Top ranked Harlan advanced to the class 3A semifinals at the boys state basketball tournament. Sebior guard A.J. Arkfeld had 19-points, including eight of 10 from the foul line, as the Cyclones held off upset minded Waverly-Shell Rock 53-45. He says it was a good first game as he says his coach always says the first is the toughest to get.
The Cyclones struggled from the field and made only five of 20 from three point range. Arkfeld says said Waverly-Shell Rocks size played a part. He says they couldn’t get any threes up over the zone and had to start driving and kicking the ball out.
Waverly-Shell Rock coach Tom Bardal says his team gave a great effort. Bardal says Harlan’s offensive rebounding hurt them. He says they tried to make it a close game, something Harlan hasn’t had very often. Harlan improves to 25-0. The Go-Hawks end their season with a record of 14-11.
Crestwood scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to get within two of fourth rated Grinnell but from there the Tigers took command in a 72-54 victory. Nick Wagner led a balanced Grinnell attack with 15 points.
Coach Scott Sharp says that’s the story of their season, anyone can score and they may be quiet for awhile, but they then will score a bunch of points. It is Grinnell’s first victory at the tournament since 1986. Sharp says he feels good for the kids and the community and he says winning the first game is big.
Grinnell finished eight of 17 from three point range while Crestwood was just two of 21. Cadets coach Lynn McCormick says they just didn’t shoot the ball very well, while Grinnell shot well from the outside.
Seventh ranked Creston raced away from Washington in the third quarter on the strength of a 19-6 run and the Panthers cruised to a 63-48 win to earn a spot in the 3A semifinals. G.G. Harris led Creston with 14 points, guard Trevor Conner added 13 to go along with three assists and two steals. He says they put on the press in the third quarter and got a couple of fouls and gained the momentum.
Conner says defense helped them take control in the third quarter. He says they take great pride in their defense and says some days they don’t even pick up a basketball in practice.
Washington coach Bryce Smeins says Creston’s state tournament experience showed as they guarded very well and made it tough to score on their defense. The Demons end the season 18-6. Creston improves to 22-3.