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Everything but a championship for Cedar Rapids Xavier: Saints fall to Bondurant-Farrar in 3A boys’ state basketball title game
Bondurant-Farrar rallies, makes big plays late to win the Class 3A title, 58-55
DES MOINES — It was a season in which they were ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history.
They made it to the state tournament for the first time in five years. They made it to the Class 3A final.
They even ended up having the all-tournament team captain.
But the biggest prize ultimately eluded the Cedar Rapids Xavier Saints. The thing they cared about most.
Bondurant-Farrar completed a perfect season with some timely plays and free throws in crunch time and beat Xavier, 58-55, in a beauty of a 3A boys’ state basketball championship game Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Bluejays ran the table at 26-0 despite leading for only five minutes and 31 seconds of this tensely-played affair. Xavier was ahead for 24:15.
That cliche about so close, yet so far.
“It hurts, obviously. It stings,” said Xavier Coach Mike Freeman. “Our kids competed their tails off ... We told them ‘You don’t walk out of that locker room with your heads down.’ They gave us everything they had. We told them to leave it on the floor, and they absolutely did tonight.”
“We left it all out there,” agreed Xavier’s Josef Lemker. “We don’t need to hang our heads about that. We did what we could, gave it our all.”
⧉ Related article: Photos: Cedar Rapids Xavier falls to unbeaten Bondurant-Farrar in Class 3A boys’ state basketball championship game
Xavier (20-7) led by one at the end of the first quarter and at halftime. It led by as many as nine in the second half, with Lemker having a huge third quarter with three 3-pointers.
The Saints still had a lead of five going to the fourth, but Bondurant-Farrar refused to wilt. A Reed Pfaltzgraff trey gave the Bluejays a 46-45 lead with six minutes to go, but Xavier responded right back with five straight Joe Bean points.
Tied at 52 with under a minute left, B-F got a back-door layup from Jaxson Fried, only to have Aidan Yamilkoski come right back with a huge 3 to give Xavier a 55-54 lead with 46 seconds left. Yamilkoski led the Saints with 17 points and was selected the 3A all-tournament captain.
Pfaltzgraff made two free throws as Yamilkoski fouled out with 29.7 seconds left to put Bondurant-Farrar back ahead. Xavier worked for a final shot, but Lemker was stripped of the ball trying to penetrate the left side of the lane with 4.1 to go.
Pfaltzgraff made two more free throws, and Lemker’s desperation 3 at the buzzer was no good. Xavier seemingly did everything but win this game.
“Absolutely,” said Xavier’s Tyler Netolicky, the 6-foot-8 junior who was such a large interior presence with 14 points and 11 rebounds. “It stings for sure. This is what we worked for all season. A lot of the guys before the season. Just get in and keep grinding. To come so close, have it be right there, it stings.”
Colby Collison led Bondurant-Farrar with 19 points, a key cog in the fourth-quarter comeback. Pfaltzgraff finished with 15.
“An undefeated season, I didn’t expect that,” Pfaltzgraff said. “But here we are.”
“The fourth quarter, we just said let’s go get it,” said B-F Coach Travis Evans. “And they did.”
AT DES MOINES
CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (55): Thomas Sundell 0-2 0-0 0, Josef Lemker 5-8 0-0 13, Aidan Yamilkoski 4-14 6-8 17, Joe Bean 5-14 1-2 11, Tyler Netolicky 6-10 2-7 14, Aidan McDermott 0-2 0-0 0, Michael Cunningham 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 9-17 55.
BONDURANT-FARRAR (58): Reed Pfaltzgraff 4-8 6-8 15, Colby Collison 5-8 9-11 19, Jaxson Fried 4-8 1-2 10, Everett White 1-4 2-2 4, Cole Miller 3-8 2-3 8, Cameron Barnett 0-1 0-0 0, James Dodson 0-0 0-0 0, Tanner Berggren 1-2 0-0 2, Hudson McConnell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-39 20-26 58.
Halftime - Xavier 25, Bondurant-Farrar 24. 3-point goals - Xavier 6-17 (Lemker 3-6, Yamikoski 3-7, Bean 0-4), Bondurant-Farrar 2-9 (Pfaltzgraff 1-3, Fried 1-2, White 0-1, Miller 0-2, Berggren 0-1). Rebounds - Xavier 28 (Netolicky 11), Bondurant-Farrar 30 (White 6). Total fouls - Xavier 19, Bondurant-Farrar 17. Fouled out - Yamilkoski. Assists - Xavier 7 (Bean 5), Bondurant-Farrar 4 (Pfaltzgraff 2). Turnovers - Xavier 10, Bondurant-Farrar 11.
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