PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Rockets fly by Wolves for district title
HULL, Iowa -- Rock Valley's Scott Westra took control during the third quarter, helping the Rockets upset the Harris-Lake Park Wolves 69-52 in the Class 1A Boys Basketball District 1 Tournament title game Tuesday at Western Christian High School.
Westra, who had five points through the first 16 minutes, scored 12 of his game-high 25 markers as the Rockets used a 16-6 third-quarter run to turn a 30-25 halftime lead into a 46-31 advantage with 8 minutes left.
"(Scott) is one of our senior leaders and he plays hard," Rock Valley coach Wade VanderMaten said. "He did a good job of stepping up after (Harris-Lake Park) let him get some shots. It got him going as a shooter."
Westra was 8 of 15 from the field, including a 2 of 8 effort from 3-point land. He scored 10 consecutive points for the Rockets in the third quarter by hitting a pair of running jumpers in the lane and draining a pair of 3-pointers from the right side.
With 3:18 left in the third, the Wolves trailed 44-31 after having a five-point (30-25) deficit at intermission.
"Harris-Lake Park is a great team after coming into this game with only two losses," VanderMate said. "We did a good job of trying to make them dribble the ball and not letting them shoot. We tried to make everything tough."
Rock Valley (16-8 overall) advanced to the IHSAA Boys Basketball Class 1A Substate 1 Tournament game, where the Rockets will play Boyden-Hull (21-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday at LeMars High School.
Harris-Lake Park completed its season after a 21-3 campaign.
The Wolves had plenty of opportunites to score, but could not capitalize. Harris-Lake Park made 28 percent (16 of 57) of its shots from the field, while Rock Valley made 47 percent (21 of 45) of its shots.
H-LP, which outrebounded Rock Valley 33-30, led 18-6 in caroms at the offensive end.
The Rockets did a better job at the free-throw line, making 21 of 25 attempts (84 percent). The Wolves converted 15 of 21 attempts (68 percent).
"Our inability to make a shot was a big difference, and Rock Valley made a lot of shots," Sohn said. "We got into some foul trouble in the first half and had two starters on the bench. To come back and tie it at 25 and to only be down by five at halftime, I thought we were in pretty good shape."
The Wolves never led at any point in the game, despite forcing two first-half ties (at 23-all and at 25-all).
"We have played pretty good in the second half (of games) this season," Sohn said. "We came out in the third quarter and couldn't get anything going. It was a frustrating quarter and, by the end of it, it was over."
Westra opened the fourth quarter with a scoring drive that upped the Rock Valley lead to 48-31 with 7:38 left.
But the Wolves fought back with a flurry of six straight points from Eli Ihnen (a pair of free throws), Colin Brons (a putback) and Ihnen, who stole a Rockets' inbounds pass before scoring a layup.
Ihnen, who led Harris-Lake Park with 20 points, had trimmed Rock Valley's lead to 11 points with 5:40 left.
After the Rockets made three of their next four free-throw attempts, Kade Heikens (eight points) kept the Wolves' comeback alive by burying a 3-pointer from the left side.
But the 11-point (51-40) margin with 4½ minutes left was too much for Harris-Lake Park to overcome.
In addition to Westra, three more Rockets -- Andrew Van Ginkel (14), Jerod Hansen (14) and Brendan Harbarts (10) -- also scored in double figures.
Van Ginkel completed a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Ihnen's 20 points came on 5 of 21 shooting from the field. He helped Harris-Lake Park by hitting all nine of his free-throw attempts.
Colin Brons added 14 points on a 4 of 12 effort from the field and a 4 of 4 performance at the free-throw line. He also posted a double-double by pulling down 10 rebounds.
Ihnen, Brons and Tanner Hiveley, all seniors, played their final game for the Wolves.
ROCK VALLEY 69,
HARRIS-LAKE PARK 52
ROCK VALLEY (16-8): Westra 8-15 7-8 25, Eichmann 1-1 0-0 2, Van Ginkel 3-7 8-9 14, Hansen 4-13 4-4 14, Elgersma 0-0 0-0 0, Bakker 1-2 0-0 3, Harbarts 4-4 1-2 10, Van Beek 0-2 0-0 0 Vande Weerd 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 21-45 (47%) 21-25 (84%) 69.
HARRIS-LAKE PARK (21-3): Burdorf 0-2 0-0 0, Cudmore 1-1 0-0 2, Brons 4-12 4-4 14, Van Iperen 1-5 0-0 2, Heikens 3-3 0-1 8, Ihnen 5-21 9-9 20, Hiveley 2-13 2-8 7. Totals: 16-57 (28%) 15-22 (68%) 52.
Rock Valley 15 15 16 23 -- 69
Harris-Lake Park 12 13 6 21 -- 52
3-Point Goals: Rock Valley 6-20 (Westra 2-8, Hansen 2-9, Harbarts 1-1, Bakker 1-2); Harris-Lake Park 5-23 (Heikens 2-2, Brons 2-9, Ihnen 1-9, Hiveley 0-1, Van Iperen 0-2). Rebounds: Rock Valley 30 (Van Ginkel 12, Westra 6); Harris-Lake Park 33 (Brons 10, Hiveley 7, Van Iperen 6). Total Fouls (Fouled Out): Rock Valley 21 (Harbarts); Harris-Lake Park 22 (Heikens, Hiveley). Technical Fouls: None. Assists: Rock Valley 12 (Van Ginkel 4, Hansen 4, Westra 3); Harris-Lake Park 8 (Van Iperen 3, Heikens 3). Steals: Rock Valley 7 (Westra 2, Harbarts 2); Harris-Lake Park 2 (Van Iperen, Ihnen). Blocked Shots: Rock Valley 3 (Bakker 2, Van Ginkel); Harris-Lake Park 3 (Ihnen 3). Turnovers: Rock Valley 8, Harris-Lake Park 12.