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Iowa boys basketball: G-LR and Sheldon pick up postseason victories

HAWARDEN, Iowa —George-Little Rock hunkered down defensively and played some of its most unselfish boys basketball of the season on offense to defeat Akron-Westfield in the first round of Class 1A, District 2 postseason play.

The Mustangs, the home team at a neutral floor, led the Westerners 16-8 after the first frame and blew the game open to a 37-18 advantage by halftime.

G-LR senior Austin Hayenga finished a team-best 18 points, including four three-pointers, but more importantly he held A-W’s leading scorer, Tawan Banks, to just nine points.

G-LR senior Jesse Koerselman scored 10 points and collected 10 rebounds. Tanner Ver Steeg had 13 points to offer along with 10 assists.

With the win, George-Little Rock advances to a Wednesday night game with top-seeded Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayshire at Boyden-Hull.

“We’re really excited to start the postseason off like this,” G-LR head coach Curt Schilling said.

A-W 8 18 24 40

G-LR 16 37 64 71

Class 2A, District 1

Sheldon 74, Unity Christian 70

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — On the efforts of their defense, the Sheldon Orabs took a lead just prior to halftime and led the remainder of the way to defeat Unity Christian in Orange City for the opening round of Class 2A postseason contention.

Five players scored in double digits for Sheldon including Dylan Ennema (16, seven assists), Turner De Jong (13 points), Collin Wolthuizen (12 points, eight rebounds, three blocks) and Ian Jongewaard (12 points). Unity led 19-17 following the first frame but trailed at all remaining quarter stops.

Sheldon entered this season after winning the Class 2A state championship in 2013, but it graduated its top six players from that team.

“We talked about how we start the postseason at 0-0. I’m proud of how we hung with it and how our guys have continued to work,” Sheldon coach Eric Maasen said.

Sheldon faces Rock Valley on Thursday night in Sioux Center.

Sheldon 17 31 48 74

Unity Christian 19 29 37 70

Class 2A, District 2

Estherville-Lincoln Central 83, Sibley-Ocheyedan 63

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa — Estherville-Lincoln Central defeated Sibley-Ocheyedan in postseason action.

The loss ends the season for the Generals (3-19).

The Midgets, now 10-11 on the year, will face Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Thursday at Western Christian, Hull.

No other information from Monday’s game was made available.