game to give themselves a seventh place rating in the United States. Iowa ended the tournament with a 5-2 record. Both of its losses were by one point.
The girls’ trip to Cincinnati also included a stop at King’s Island, an amusement and water park located 24 miles from the city.
Todd Rogers of Mediapolis is the head coach of the Barnstormers. The girls on the team are selected on the basis of tryouts.
The rest of the team consists of Grace Berg (Indianola), Kiana Barney (Cedar Falls), Madie Sorensen (Adair), Kamryn Finley (Marion), Tatum Koenig (West Liberty), Allie Woolridge (Center Point), Mary Crompton (Iowa City), Mackenzie Rogers (Mediapolis) and Olivia Hellweg (Cedar Rapids).