116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — The run they needed just never came. The offense just never came.
Nothing came but a loss Tuesday morning for the Dyersville Beckman Blazers.
Des Moines Christian dominated the second half and ended Beckman's resilient season, 58-38, in a Class 2A boys' state basketball tournament quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
'We lost to a good team,' said Beckman Coach Michael Molony. 'You've got to give them a lot of credit. When it started getting away, they kept making plays and kept building on their runs. That's what I thought the key to the game was going to be going in.'
Beckman (16-8) actually took a 19-18 lead into halftime after Jack Gehling received a home run pass and layed it in just before the buzzer. But Des Moines Christian (22-2) outscored the Blazers in the third quarter, 18-4, to pull ahead and pull away.
The Lions have some size, are relentlessly aggressive in their half-court sets, can get out on the fast break. Then there was their defense, which just never allowed Beckman to get into any sort of rhythm.
'They play really tough defense,' said Beckman's Jacob Hermsen. 'They get after you, they get in your face. They make it hard to do anything. Then when you do anything, they always had help-side defense, they've always got people there, reaching for the ball and making it tougher.'
Beckman shot just 36.8 percent from the field, 29 percent in the second half. Gehling was the only Blazer to score in double figures, actually recording a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Leading scorer Padraig Gallagher was completely taken away, as he scored just three points and took just two shots in the game.
'We had the lead going into the third,' Gehling said. 'They made a run, and we just couldn't get back into a groove. We couldn't get back.'
'They got in our face,' Molony said.
Adam Witty led Des Moines Christian with 20 points. Elijah Hess added 14 and Ben Loverude (who defended Gallagher man-to-man most of the game) 12.
'We've been focusing on our defense all season,' Witty said. 'Then our offense got it together in the second half, too. A mixture of both.'
This was Beckman's first state tourney appearance since 2017. The team overcame the loss of its best player, senior guard Mason White, to a torn ACL in its 10th game, yet regrouped and won its final three regular-season games and first three postseason games, all by six points or less.
White, by the way, rehabbed and made it back to the court in Beckman's substate final, playing under a minute. He played minutes here, hitting a pair of 3s.
'I'm just glad to be a part of this group,' said Hermsen, one of five seniors. 'We lost our best player this season when we were playing our toughest competition. But we were able to battle through it and get to this point, get to state. I'm just really proud of the adversity we were able to fight through.'
'It was quite the journey,' Molony said. 'They're great kids.'
DYERSVILLE BECKMAN (38): Jacob Hermsen 3-6 2-3 8, Jack Gehling 5-12 1-1 11, Padraig Gallagher 1-2 1-2 3, Logan Burchard 1-3 0-0 3, Logan Goedken 2-11 1-2 7, Cayden Gassmann 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Burchard 0-0 0-0 0, Mason White 2-3 0-0 6, Jude Brehm 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Schaefer 0-0 0-0 0, Aiden Wessels 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Oberbroeckling 0-1 0-0 0, Eric Heinrichs 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-38 5-8 38.
DES MOINES CHRISTIAN (58): Ben Loverude 5-7 1-2 12, Elijah Hess 3-6 8-9 14, Tristan Brown 2-4 0-3 4, Grant Veenstra 2-9 2-5 6, Adam Witty 5-6 9-10 20, Micah Brandenburg 0-2 0-2 0, Andrew Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett Penland 0-0 0-0 0, Scotty Wynne 1-1 0-0 2, Cameron McConnell 0-0 0-0 0, Timothy Darla 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-35 20-31 58.
Halftime — Dyersville Beckman 19, Des Moines Christian 18. 3-point goals — Dyersville Beckman 5-15 (Goedken 2-5, L. Burchard 1-2, Hermsen 0-2, Gehling 0-2, White 2-3, Oberbroeckling 0-1), Des Moines cHristian 2-9 (Hess 0-2, Loverude 1-3, Brown 0-2, Witty 1-1, Brandenburg 0-1). Rebounds — Dyersville Beckman 23 (Gehling 10), Des Moines Christian 26 (Veenstra 11). Total fouls — Dyersville Beckman 22, Des Moines Christian 11. Fouled out — None. Assists — Dyersville Beckman 7 (Gallagher, Gassmann 2), Des Moines Christian 8 (Veenstra 3). Turnovers — Dyersville Beckman 15, Des Moines Christian 8.
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