The class 3A quarterfinals highlighted Tuesday’s action at the boys’ state basketball tournament. Ballard of Huxley doesn’t have a player over six foot-one, but downed Creston 50-43. It was another strong defensive effort for Ballard which is yielding only 50-points per game. Ballard guard Kam Klaver who finished with 16-points, says they know that defense is the key to winning. The Bombers held on to their lead throughout the fourth quarter and put the game away at the foul line. Creston ends the season with a record of 19-7. Panthers coach James Calkins says it’s not where they wanted the season to end, but it’s the venue they wanted to end in. Last year’s runner-up and top ranked Crestwood outscored Cedar Rapids Xavier 21-13 in the final quarter enroute to a 57-49 win. Kyle McCarville led four Cadets in double figures with 19-points and says after finishing as the runner-up last year they came into the tournament with confidence. He says everyone is more relaxed this year with the experience of last year under their belts. The game was tied at 36 at the ende of three before the Cadets scored 21 points in the final frame. McCarville says their goal is to wear teams down in the fourth quarter, so they weren’t worried about being down.Xavier and coach Dick Breitbach were looking for their first win at the tournament. He says the last two years they’ve made it to the tourney, but says they have more things to do to ensure they win once the get to the tourney.Breitbach says Crestwood got too many easy baskets when the game was on the line. Payton Reynolds led Xavier with 15 points. In the class 2A quarterfinals Unity Christian opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run then held off a late rally by Dyersville Beckman for a 56-50 win. It was not pretty according to Unity coach Barry Miedema but it was a win, so he says they get to play another game and “that’s a good thing.” Nick Olberding led Beckman with 17-points. The Blazers finish the season 20-6. Beckman coach Dan Correy says Unity got some of the breaks and his team didn’t despite holding them below their scoring average. He says they’re a great team that’s well coached.
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