The defending champion in class 3A advanced Tuesday night at the boys state basketball tournament. Top ranked Harlan wasted little time in taking control of its opening round game against Albia. The Cyclones roared out to an 18-7 lead at the end of one and crushed Albia 76-30.
Harlan coach Mitch Osborn says tournament experience was a big advantage for his team. Osborn says they’ve played in some large venues and that helps you prepare for the state tournament. Albia was making its first state tournament appearance in 40 years. Blue Demons coach Kevin Archer says the score could have been better, but he says Harlan is "an awful good team." Archer says he told his team their heart was in the right place, but at times their head wasn’t.
Fourth ranked Sioux City Heelan shot 59 percent in the opening half to build an 11 point lead and the Crusaders went on to post a 67-54 win over ninth ranked Central DeWitt in a class 3A quarterfinal round game. Clint Sargent led Heelan with 27 points, including 12 of 17 from the foul line. He says you don’t get the opportunity that often, so he wanted to be a leader and a good teammate.
Central DeWitt had won 13 of 14 games coming into the tournament and closes the season with a record of 19-6. Sabers coach George Pickup says it was a tough draw and he says seeing them on film didn’t do justice to how good they were.
Nick Wagner scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the opening half of play as Grinnell stunned third ranked Carroll 54-47 handing the Tigers their second loss of the season in another 3A quarterfinal. Grinnell held off Carroll’s comeback bid despite hitting only 14 of 29 free throws. He says beating a team that’s 23-1 is a pretty good accomplishment.The 3A opening round concludes at noon today as eighth rated Waverly-Shellrock rock takes on Pella.
Tri-Center (Neola) squandered a 13 point fourth quarter lead then got a key three pointer from Monte Larsen in the second overtime to edge Hampton-Dumont 68-64 in a class 2A quarterfinal. Larsen’s fifth three pointer gave the Trojans the lead for good with just under a minute remaining in the second overtime. He admits there were times when he thought they were in trouble. Larson says the first overtime when they were down by six he was really scared then.
Hampton-Dumont forward Kyle DeBoer who finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Tri-Center’s Kurt Spomer led all scorers with 30 points though he struggled from the floor and made only 8 of 30 shots. A late season run has carried Mid-Prairie into the class 2A semifinals. After sitting at 9-10 late in the season the Golden Hawks have ripped off seven straight wins, the latest a 57-44 victory over Garner-Hayfield in a quarterfinal round contest. A 10-0 run that started midway through the third quarter was the biggest factor in the outcome.
Trailing 31-29, the Golden Hawks went on a 10-0 run to take control of the game. Junior forward Darian Patterson finished with 16 points and ten rebounds. Mid-Prairie was able to slow Garner-Hayfield down. The Cardinals entered the tournament averaging nearly 70 points per game.