Northwood-Kenset built enough of a cushion to hold on against Iowa Mennonite. The Vikings took the lead for good by outscoring IMS 16-7 in the third quarter then held off a late rally for a 47-44 victory and the class 1A championship.
Viking’s Cody Hanson says they knew IMS would make a run, but he says they knew they would win. Hanson finished with nine points and six rebounds while being name the captain of the all tournament team. It is the first state title for the Vikings and coach Mart Cotter. Cotter says it’s unbelievable, as there are so many players and coaches who don’t even get to the championship game.
Northwood-Kensett survived a first half drought that saw them score one basket over an eight minute stretch but they only trailed by five. IMS coach Dwight Gingerich says they had a lack of execution, which may’ve been nerves, but they just couldn’t find their way.
Next year is now for Western Christian. A young team that got better as the season went along capped off a 2A state championship with a 67-62 win over Mid-Prairie. That’s Western coach Jim Eekhoff. The game was close the entire way and the biggest lead for either team was seven points. Eekhoff says his team knew they’d have a battle, and it was throughout the game.
The loss snapped an eight game winning streak for the Golden Hawks. Mid-Prairie coach Don Showalter says you have to give his kids credit for the heart and desire they showed. Showalter says he couldn’t be prouder of his team. He says they’re not happy to lose, but are proud of going out the way they did.