PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Sheldon takes home state titleDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nate Oostra scored 12 points and three teammates each finished with 10 to lift Sheldon to the Class 2A boys state basketball championship Friday night with a 48-36 victory over top-ranked West Fork.
By: Associated Press, Worthington Daily Globe
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nate Oostra scored 12 points and three teammates each finished with 10 to lift Sheldon to the Class 2A boys state basketball championship Friday night with a 48-36 victory over top-ranked West Fork.
No. 9 Sheldon (25-3) never trailed against its previously unbeaten opponent and claimed the title in its first appearance in the state finals.
The Orabs, in the tournament for the first time since 1977, did it with near-perfect scoring balance and by neutralizing West Fork’s 6-foot-8 Payton Plagge with a sagging defense that put one defender in front of the Warhawks’ center and another behind him.
Dallas Ennema, James Gradert and Chris Balster each scored 10 points for Sheldon. Spencer Halloran led West Fork (26-1), the 2011 state champion, with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Sheldon victory completed a Friday night championship sweep for northwest Iowa’s Siouxland Conference. Boyden-Hull, which shared the league title with Sheldon and handed the Orabs two of their losses, won the 1A title earlier in the evening.
A third Siouxland team, MOC-Floyd Valley, will play for third place in Class 3A on Saturday.
Sam Amsbaugh added 10 points for West Fork, which shot just 28 percent in the first half and 33 percent for the game.
Plagge, who has signed with St. Cloud State, managed only six shots, missed all four of his free throws and finished with eight points and three rebounds. Poor perimeter shooting prevented West Fork from offsetting Sheldon’s sagging defense. The Warhawks shot just 2-for-9 from 3-point range.
Sheldon led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but had to fight off West Fork at the end. The Orabs accomplished that with solid defense and two key buckets inside by the 6-8 Gradert.
West Fork cut the lead to 38-36 when Amsbaugh scooped in a shot with 2:15 remaining, but the Warhawks did not score the rest of the way.
Ennema, who has signed with Albany, drove down the lane and dished to Gradert for a layup. Then Oostra dropped off a pass to Gradert for another layup, making it 42-36 with 43 seconds remaining.
Ennema intercepted West Fork’s inbounds pass, got fouled and sank the two free throws for a 44-36 lead with 30 seconds to go. After Oostra took a long pass for a layup seconds later, both coaches cleared their benches and the Sheldon celebration began.
Class 2A boys state basketball championship
Des Moines, IOWA
WEST FORK, SHEFFIELD 36
SHELDON (25-3): Oostra 6 0-2 12; Balster 4 2-2 10; Ennema 4 2-2 10; Gardert 5 0-2 10; McDonald 1 0-0 2; Wolthuizen 1 0-0 2; Brown 0 2-2 2. Totals: 21 6-10 48.
WEST FORK, SHEFFIELD (26-1): Halloran 3 6-8 12; Amsbaugh 3 4-6 10; Plagge 4 0-4 8; Parcher 2 0-0 6. Totals: 12 10-18 36.
Sheldon 16 8 10 14 — 48
West Fork, Sheffield 10 5 10 11 — 36
3-Point Goals: Sheldon 0 (none); West Fork, Sheffield 2 (Parcher 2). Rebounds: Sheldon 21 (Oostra 6, Ennema 8, Dykstra, Gardert 2, Wolthuizen, McDonald); West Fork, Sheffield 28 (Halloran 12, Amsbaugh 10, Plagge 8, Parcher 6). Total Fouls (Fouled Out): Sheldon 14 (none); West Fork, Sheffield 12 (none). Technical Fouls: None. Assists: Sheldon 11 (Oostra 2, Balster 3, Ennema 4, Dykstra 2); West Fork, Sheffield 6 (Myers, Halloran 2, Amsbaugh, Plagge 2). Steals: Sheldon 7 (Oostra 2, Balster 2, Ennema 2, Gradert); West Fork, Sheffield 2 (Meyer, Plagge). Blocked Shots: Sheldon 4 (Oostra, Ennema, Gradert, Brown); West Fork, Sheffield 2 (Amsbaugh, Plagge). Turnovers: Sheldon 8, West Fork, Sheffield 17.