Montezuma Tops Keota to Advance to the Substate Final

The Montezuma Braves and Keota Eagles met in Wellman Thursday night for a highly anticipated rematch from their back-and-forth affair in January. The result was Montezuma duplicating their hard-fought win, relying on an explosive first half and tight defense for the 56-45 victory and the Class 1A District 11 Title.

The first quarter saw both defenses have their way, forcing several turnovers with sporadic shooting. Both teams had slight spurts towards the end of the quarter, but Monte had a 12-9 lead heading into the second.

That’s when Montezuma junior Dakota Strong caught fire, scoring the majority of his 19 first half points by lighting it up from behind the arc. The Braves’ defense continued to force several Keota mistakes, as Brody McKeag had five first half steals, a few of which led to easy buckets at the other end. Monte would close the half strong to take a 35-22 lead at the break.

The third quarter was intriguing, as Monte lost their shooting touch. Their defense, however, refused to let the Eagles climb back into the game. Keota’s biggest momentum switch came with about 1:30 to go in the third. Keota junior Cole Stout buried a three-pointer and drew a foul, completing a four-point play. Keota would ride that wave to cut the lead from 16 to 9 in a short period. But with 25 seconds to go, McKeag would get a steal and a layup on the other end, and after a quick Keota shot, Brave junior Carson Losure would make a layup at the buzzer to extend the lead to 13 after three.

The fourth quarter saw poor shooting by both sides, and Montezuma made free throws down the stretch to seal the 11 point victory.

The Braves were led by Strong who finished with 23 points. Brody McKeag had a very complete game, scoring 10 points, dishing out 7 assists, and snagging 7 steals. Logan Price had 10 points and 6 rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble in the first half. Carson Losure and Zach Townsend had 6. Townsend added a team-high 7 rebounds.

Keota had a good game from senior Zach Mousel, who had 16 points and three steals. Avery Conrad had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Jacob Wickenkamp, who came in as the Eagles’ second leading scorer behind Mousel on the season, did not register a single point and only took a few shots in the game, but he did grab 9 rebounds and had a team-high four assists.

Keota’s season comes to an end at 17-7. The loss ends the high school careers of seniors Nate Sieren, Tyler Verstraete, Paden Uphold, Zach Mousel, Isaiah Hahn, and Dylan Burgdorf.

Montezuma is now 22-2 and will play for a trip to state on Saturday in Knoxville. Their opponent will be Grand View Christian, who is 24-1. GVC averages over 80 points per game, but only scored 58 in their four-point win over Colo-Nesco in the District 12 Final.

The game can be heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, as well as the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com. The pregame will start at 6:45 for the 7 PM tip-off.

Pella Christian, Lynnville-Sully Among Teams Advancing in Boys’ Basketball

Tournament action continued in boys’ basketball on Tuesday night, and a few area teams were victorious, and a few ended their season.

In Class 1A District 10, Lynnville-Sully defeated Belle Plaine, 54-38. The Hawks will advance to the District 10 Final on Thursday against Meskwaki Settlement School, who defeated BGM, 75-57. That game will be in Marshalltown Thursday at 6:30 PM.

In Class 1A District 11, as heard on the Mahaska Zone Network, Keota defeated Sigourney, 61-53, to advance to the District 11 Final. They will face Montezuma, who beat Wayne, 61-37. That matchup will be in Wellman at 7 PM on Thursday, and can be heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com.

In Class 2A District 11, Pekin made a good run, but fell to West Burlington in the District Final, 56-52. Meeting West Burlington in the Class 2A Substate 6 Final will be Pella Christian, who defeated Albia Tuesday, 58-33. The Substate 6 Final will be contested at Fairfield High School on Saturday at 7 PM. The winner will advance to the Class 2A Boys’ Basketball State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Eagles Soar as Keota Moves to District Title Game

Tuesday night was a busy one in boys’ area basketball, as district play heated up with several schools in action.

On the Mahaska Zone Network (99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and radiokmzn.com), you heard a doubleheader of Class 1A District 11 Semifinals.

In the first game, a natural rivalry between Keokuk County schools Keota and Sigourney was as competitive as you’d imagine, but the Eagles came out on top, 61-53.

Keota did not generate much scoring from their backcourt leaders, Zach Mousel and Jacob Wickenkamp. On the season, the duo averages around 25 points per contest combined, but on Tuesday, the Savages held them to a combined 14.

It was no matter for Keota, as Isaiah Hahn filled the gap, pouring in 16 points and snagging 4 rebounds to lead the way. Avery Conrad got several looks late, exploiting the foul trouble from the Sigourney bigs, finishing with 14 points and 8 boards.

For Sigourney, they had a hot shooting first quarter, but could never wrestle the lead away from the Eagles. Blaine Gretter had an up-and-down night for the Savages, but still finished with a team-high 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jordan Albert added 12, Alex Stuhr chipped in 11, and Peyton Crawford dropped in 9.

Sigourney’s season comes to a close at 11-12 after their third loss this season to their rivals. The loss ends the high school careers of seniors Peyton Crawford, Austin Smothers, Jordan Albert, Blaine Gretter, Connor Witzenberg, Denny Haines, Matthew Utterback, and Alex Stuhr.

Keota (17-6) now advances to the District 11 Final on Thursday, where they will face Montezuma (21-2) at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman.

You can hear that game on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, as well as on the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com. The pregame show will begin at 6:45 for the 7 PM tip-off.

Montezuma Boys Defeat Wayne, Advance to District Final

Tournament time is in full swing in the area, and in boys’ basketball in Class 1A, Montezuma continued to show their dominance in District 11.

The Braves mopped the floor with Wayne in the District 11 Semifinals at their home gym Tuesday night, beating the Falcons, 61-37.

It was a sluggish start for the Braves, but they heated up toward the end of the first quarter to take a five-point lead into the second stanza. That is where the separation began, as the dynamic duo of Brody McKeag and Dakota Strong continued to get open looks and got to the rim at will. In the second quarter alone, Monte would outscore Wayne by 11 points, and they would coast to the finish from there.

Logan Price ended up having the best game for the Braves, scoring a team-high 17 points and bringing down 7 boards. McKeag wouldn’t have his best shooting night, but still managed to get 15 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Strong had 12, all in the first half, but he made a big difference on the defensive end, as he gathered 5 steals.

Wayne was led by senior Trent Moore, who had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Falcons end their season at 11-13.

Montezuma now looks ahead to a rematch with Keota in the District 11 Final. The two clubs played a thrilling game back on January 12th in Montezuma, with the Braves coming out victorious, 63-57.

That game will be in Wellman at Mid-Prairie High School. The victor will be just one win away from qualifying for the 2016 Boys’ Basketball State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

You can hear the action Thursday night on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com, starting at 6:45 PM with the pregame show. The tip-off will be at 7 PM.

Oskaloosa’s Boys Fall in District Semis to Grinnell

Oskaloosa got off to a rough start Monday night and never recovered, falling in Class 3A District 12 action to Little Hawkeye Conference foe Grinnell, 69-55.

The first quarter again turned out to be the dagger for the Indians, as several early turnovers and just one made field goal offensively allowed a red-hot Tiger squad to jump out to a 21-5 lead after one quarter of play.

Oskaloosa actually outscored Grinnell the rest of the way, but the damage was done, as the Indians would never get within 10 points after the first period.

Oskaloosa was led by sophomore Jarad Kruse, who put in 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Senior Wade Votroubek also had a nice game off the bench with 11 points.

Votroubek was key defensively, as his physicality with Grinnell leading scorer Cade McKnight forced the Tiger big man to get into foul trouble and never get into a rhythm. Typically, McKnight averages close to 19 points per game, and torched the Indians in both regular season meetings between the teams. But he only managed 6 points and 2 rebounds against the Osky frontline Monday night.

Fortunately for Grinnell, offense was plentiful elsewhere. Sam Allen led the way with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Zaine Leedom had 14, Lucas Scherf had 12, Ethan Mitchell had 10, and Brevin Hansen had 9 for the Tigers.

Grinnell (14-8) moves on to face Newton (14-8), who defeated South Tama last night, 70-52. That game will be Thursday in Marshalltown at 8 PM. The teams split their conference meetings in the Little Hawkeye this year.

Oskaloosa’s season comes to a close at 6-16, and the loss ends the careers of seniors Wade Votroubek and Austin Scholes.


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