DES MOINES — It was hard for them offensively at times. It was hard for them defensively most of the time.
For the seventh-ranked Iowa City Regina Regals, it was just plain hard Monday afternoon at the state basketball tournament.
Beau DeJongh scored 25 points, and No. 8 Boyden-Hull looked every bit the part of a serious title contender again in a 61-56 win in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
The final spread was deceivingly close, considering Boyden-Hull led by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter before a last-gasp Regina rally got the game within four in the dying seconds.
“I’m very proud of how my team fought back,” said Regina Coach Jared Galpin. “We were down (15) in the fourth quarter and got it to four, I think. Just really proud of their effort all season long, especially tonight. We just met up with a team that really played well.”
And that is really good. This was not the first rodeo for a Boyden-Hull program that competes in the rugged Siouxland Conference in Western Iowa and that has made 10 state tourney appearances since 2010, including three titles in Class 1A.
Head coach Bill Francis has a gaudy 444-187 career record for a reason. This particular group of Comets is balanced offensively, with Francis pointing out all five of his starters have led them in scoring in a game this season.
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This was DeJongh’s turn. The 6-foot-3 senior had 11 points in the third quarter as Boyden-Hull (23-2) stretched its lead to as many as 11.
“We talked about a couple of different things at halftime against their zone defense,” Francis said. “To attack some different areas that were open. The kids did a great job of executing that. We wanted to get them back to man-to-man, because we knew they couldn’t chase us with the athletes we put on the floor. We got a little lead, they switched to man, and that’s when we really stretched the lead out.”
“They’ve got seven or eight guys who can shoot the perimeter shot really well,” Galpin said. “That was a concern coming in. We knew being able to guard them man was going to be a challenge for us. We started out in man, and they got some great looks in transition. (DeJongh) kind of got on a roll early, so we switched to zone and hope for an off shooting night. They hit some perimeter shots, kind of over-loaded our zone on one side ... They just presented a lot of challenges.”
Outstanding junior guard Masen Miller had 17 points to lead Regina (20-3), but that was three under his average, and the state’s leader in 3-pointers made had just two of them here on eight attempts. Boyden-Hull threw different bodies at him and tried as much as possible to keep the ball away from him.
“They’re a good defensive team, provided good help,” Miller said. “They stuck to their game plan, trying to get the ball out of my hands a little bit. Deny me. I got a few shots off in the first half that just didn’t happen to go. I thought they were good looks.”
Regina couldn’t come up with a consistent second scorer. Sophomore center Ashton Cook had nine points but all came in the first half. Luke Stein and Nick Wagner had eight each for the Regals, the field’s No. 6 seed.
Boyden-Hull, seeded third, shot 58.6 percent from the field and outscored Regina at the free-throw line, 16-5.
“They played incredibly well defensively,” Stein said. “Offensively, we tried our hardest to guard, but they were so incredibly balanced, we couldn’t say ‘Oh, well, we just need to guard this guy, because he’s their best player.’ Everybody on the floor was capable of scoring at all times. We just didn’t get shots to fall at times. It was just very difficult for us offensively, how they guarded.”
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This ended a 15-game win streak for Regina, which avenged one of its two regular-season losses in the substate finals against Camanche. With Miller and Cook back, next season should be good, too.
If only the Regals can stay away from Boyden-Hull ...
AT WELLS FARGO ARENA
IOWA CITY REGINA (56): Luke Stein 3-7 2-2 8, Scott Arendt 2-4 0-0 5, Ashton Cook 4-7 0-0 9, Bryce Barnett 2-7 2-2 7, Masen Miller 7-18 1-1 17, Joey Molony 0-2 0-0 0, Alec Wick 1-3 0-0 2, Patrick Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Keller 0-1 0-0 0, Nick Wagner 4-5 0-1 8. Totals 23-54 5-6 56.
BOYDEN-HULL (61): Spencer Te Slaa 2-4 1-3 5, Keyton Moser 5-7 0-0 11, Brett Van Der Wilt 1-1 0-0 3, Carter Francis 1-3 1-2 4, Beau DeJongh 7-12 10-14 25, Josh Heitritter 2-2 2-2 6, Andrew Frick 1-2 2-4 5, Tanner Te Slaa 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 20-34 16-25 61.
Halftime — Boyden-Hull 29, Regina 25. 3-point goals — Regina 5-20 (Barnett 1-3, Miller 2-8, Arendt 1-2, Cook 1-2, Stein 0-3, Molony 0-1, Wick 0-1), Boyden-Hull 5-9 (Van Der Wilt 1-1, Francis 1-2, DeJongh 1-1, S. Te Slaa 0-1, Moser 1-1, Frick 1-2, T. Te Slaa 0-1). Rebounds — Regina 19 (Miller 4), Boyden-Hull 30 (Moser, Heitritter 7). Total fouls — Regina 20, Boyden-Hull 13. Fouled out — Arendt. Assists — Regina 11 (Barnett, Arendt 3), Boyden-Hull 10 (S. Te Slaa 3). Turnovers — Regina 4, Boyden-Hull 10.
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