DES MOINES — The end got a little wonky, but so what?
West Delaware built an 18-point lead, let a lot of it get away but hung on to top Dallas Center-Grimes, 66-58, Tuesday night in a Class 3A boys’ state basketball tournament quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Hawks remain perfect at 25-0, drawing Sergeant Bluff-Luton (16-9) in Thursday night’s 8:15 semifinals. You always ask if a team wins, but not always how.
“It kind of turned into an ugly game, but we’ll take it,” said West Delaware Coach Matt Uthoff. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way my guys responded. We kind of lost our composure a little bit there. All to Dallas Center-Grimes’ credit, they really came on and amped up the pressure in the second half and got after us ... But at this point in time, it’s do whatever you have to do to win.”
The rally by Dallas Center-Grimes (15-10) kind of came out of nowhere, to be honest. The Mustangs weren’t hitting shots the entire game, weren’t really stopping WD from hitting shots and looked cooked.
But a desperation press defense put the Hawks on their heels. A 43-26 game after three quarters suddenly turned into a 53-47 game with 3:48 to go.
Dallas Center-Grimes got as close as five down the stretch, 61-56, but no closer.
“DC-G did a good job,” said West Delaware point guard Ryan Trainer. “They got me playing faster than I wanted to and turned it over a couple of times. Coach reminded me to play it with the pass, and it works out better. We settled back in and went on a little run there. The team helped me out there.”
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All five Hawks starters scored in double digits, led by John Nagel with 15. The Iowa State football signee showed off a nice mid-range game, making six of his eight attempts from the field.
Guard Kyle Wright hit a trio of 3-pointers en route to 14 points. Trainer added 12, guard Tyler Kelley and center Derek Krogmann 11 each.
“I thought we really defended well the first two and a half quarters, which has kind of been our M.O. since we’ve been here as a coaching staff,” Uthoff said. “When these guys are locked in defensively, I’ll take them against anybody.”
“The nice thing is we’ve been through a lot of adversity,” Nagel said. “A lot of the guys have played a lot of basketball, been in a lot of close games. I think when you’re in close games like that, it just helps to have seniors. We can go out there and know we can get through this adversity. We’re going to keep pushing through it, go and try to win the game.”
The game was plagued by a plethora of foul calls, 46 total. West Delaware was terrific at the free-throw line (25 of 30) and Dallas Center-Grimes mediocre (16 of 28), which turned out to be important.
Steve Borneman led DC-G with 19 points. The Mustangs were the seventh seed.
Uthoff was asked if his club felt slighted by being undefeated and not getting 3A’s top seed. Waverly-Shell Rock (23-1) is the ‘1,’ and also in Thursday’s semifinals.
“We’re the underdogs,” the coach said with a smile. “I told (Waverly) Coach (Nate) Steege today that they probably deserved it. Their only loss this season was to a really good Cedar Falls team. It was no problem for us to come here as the two seed. Nobody expects us to win us to win this thing.”
AT DES MOINES
DALLAS CENTER-GRIMES (58): Jack Duey 1-3 1-1 3, Trevor Grove 4-8 4-5 12, Steve Borneman 7-12 3-7 19, Jordan Humphreys 1-6 4-5 6, Brody Kleen 4-8 4-8 12, Trenton Meggers 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Cooney 0-0 0-0 0, Tanner Epple 0-2 0-0 0, Kade Rosa 0-0 0-0 0, Justin Biegger 1-1 0-0 3, Justin Protzman 0-1 0-2 0, Damon Clapper 0-1 0-0 0, Trent Pride 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 19-46 16-28 58.
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WEST DELAWARE (66): John Nagel 6-8 3-4 15, Tyler Kelley 3-9 5-6 11, Derek Krogmann 3-5 5-5 11, Ryan Trainer 2-4 7-9 12, Kyle Wright 3-7 5-6 14, Gavin Soppe 0-0 0-0 0, Marshall McCarty 1-3 0-0 3, Drew Wubbena 0-0 0-0 0, Troy Monoghan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-36 25-30 66.
Halftime — West Delaware 27, Dallas Center-Grimes 13. 3-point goals — Dallas Center-Grimes 4-15 (Grove 0-4, Borneman 2-3, Humphreys 0-2, Kleen 0-1, Epple 0-2, Biegger 1-1, Pride 1-2), West Delaware 5-13 (Trainer 1-2, Kelley 0-3, Wright 3-5, McCarty 1-3). Rebounds — Dallas Center-Grimes 26 (Grove, Borneman, Kleen 5), West Delaware 28 (Krogmann 13). Total fouls — Dallas Center-Grimes 25, West Delaware 21. Fouled out — Kleen. Assists — Dallas Center-Grimes 9 (Borneman 3), West Delaware 13 (Kelley, Krogmann, McCarty 3). Turnovers — Dallas Center-Grimes 12, West Delaware 13.
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