Archive for March, 2009

INA all-state boys basketball 2009

March 17, 2009

DES MOINES — The question was posed to Coach Brad Randall in the moments following Solon’s win over Pella Christian in the Class 2A state championship game.

Something about Matt Morrison being a quarterback who also happened to play point guard.

“I prefer to think of him as a point guard who also happens to play quarterback,” Randall quipped.

Point guard. Quarterback. Morrison just wins, baby.

The captain of the all-tournament team after Solon wrapped up a 28-0 season, Morrison joins teammate Tucker Wentzien on the Iowa Newspaper Association 2A boys’ basketball all-state first team.

Sportswriters selected the teams Saturday.

Other Gazette-area first-team picks are Zach Bohannon of Linn-Mar (4A), Amry Shelby of Marion (3A) and Jesse Ney of Iowa Mennonite and Tyler Wedemeier of West Central (1A).

University of Iowa signee Brennan Cougill of 3A champion Sioux City Heelan is Mr. Iowa Basketball 2009. A 6-foot-9 center, Cougill posted 17.8 points and 13.7 rebounds per game as the Crusaders finished 25-2.

Morrison is the common denominator behind Solon’s historical year in boys’ athletics. The Spartans became the first 2A school to sweep the football and basketball titles in one school year.

“It’s just awesome,” Morrison said Saturday. “Basketball is my main sport, and to reach the top, you can’t ask for anything more. It’s just spectacular.”

Morrison was more than spectacular in the Solon’s 83-80 double-overtime win over Western Christian in the semifinals. He exploded for 34 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer.

The Northern Iowa signee averaged 17 points, 4.9 assists and 4.9 steals.

Wentzien, a 6-7 post, added 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Bohannon helped Linn-Mar advance to the state tournament for the sixth straight year — the Lions (23-3) were 4A runners-up to Ames.

An Air Force Academy recruit, the 6-7 forward averaged 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and led the team in assists and steals while shooting 57 percent from the floor and 84 percent from the line.

Shelby helped Marion (20-5) advance to state for the first time since 1952; the Indians fell to Carroll, 56-55, in the quarterfinals.

Shelby averaged 24.1 points per game, including 41 in the Indians’ substate win over Mount Pleasant. He shot 54 percent from the floor, better than 40 percent from 3-point rage.

Ney helped push IMS to state for the fourth time in six years. It placed third to cap a 26-2 campaign.

A 6-4 forward, Ney averaged 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He was an all-tournament selection.

Wedemeier (6-8, senior) averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game and shot 65 percent from the floor.

West Central finished 19-5.


First Team

Zach Bohannon, 6-7, sr., Linn-Mar

Reece Uhlenhopp, 6-7, sr., Urbandale

Seth Van Deest, 6-9, sr., Bettendorf

Harrison Barnes, 6-6, jr., Ames

Hal Bateman, 5-8, sr., Davenport Central

Jordan Gentry, 6-0, sr., Sioux City East

Chanse Creekmur, 6-6, jr., Marshalltown

Kody Ingle, 6-2, jr., Southeast Polk

Second Team

Tyler Lange, 6-6, sr., Urbandale

Doug McDermott, 6-7, jr., Ames

Gabe Knutson, 6-8, sr., Waukee

Wesley Staten, 6-1, fr., Sioux City West

Jake Hughes, 6-1, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Nate Hutcheson, 6-7, sr., Linn-Mar

Jaron Nash, 6-7, sr., Waterloo East

Alex Walker, 6-6, sr., Sioux City North

Third Team

Kennan Davis, 6-3, sr., Cedar Rapids Washington

John Lindstrom, 6-3, sr., Pleasant Valley

Malcolm Moore, 6-7, sr., Iowa City High

Taylor Bontrager, 6-0, jr., Iowa City West

Josh Lenz, 6-1, sr., Dubuque Hempstead

Taylor Pollow, 6-0, sr., Sioux City East

Chad Underwood, 6-4, sr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Brandon Voss, 5-10, soph., North Scott


First Team

Brennan Cougill, 6-9, sr., Sioux City Heelan (Mr. Iowa Basketball 2009)

Alex Dorr, 6-7, sr., Norwalk

Wes Nordquist, 6-5, sr., Adel ADM

Eric May, 6-5, sr., Dubuque Wahlert

Amry Shelby, 5-10, sr., Marion

Tyler Putz, 6-0, jr., Forest City

Zach McCabe, 6-7, jr., Sioux City Heelan

Michael Murphy, 5-10, sr., Crestwood

Second Team

Jacey Hoegh, 6-4, sr., Atlantic

Daniel Van Kalsbeek, 6-6, sr., MOC-Floyd Valley

Levi Montague, 6-4, sr., Benton Community

Casey Kasperbauer, 6-0, fr., Carroll

Chad Malloy, 6-0, jr., Williamsburg

Michael Kaufman, 5-10, jr., Harlan

Kirk Korver, 6-7, sr., Pella

Grant Wood, 6-4, sr., Creston

Third Team

Jordan Moore, 6-8, sr., New Hampton

Alex Novak, 6-8, sr., Clear Creek-Amana

Nathan Buss, 6-7, jr., Charles City

Eric Jesse, 6-1, sr., Union

Jacob Peterson, 6-2, sr., Norwalk

Kasey Bass, 6-1, sr., Ballard

Blake Haluska, 6-5, jr., Carroll

Sam Elgin, 6-5, sr., Center Point-Urbana


First Team

John Engler, 6-5, sr., Fort Dodge St. Edmond

Eli Groenendyk, 6-5, sr., Pella Christian

Tucker Wentzien, 6-7, sr., Solon

Matt Morrison, 6-0, sr., Solon

Cliff Warner, 5-11, sr., Pella Christian

Trevor Wolterstorff, 6-5, sr., Western Christian

Shawn Keizer, 6-4, sr., Western Christian

Branden Stubbs, 6-2, jr., Des Moines Christian

Second Team

Brett Bengen, 6-4, sr., Gladbrook-Reinbeck

Nick Stromer, 6-4, sr., Garner-Hayfield

Cy Williams, 6-6, sr., Clarinda

Brett Azinger, 6-1, sr., Central Lee

Jason Ostrander, 6-5, sr., Jefferson-Scranton

Jake Shipley, 6-7, sr., West Marshall

Matt Huseman, 6-6, sr., East Sac County

Matt Waters, 6-0, sr., Council Bluffs St. Albert

Third Team

Tommy Yackle, 6-5, jr., Eagle Grove

Zach Brehmer, 5-10, jr., Panorama

Cody Millikin, 6-2, sr., Pekin

Ryan Hoekstra, 6-4, sr., Unity Christian

Matthew Roberts, 5-10, jr., Davis County

Scott Benson, 6-3, sr., Gladbrook-Reinbeck

Joey Flattery, 6-4, sr., Fort Dodge St. Edmond

Trevor Hook, 6-5, jr., Grundy Center


First Team

Jordan Dykstra, 6-9, jr. Rock Valley

Marcus Heemstra, 6-9, jr., Rock Valley

Tyler Betz, 6-4, sr., Ventura

Jesse Ney, 6-4, sr., Iowa Mennonite

Zach Leeper, 6-4, sr., Adair-Casey

Tory McDowell, 6-1, sr., Ackley AGWSR

Tyler Wedemeier, 6-8, sr., West Central

Ryan Powers, NA, jr., Calamus-Wheatland

Second Team

Colt Robinson, 6-4, sr., Dunkerton

Ryan Focht, 6-5, sr., Villisca

Eddie Diemer, 6-6, jr., Cedar Falls NU High

Michael Webb, 5-10, sr., Corning

Brandon Wood, 6-1, jr., Rockford

Chris Kirk, 6-2, sr., Burlington Notre Dame

Josh VanderMaten, 6-1, jr., Boyden-Hull

Ryan Stumbo, 6-3, sr., Laurens-Marathon

Third Team

Scott Blome,  6-6, sr., HLV

Josh Harris, 6-5, sr., Adair-Casey

Michael Otken, 6-4, sr., Akron-Westfield

Austin Vande Vegte, 6-4, sr., Rock Valley

T.J. Van Dyke, 6-1, jr., Madrid

Wyatt Hanus, 6-2, sr., North Tama

Tim Schweitzer, 6-6, jr., Bedford

Brady Oldag, 6-6, sr., Preston




INA all-state: Here at 12:01 a.m.

March 16, 2009

Iowa Newspaper Association all-state boys’ basketball teams will be in Tuesday’s newspaper.

Or, you can sit up a while tonight and find them here at 12:01 a.m.

Spartans are unbeaten 2A champs

March 14, 2009

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Seasons change. But for the Solon Spartans, the result remains the same.


Top-ranked Solon shook off a slow start and handled No. 4 Pella Christian, 55-41, to capture the Class 2A championship at the boys’ state basketball tournament last night at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Spartans finished 28-0. And that comes on the heels of a 14-0, state-championship season in football.

Solon is the first 2A school to complete the football/basketball sweep in a single school year.

“It’s just a tremendous group of athletes and a tremendous community,” said Spartans Coach Brad Randall. “This will be remembered as a special era in Solon history.”

Matt Morrison was the quarterback on back-to-back championship football teams. Friday, he was named the all-tournament captain.

“This is just awesome,” he said. “Basketball is my main sport. I’ve put so many hours into it.

“To reach the top, I can’t ask for anything more. This is just spectacular.”

Solon was sluggish through the early stages of the game and trailed 16-11 when the Eagles’ Eli Groenendyk nailed a 3-pointer with 4:30 left in the first half.

The Spartans closed the half with a 15-3 rush and led, 26-19, at intermission.

Morrison, who scored 34 points in a captivating double-overtime win over Western Christian in the semifinals Thursday, was scoreless through the first 13 minutes before warming up. He finished with a game-high 15 points.

“I think (the semifinal game) had something to do with (the slow start),” Morrison said. “We just had to get our legs back. We had our legs at the end.”

Solon applied the knockout punch at the beginning of the third quarter, scoring the first seven points. The lead was 33-19, and Pella Christian (26-2) never got closer than 11 again.

Tucker Wentzien posted 10 points and 10 rebounds and joined Morrison on the all-tournament team.

Cody Strang came off the bench to score 10 points, making all five of his field goal tries.

Ben Weeks scored nine points, Ben Bergman added eight points and eight boards.

Solon held the Eagles to 31-percent shooting (15 of 49). And though the Spartans had four more turnovers, they enjoyed a decisive 23-3 advantage in points off turnovers.

“Our defense played really well,” Weeks said. “We thought if we kept the ball out of (Cliff) Warner’s hands and forced them to take jump shots, we would succeed.”

Groenendyk paced Pella Christian with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Bill Nolte added 10 points. Warner was 3-for-14 from the floor and finished with seven points and seven turnovers.

The Spartans will be honored at the high school gymnasium at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Celebrations are common at Solon, but usually in November, not March.

“It’s now a reality that we’re No. 1,” Randall said. “It’s a great, great feeling.”


2A championship: Solon vs. Pella Christian

March 14, 2009

Rock Valley has defeated Cedar Falls NU High, 64-42, for the Class 1A championship.

Next up: the 2A final, Solon (27-0) vs. Pella Christian (26-1). Game time is 8:05. Solon’s bidding to become the first 2A school to sweep football and boys’ basketball in the same school year.

Starters for PC: Warner, Van Zee, Nolte, Gorenendyk, Klyn.

Starters for Solon: Bergman, Stahle, Weeks, Morrison, Wentzien.

8:00 p.m. — It’s time for basketball. Intros and tip forthcoming.

8:08 p.m. — Two scoreless minutes, then Warner hits a 3 for PC.

8:09 p.m. — Weeks gets Solon even with a trey.

8:10 p.m. — Bergman score and foul. FT miss. 5-3 SOL.

8:11 p.m. — Nolte FTs: Good. Good. 5-5. TV timeout. 1st 4:26.

8:14 p.m. — Strang transition, Groenendyk answers. 7-7.

8:16 p.m. — Long Solon possession comes up empty. PC ball. TV timeout. 7-7, 1st 1:51.

8:19 p.m. — Wentzien FTs: Miss. Miss. 0:56 1st.

8:20 p.m. — Groenendyk FTs: Good. Good. PC 9-7.

8:21 p.m. — Weeks drive, then Van Zee in transition. End of 1st. 11-9 PC. No points for Morrison. He had 34 vs. Western Christian.

8:24 p.m. — Strang inside. 11-11.

8:25 p.m. — Warner jumper. PC 13-11.

8:26 p.m. — Timeout Solon. Not a bad idea. Spartans are out of sync.

8:29 p.m. — TV timeout. PC 13-11. 4:45 2nd.

8:31 p.m. — Groenendyk 3. 16-11. Biggest lead of the game.

8:31 p.m. — Bergman scores for Solon. Weeks layup makes it 16-15.

8:34 p.m. — Morrison gets on the board with a 3. 2:45. 18-16 SOL.

8:35 p.m. — Stahle FTs: 1-2. Solon rebound, another rebound, Bergman scores. It’s a 10-0 Solon run.

8:36 p.m. — Groenendyk FTs: 0-2.

8:37 p.m. — Acrobatic Morrison pass leads to Strang basket. PC answers 23-18.

8:38 p.m. — Morrison FTs: 1-2. 24-18.

8:39 p.m. — Morrison steal, layup. 26-18.

8:40 p.m. — Carlson 1-2 FT. 26-19.

8:40 p.m. — Halftime. Solon 26-19. It’s a 15-3 run through the last 4:30.

8:55 p.m. — Ready to resume.

8:57 p.m. — Wentzien steps out and hits a 10-footer. 28-19.

8:58 p.m. — Bergman steal, Morrison layup. 30-19.

9:00 p.m. — TV timeout. Solon 30-19, 4:59 3rd.

9:03 p.m. — Morrison 3, then Nolte 3. 33-22.

9:04 p.m. — Morrison steal leads to FTs for Weeks. Good. Good. 35-22.

9:08 p.m. — Quick trade of hoops. 37-24. Strang is 4-4 from the field for Solon.

9:08 p.m. — TV timeout. 37-24. 1:45 3rd.

9:10 p.m. — Morrison cuts to hoop for basket off inbounds. Groenendyk score and foul. 39-27.

9:11 p.m. — Bergman FTs: Good. Good. 41-27. PC fans are getting cranky.

9:14 p.m. — End of three. 41-27.

9:16 p.m. — Pella Christian’s 9-35 from the field. That’s 25.7 percent. Timeout Solon. 7:18 left, 41-27.

9:19 p.m. — Stahle makes it 43-27.

9:19 p.m. — Nolte 3. 43-30.

9:20 p.m. — Wentzien FTs: No good. But gets 2 rebounds and goes back to the line. This time, Good. Good. 45-30.

9:22. p.m. — Warner for PC. Nolte for PC.  45-34. Strang for Solon. TV timeout. 47-34, 4:50 to go.

9:25 p.m. — Morrison FTs: 1-2. 48-34.

9:26 p.m. — Groenendyk inside. 48-36.

9:26 p.m. — Morrison FTs: 1-2. 49-36. Carlson baseline gets PC within 49-38.

9:28 p.m. — Wentzien dunk. Then Wentzien block.

9:29 p.m. — Wentzien FTs with 2:11 left: Good. Good. 53-38.

9:32 p.m. — Wentzien FTs: 2-2. 55-38.

9:33 p.m. — Final. Solon 55, Pella Christian 41. All-tournament: Wentzien (SOL), Warner (PC), Wolterstorff (Western Christian), Keizer (Western Christian). Captain: Morrison (SOL). Sportsmanship to Western Christian.

9:41 p.m. — That’s a wrap. Story forthcoming.

Paige pushes Linn-Mar to 4A final

March 13, 2009

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — All right, Linn-Mar fans. Loud and in unison. 

“He’s a freshman!” (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap). “He’s a freshman!” (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap).

Marcus Paige scored a career-high 22 points, including 12 in a fourth-quarter rally, as second-ranked Linn-Mar edged No. 3 Bettendorf, 63-60, in a Class 4A semifinal at the boys’ state basketball tournament Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“We kind of rode him down the stretch,” said Lions Coach Chris Robertson. “He’s pretty special. You don’t see many freshmen step up like that on this kind of stage. He carried us on his back.”

It sets up a long-awaited 1-vs.-2 battle for the 4A championship tonight at 8:05. No. 1 Ames (25-0) handled Johnston, 52-39, Friday.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Linn-Mar’s Zach Bohannon. “They’re a great team, but they’re not untouchable.”

Bohannon sat the final 4:56 after drawing his fifth foul, a charge with the game tied.

Bettendorf (21-4) scored the next five points for a 51-46 lead. But the stretch run began to Paige and the Lions.

Paige hit a pair of free throws. Then a 3-pointer. Then a drive to the left side of the basket that resulted in a three-point play.

Finally, two more free throws gave Linn-Mar the lead, 58-57, with 1:23 left.

They didn’t let it go.

Matt Bohannon and Jody Henton combined for 5 of 6 foul shots in the final minute to wrap up the win. Bettendorf’s Brian Bergman missed a 30-footer as the horn sounded.

The Lions prevailed despite torrid shooting by Bettendorf. The Bulldogs connected on 56 percent of their shots, 60 percent in the second half.

It wasn’t enough.

“Sometimes, you’ve just got to give credit to the opponent,” said Bettendorf Coach Kevin Skillett. “Paige was pretty much unstoppable. We didn’t have an answer for him. 

“He’s a freshman!” (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap).

 “I don’t really consider myself a freshman any more,” Paige said. “I consider myself part of a team. The only difference is maturity. I try to do what I do.”

Friday, he did what he does very well. He made 7 of 11 shots from the floor, 7 of 7 from the line.

The Lions converted 19 of 23 foul shots, good for 83 percent.

Zach Bohannon added 15 points. Henton had eight points and 10 rebounds.

Seth Van Deest posted 24 points and 11 rebounds for Bettendorf. George Dexter added 11 points.

The game was tight throughout, with eight lead changes. the largest margin was five points.

Linn-Mar led, 21-16, early in the second quarter before the Bulldogs battled back to take a 29-26 halftime edge.

Bettendorf led by five points on six occasions in the second half, the last at 55-50, before Paige took over.

“He’s got a great career ahead of him,” Zach Bohannon said. “I’m going to tell him what my teammates told me a couple years ago: You might never get another chance. You might as well take advantage of this one.”

4A semifinal: Linn-Mar vs. Bettendorf

March 13, 2009

We’re on track to begin on time, at 3:15 p.m.

The winner plays Harrison Barnes and No. 1 Ames in the championship game at 8:05 p.m. Saturday.

Barnes scored 23 points and Doug McDermott added 11 as Ames handled Johnston, 52-39.

I see the IHSSN, for the second year in a row, is not televising the semis.  This is one place to keep up, especially if you’re outside the signal range of KGYM (1600-AM).

2:50 p.m. — Tip minus 25 minutes. Starters for Bettendorf (21-3): Murray, Bergman, Nedelcoff, Dexter, VanDeest. Starters for Linn-Mar (22-2): Paige, Crawford, Roth, M. Bohannon, Z. Bohannon.

2:51 p.m. — Linn-Mar beat the Bulldogs 53-44 in the first weekend of the season. Here’s my story from the Dec. 6 game.

* * *

MARION — Zach Bohannon’s first 3-pointer was a momentum-shifter. His second was a dagger.
Bohannon accumulated 17 points and nine rebounds as Linn-Mar claimed its second Mississippi Athletic Conference victim in two days, defeating Bettendorf, 53-44, in boys’ basketball last night at Linn-Mar High School.
“It’s a great start for us,” said Lions Coach Chris Robertson. “We’ve beaten two good teams, including one on the road.”
Linn-Mar (2-0) beat Davenport Central on Friday.
“There’s always work to be done,” Bohannon said. “We’re still nowhere close to where we want to be.”
Bettendorf (1-1) cut an 11-point deficit to 34-30 in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Bohannon received a pass near midcourt, then dribbled, faked and swished a 25-footer at the buzzer to restore the lead to seven.
“That shot was huge, for momentum as much as anything,” Robertson said.
Bohannon said, “I wanted the ball in my hands. The guys trusted me and gave me the ball, I threw something up and I guess I got kind of lucky.”
The Lions converted a five-point possession from two youngsters to open the fourth-quarter scoring — sophomore Matt Bohann on nailed a 3-pointer while the Bulldogs committed a foul away from the ball, then freshman Marcus Paige hit a 15-footer to make it 42-30.
Zach Bohannon hit another trey to give the Lions their biggest lead, 49-34, with 3:20 to go.
Nate Hutcheson and Matt Bohannon added 10 points apiece for the Lions. Paige scored eight, all in the second half.
A night after getting beat by Central on the glass, Linn-Mar worked to a 34-23 rebounding advantage.
“That was the No. 1 key for us,” Zach Bohannon said. “We got on the boards early and stuck with it.”
Linn-Mar opens Mississippi Valley Conference play Friday at Dubuque Senior.

* * *

3:13 p.m. — Intros. Nate Hutcheson got the loudest ovation of the Linn-Mar non-starters. He’s in a great sweatsuit.

3:16 p.m. — Z Bohannon makes steal off loose ball after tip. Layup. LM 2-0.

3:18 p.m. — Van Deest inside. 2-2.

3:19 p.m. — Murray baseline jumper. Bett 4-2.

3:20 p.m. — Dexter on give and go; Paige on a drive. 6-4 Bett.

3:21 p.m. — Nedelcoff 2 FTs. 8-4. 4 Bett players have scored.

3:21 p.m. — Paige drive. 8-6 Bett.

3:21 p.m. — Van Deest inside, then Paige 3. 10-9. Dexter scores, then Roth on a drive. 12-11.

3:23 p.m. — Crawford left corner 13-12 LM. Dexter putback gives Bett the lead back. Timeout LM. 1:41 1s

3:25 p.m. — Z. Bohannon inside. LM 15-14, end of 1.

3:27 p.m. — Chuck Schoffner’s sharing his trail mix.

3:28 p.m. — Roth inside. LM 17-14 … biggest lead of game.

3:29 p.m. — Benton jumper, 19-14.

3:30 p.m. — Van Deest scores, then Henton for LM. 21-16.

3:30 p.m. — Tonneson score and foul. Miss FT. 21-18.

3:31 p.m. — Bergman gets Bett within 1. More trail mix. Nedelcoff for 3. Bett 23-21. Putback for Henton. 23-23.

3:34 p.m. — Timeout on the floor. 23-23, 3:42 2nd.

3:36 p.m. — Dexter drives the lane and slams it. 25-23 Bett.

3:37 p.m. — Z Bohannon FTs. Good, Good. 25-25.

3:38 p.m. — Dexter 3 fouls.

3:39 p.m. — Murray 2 straight baskets, acrobatic lefty drive, then steal and layup. Roth FTs: No good. Good. Bett 29-26.

3:41 p.m. — Half. Bett 29-26. Bulldogs shooting 54 pct from the field, LM 46 pct. Dexter leads all scorers with 8. Lots of guys with 6.

3:52 p.m. — Ready to resume.

3:53 p.m. — Lob to Dexter, for the bucket. 31-26.

3:54 p.m. — Z Bohannon on spin. Van Deest counters. Paige from the baseline.  33-30.

3:55 p.m. — Van Deest FTs: Good. Good. 35-30.

3:56 p.m. — Z Bohannon score and foul 35-33.

3:59 p.m. — Dexter FTs. No good. Good. 36-33.

4:00 p.m. — Roth from Z Bohannon. 36-35 Bett.

4:02 p.m. — M Bohannon on drive, give LM the lead 37-36. Van Deest charge, his 3rd. LM crowd gets loud. Timeout Bett.

4:03 p.m. — Paige on a nice move down low. Murray gets caught in the air, throws it  up and in. 39-38.

4:06 p.m. — Z Bohannon putback 41-38 LM.

4:07 p.m. — Van Deest inside. 41-40.

4:08 p.m. — Nedelcoff 3 at horn. Bett 43-41. 8 miuntes to go.

4:10 p.m. — Van Deest 2 FTs. 45-41.

4:11 p.m. — Paige 2 FTS. 45-43. 7:35 left.

4:12 p.m. — Paige steal, dish to Z Bohannon. 45-all.

4:13 p.m. — Bergman FTs: Good. No. Jump to LM. Bett 46-45.

4:14 p.m. — 4 fouls on Murray. Henton FT: No. Foul on Z Bohannon (4th). Van Deest FT: No.

4:16 p.m. — Henton FTs: Good. No. 46-46.

4:16 p.m. — Van Deest FT: No.

4:17 p.m. — Timeout LM (30). 5:45 to go. 46-46.

4:18 p.m. — Weird charging call on Z Bohannon. He’ll sit.

4:19 p.m. — Van Deest baseline drive. Van Deest score and foul. 51-46. 3:56 left.

4:21 p.m. — Paige FTs: 2-2. 51-48. Bergman in transition, 53-48.

4:22 p.m. — M Bohannon FTs: 2-2. 53-50.

4:25 p.m. — Sawyer FTs: 2-2. 55-50. 3:01 left.

4:26 p.m. — Paige for 3 55-53. “He’s a freshman.” He has 17. 2:50 left.

4:28 p.m. — Van Deest FTs: 2-2. 57-53. 2:08.

4:29 p.m. — Paige score and foul. And one. 57-56.

4:30 p.m. — Tonneson FT: Back rim. Front rim. 0-2.

4:31 p.m. — Paige FTs: Swish. Swish. 58-57 LM. 1:23 left.

4:32 p.m. — Posts get a steal. Time LM, 0:53.7 left.

4:34 p.m. — Murray fouls out. M Bohannon 2 FTs: Good. Good. 60-57.

4:35 p.m. — Van Deest inside. 60-59. Steal, then miss. Henton FTs: Good. No. 61-59, 0:23. Time, Bett, 0:16.

4:38 p.m. — Roth 5 fouls. Van Deest FTs: Good. No. Henton rebound.

4:39 p.m. — Henton FTs. Yes, yes. 63-60 … Tonneson misses long 3. LM wins 63-60.

IMS earns 3rd place in 1A

March 13, 2009

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Jesse Ney scored 27 points, and Iowa Mennonite shot 59 percent from the field in an 81-71 win over Laurens-Marathon in the Class 1A consolation game at the boys’ state basketball tournament Friday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.

“I don’t think we needed any motivation, but we did need a little time to get our heads into it,” Ney said.

IMS (26-2) broke open the game in the second quarter and led, 35-26, at halftime. IMS made 16 of 24 field goal attempts in the second half and kept the Chargers (22-4) at arm’s length.

Truman Shetler added 18 points — on 8-of-9 shooting — and Danny Hershberger scored 12.

Five players scored in double-figures for Laurens-Marathon. Adam Woodin scored 17 points.

Solon rallies, reaches 2A final

March 12, 2009

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — This was no mere thriller, no run-of-the mill classic.

This was more.

Matt Morrison swished a 3-pointer from the left corner — the last of his game-high 34 points — with 9 seconds left in the second overtime, then stole the ball moments later to preserve top-ranked Solon’s 83-80 win over No. 2 Western Christian in a Class 2A semifinal at the boys’ state basketball tournament Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

Solon (27-0) rallied from a 16-point deficit to deny the two-time defending champions.

“It’s hard to consume it all,” said Solon Coach Brad Randall. “(Western Christian) is a historic program. To go out and beat them in two overtimes … it’s almost like a dream and I don’t want to wake up from it.”

This will slap the Spartans to full attention: They still have one more game to play.

Solon faces No. 4 Pella Christian (26-1) for the 2A title at 8 tonight.

“We’ll go to the hotel, eat right, sleep, then come out (tonight) with the attitude that we’re going to win,” said Tucker Wentzien, who converted a baseline drive into a two-handed dunk in the second overtime.

That made it 78-75 with about a minute left. After Western’s Trevor Wolterstorff and Solon’s Ben Bergman made two free throws each, Wolters made a 3-pointer under heavy pressure to tie it at 80-all with 20 seconds left.

But Bergman located a wide-open Morrison, and the left-hander delivered from the corner.

“I thought if we pushed it, we might get a good shot,” Morrison said. “Ben found me with a good pass. I let go, and it went in.”

Western (25-2) made 7 of 12 3-point shots in the first half and held a 41-25 lead late in the first half. It was 64-54 with 5 minutes left in regulation.

But the Wolfpack missed the front end of two straight one-and-one opportunities, giving the Spartans a chance.

And they capitalized fully.

Bergman’s runner with 15 seconds left tied it at 66-66, then Western’s Tyler Wolterstorff was short on a 7-footer at the buzzer.

“It was a tremendous game,” said Western Coach Jim Eekhoff. “We just got outscored.”

Morrison, a signee of the University of Northern Iowa and the quarterback of the Solon football team that won the 2A title in November, made 12 of 25 field-goal attempts (6 of 14 from long range).

Wentzien added 19 points, Ben Weeks 13 and Bergman 12.

That offset a pair of 25-point games by Trevor Wolterstorff and Shawn Keizer.

Western was bidding to become the first three-time champ since Palmer did it in the late 1980s.

“They’re a great team,” Wentzien said. “But this is our year.”

We’ll find out tonight.

“We can be happy for a couple of hours. Then we’ve got to put this game in a shoebox,” Randall said. “We’ll pop in a couple films of (Pella Christian), and tell our kids, ‘This is who is preventing you from what you want.’ “

Rock Valley towers over IMS

March 12, 2009

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Iowa Mennonite battled a 5-inch height disadvantage at every starting position.

Yes, Iowa Mennonite battled, and battled hard. But Rock Valley advanced.

Six-foot-9 Marcus Heemstra scored 25 points as the top-ranked Rockets outdueled No. 6 IMS, 61-54, in a Class 1A semifinal at the boys’ state basketball tournament Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“They’re a very good team that presented us a lot of problems,” said IMS Coach Dwight Gingerich. “We couldn’t take away enough of their plays inside. And we had a few too few shots fall for us.”

Rock Valley (24-2) faces reigning champion Cedar Falls NU High for the championship at 6:05 tonight. NUHS (21-4) held off Laurens-Marathon, 42-38, Thursday morning.

Heemstra made 11 of 17 shots from the field, and grabbed nine rebounds. Jordan Dykstra, another 6-9 inside force, added 10 points and nine boards as Rock Valley enjoyed a 34-24 rebounding advantage.

IMS (25-2) held a 28-25 halftime lead, and cut a 12-point deficit to 55-51 on Jesse Ney’s 3-pointer with a minute to play, but Rock Valley pulled away again.

“Everybody was predicting them to roll through the bracket,” Ney said. “We gave it all we had.”

IMS meets Laurens-Marathon (22-3) in the third-place game at 10 this morning.

“They make the game available, so we’ll play it,” Gingerich said.

Rock Valley asserted itself inside in the third quarter. Heemstra scored seven straight points in a 9-0 run as the Rockets took a 40-33 lead. The margin was 12 points in three occasions in the fourth quarter.

“The second half, we were able to play our style of basketball more,” Heemstra said.

Danny Hershberger — the tallest IMS player at 6-4 — said, “It was tough to deny their big guys the ball.”

Ney led IMS with 22 points. Hershberger added 15 points and eight rebounds, Ethan Gingerich 11 points.

Boys 2A semifinal: Solon vs. Western Christian

March 12, 2009

1:52 p.m. — Ready to tip off the first 2A semifinal.

1:52 p.m. — Starters for Solon: Bergman, Stahle, Weeks, Morrison, Wentzien. For Western: Keizer, Trevor and Tyler Wolterstorff, Vogel and Van Grouw.

1:53 p.m. — Winner plays for the championship against Fort Dodge St. Edmond or Pella Christian, 8:05 tomorrow night.

2:00 p.m– Morrison 1st foul.

2:02 p.m. — Morrison 8-footer. Trevor Wolt for WC. 2-2.

2:04 p.m. — Morrison 3. SOL 5-2. Vogel baseline 5-4.

2:05 p.m. — Wentien inside, then Trev-Wolt counters. 7-6.

2:06 p.m. — Threes for Morrison and Tanner Wentzien. Five straight points for Keizer. SOL 13-11.

2:08 p.m. — Trev-Wolt 3 gives Western its first lead, 14-13. 2:41 1st.

2:10 p.m. — Granstra 3 17-13. Wentzien FTs: Good. Good. 17-15. Granstra another 3. Morrison drive. He’s got 10.

2:11 p.m. — Bergman off Morrison steal, then Trev-Wolt 22-19.

2:13 p.m. — Trev-Wold draws 2nd foul on Wentzien, FTS: Good. Good. 24-19. End of quarter.

2:17 p.m. — Keizer 3. WC 27-19. Pack is 5-7 on 3s.

2:20 p.m. — It’s a 10-point lead. Dude on the end of the Western bench is going bananas. Two Wentzien FTs gets Solon within 29-21.

2:21 p.m. — Trev-Wolt for 3. 32-21.

2:22 p.m. — It’s 36-21. Last 3 by Trev-Wolt was behind the 2nd arc. He’s got 16.

2:24 p.m. — Weeks on 3rd shot. 36-23.

2:25 p.m. — Two FTs make it 38-23. Keizer for 3. 41-25. WC 7-10 on 3s.

2:26 p.m. — Wentzien scores. WC misses a pair of 3s.

2:28 p.m. — Looked like Morrison picked up 3rd foul, but WC called time first.

2:30 p.m. — Western 41-27. Half.

2:41 p.m. — Back at it.

2:42 p.m. — Morrison kicks off the 2nd-half scoring. Trev-Wolt counters, and it’s 43-29.

2:44 p.m. — Morrison 3, he’s got 17.

2:45 p.m. — Van Grouw off a nifty feed inside. 45-32.

2:46 p.m. — Trade baskets … 47-34.

2:47 p.m. — Wild scoop by Tyler-Wolt falls through.

2:48 p.m. — Strang inside…49-36.

2:49 p.m. — Weeks 3, then WC 3. Weeks 3. 52-42.

2:50 p.m. — Weeks FTs: Good. Good. Single digits for 1st time this half. 54-45.

2:52 p.m. — Wentzien inside. Timeout Western. 54-47, 1:30 3rd.

2:53 p.m. — WC 1-2 FTs.

2:55 p.m. — Morrison 3. 55-50. End of 3rd. Game on.

2:56 p.m. — Wentzien gets away with a walk, scores. 55-52.

2:58 p.m. — Keizer putback. Vogel putback. 59-52.

3:00 p.m.– Wentzien pass from Bergman. Dunk! Tyler-Wolt responds with 3.

3:01 p.m. — Van Grouw 2 FTs and it’s back to 10.

3:02 p.m. — Bergman 3, then a Solon stop.

3:03 p.m. — Morrison FTs: Good. Good. 64-59, 4:27 left.

3:05 p.m. — Morrison hits a tough 3 and it’s 64-62. 3:27 left.

3:05 p.m. — WC cheerleader chant … “Dub-C.”

3:07 p.m. — Trev-Wolt FTs: Good. Good. 66-62.

3:08 p.m. — Morrison misses in traffic, commits 4th foul.

3:09 p.m. — Morrison 2-2 FT. 66-64. 2:11.

3:10 p.m. — WC plays keepaway. Solon kick, Solon time. 1:13. Last timeout.

3:11 p.m. — Keizer missed FT …

3:13 p.m. — Bergman hits runner at 0:15 …Tyler-Wolt airs a 7-footer at buzzer. 66-66.

3:14 p.m. — Overtime. But first, Cotton-Eyed Joe.

3:15 p.m. — Wentzien putback, Keizer 3, Weeks 3. SOL 71-69. Timeout WC 2:17.

3:18 p.m. — Keizer drive, 71-71.

3:19 p.m. — Morrison right baseline. SOL 73-71.

3:19 p.m. — Keizer 2 FTs. 73-73. 1:14.

3:20 p.m. — Solon holds for one. Turns it over. WC misses 60-footer.

3:21 p.m. — Double OT. But first, “Welcome to the Jungle.”

3:23 p.m. — Vogel on 2nd tip. WC 75-73.

3:24 p.m. — Bergman baseline. 75-75.

3:25 p.m. — Wentzien FTs: Nope. Yes. 76-75. Solon gets a stop.

3:26 p.m. — Wentzien baseline drive, dunk. SOL 78-75.

3:28 p.m. — Trev-Wolt 2 FTs. 78-77. 0:45.

3:29 p.m. — Bergman FTs: Good. Good. 0:33. 80-77. Time, WC. Sportswriter down the way, “Isn’t this the god-damnedest thing?”

3:30 p.m. — Trev-Wolt 3 (0:20). Morrison 3 (0:09). Morrison steal. Ball game.

3:31 p.m. — Solon 83, Western 80. 2 OT. Final. Wow.