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Pella Christian Falls in Semifinals, Will Play for 3rd Place at State

The most efficient defense in the state of Iowa in Class 2A showed exactly why they earned that mark Thursday afternoon.

Cascade of Western Dubuque, the #4 seed in the tournament, took full advantage of an undersized Pella Christian front line and closed the three point line to get a 51-36 win.

#8 seed Pella Christian battled gamely during the first half, as the lead exchanged hands 8 different times. But PC’s patient offensive attack was unable to get consistent looks inside the arc and the shots from downtown were contested regularly by the long and active Cougar defense.

The Eagles’ defense did the job they needed to, limiting the chances Cascade had inside. But their inability to score with any consistency on the offensive end led to their demise.

Levi Jungling, PC’s best scorer at over 20 points per game, was held to just 5 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Mitch Fopma led the Eagles with 13.

Pella Christian will play Anamosa in the 3rd Place Consolation Game at 11:45 AM on Friday morning. Cascade will face Western Christian for the Class 2A State Championship Friday night at 8 PM.

You can hear reports from that game on 104.9 FM KBOE and 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.

Pella Christian Uses Thrilling Comeback to Advance to Semis

It wasn’t Levi Jungling’s best day on the court on Monday. It didn’t matter.

Jungling’s teammates came up huge en route to #8 seed Pella Christian’s 59-52 victory over previously unbeaten and #1 seed Dike-New Hartford in the Class 2A State Quarterfinals.

The first half was controlled by PC, as they held the lead throughout. They would take a 29-21 lead into the locker room, leading the 25-0 Wolverines, who hadn’t faced many tests all season.

The second half began much differently, however, as DNH stormed back into the game and took the lead as PC failed to get anything going offensively with their star player struggling to find his shot.

As the fourth quarter rolled around, DNH pushed the lead to 8 with 6 minutes to go in regulation.

At this point, the Eagles started to chip away and get the game back to within reach. Senior Mitch Fopma had a couple of the biggest hoops of the game, nailing a three and getting a bucket while being fouled to help his team claw back within a single possession.

Junior Alex Pringle would complete the play of the game, however. With just over a minute to play and the Eagles down 50-48, Pringle would gather a loose ball off a miss and a guide pass from DNH 35 feet from the hoop. While in the odd-man situation in the fastbreak, Pringle then dribbled to the right corner before calmly gathering the dribble and burying the three to give the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish.

Jungling was huge down the stretch, as he would get a breakaway layup to make it a three-point game shortly thereafter, and nail all four of his free throws to ice the game.

Although he would only go 5 for 14 from the field and 1 for 5 from downtown, Jungling went 9 for 10 from the line to get to 20 points to lead the Eagles. He also led the way with 8 rebounds.

Senior Jeremy Van Beek had a very nice showing inside for Head Coach Larry Hessing, scoring 10 points in the first half to keep the Eagles on top while Jungling tried to find his stroke.

PC moves on to the Class 2A Semifinals where they will face #4 seed Cascade of Western Dubuque. Cascade defeated Osage 60-27 in the quarterfinals earlier on Monday night. They enter the game 21-3, while PC comes in at 17-9. All 9 losses for the Eagles came in Little Hawkeye Conference play, where they face Class 3A and 4A opponents. They are unbeaten this year against 2A competition.

The game will begin at 2 PM on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. You can hear live updates throughout the afternoon on 104.9 FM KBOE and 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.

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.


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