The favorites advanced in class 1A during the opening day of the boys state basketball tournament. Defending champion Rock Valley is headed back to the class 1A semifinals. The #2 Rockets got 23 points from Nic Bakker and a triple-double from Marcus Heemstra in an 86-67 win over eighth ranked Council Bluffs St. Albert.

Heemstra scored 16 points and also added 10 rebounds and 12 assists.Heemstra says the Rockets were not looking ahead to a possible rematch of last year’s title game against NU High. He says they don’t look past anybody and he says St. Albert played really, really well.

Rock Valley took control by outscoring the Falcons 25-15 in the third quarter. St. Albert coach Dale Scott says the high-low offense hurt them and they couldn’t force any turnovers. The Falcons finish the season with a record of 18-5.

The NU High Panthers jumped out to a 32-10 lead at the half and rolled past Coon Rapids-Bayard 72-29 in the tournament opener. Panther coach Paul Elser who says the Panthers were not looking past this game even though they entered as heavy favorites. He says they look for the weaknesses and try to defend them, and he says they have to keep doing that for every game.

Tanner Cooke led the Panthers with 16 points as they improve to 25-1. Coon Rapids-Bayard closes the season with a record of 16-10.

Crusaders coach Cory Meyer says they went from 5-7 to winning 16 games and making the tournament this year, so they have a lot to be proud of.

Lynnville-Sully’s offense got going in the second half and the fifth ranked Hawks pulled away to a 59-43 win over Algona Garrigan. After connecting on just 30% in the opening half the Hawks made 12 of 21 shots in the second quarter.

Lynnville-Sully coach Nick Harthoorn says they were shooting the ball too quickly in the first half and they slowed it down in the second and got some easy baskets.

In the class 2A quarterfinals, Calamus-Wheatland downed Ankeny Christian 50-39, Caroll Keumper beat Des Moines Christian 65-53 and Western Christian beat Wapsie Valley 53-46.