Friday night’s 1A championship will featured the defending champion against the state’s top ranked team. Fifth ranked Cedar Falls NU High made only three of 14 shots in the second half but played well enough in the second half to post a 42-38 win over seventh ranked Laurens-Marathon 42-38 in the semifinals.
Tannker Cooke was one of three Panthers to finish with eight points, and says the shots were definitely not falling. He says they were doing everything they could to get shots and they take pride in their defensive play and the way it helps the offense.
NU High coach Paul Elser says the Panther’s struggle against the Chargers pressure defense. Elser says the 24 turnovers could be the most they had in one game. He says Laurens-Marathon gets the credit for making it tough and playing scrappy defense. Elser says they are back in the title game and it doesn’t matter what the win looked like.
Laurens-Marathon rallied in the third quarter after trailing by ten at the half. They fall to 21-3. Chargers coach Matt Winter says he’s as proud of the players today as he was the first day of practice, and says the kids have been good on the court and off.
Number-one Rock Valley got 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists from 6-9 junior Marcus Heemstra to down third rated Iowa Mennonite 61-54. Heemstra says they knew it would be a fight and says they didn’t have a great first half, but had a really good second half.
After trailing by three at the half the Rockets outscored IMS 16-7 in the third quarter. Heemstra says they got out and played great defense and pushed the ball on offense and got a lot of easy layups.
Iowa Mennonite would not overcome Rock Valley’s size advantage and was outrebounded 34 to 24. Coach Dwight Gingrich says he’s real proud of the effort as the team gave it everything they had.