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Posted On: 03/9/18 3:30 PM
Championship: No. 2 Grand View Christian 49, No. 1 North Linn 46
The matchup that we’ve wanted all year in Class 1A materialized, and it didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t always the prettiest basketball, but it was incredibly close throughout, and in the end, it was the Grand View Christian Thunder who made just enough shots to prevail, taking home their second consecutive Class 1A championship, beating top-seeded North Linn 49-46 on Friday afternoon.
North Linn jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, forcing four turnovers in the first two minutes of the contest, and for a bit, it looked like their vaunted pressure might rattle GVC enough to take home the school’s first state title. No such luck. The Thunder quickly settled in, answering with an 11-2 run of their own to take the lead, and they took a 14-12 lead after one quarter following a contested, off-balance 3 from Mach Nyaw.
The second quarter will not ever be shown in any highlight reel, won by North Linn 7-4, who took a 19-18 lead into the break. A tightly contested third quarter ended in a 30-all tie, and to the fourth we went.
GVC scored the five of the first seven of the quarter, taking a 35-32 lead, and they didn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the game.
Grant DeMeulenaere made a pair of free throws with 30 seconds to play to make it a 49-46 lead, then Issa Samake blocked a Adam Waskow layup with 21 seconds left, and Jake Hilmer fouled Kong Neyail on the ensuing scramble, fouling out of the game. Neyail missed both free throws, Ryan Miller came down and threw up a wild 3 that missed. With two seconds left, Grand View Christian was inbounding, but threw the ball out of bounds, and North Linn had a chance to inbound in front of their own bench. Ryan Miller got a clean look from the corner for the tie, but his shot fell just short. Ball game. Grand View Christian repeat.
North Linn ends the year with a 28-1 record and one of the most prolific attacks the state has ever seen. The Lynx will return star guard Jake Hilmer next season, so expect them to be back in a similar spot next year. They were led today by Hilmer with 17 points, and Ryan Miller with 15. They shot just 31.9% from the floor, a product of a relentless 2-3 zone employed by GVC, with tremendous length and athleticism that forced the Lynx to play much more halfcourt basketball than they’re used to.
Grand View Christian (25-1) wins their second state title behind 21 points from Grant DeMeulenaere, who shook off a poor shooting week to go 7-15 from the floor in the Thunder’s win. Issa Samake, however, was the biggest difference maker, as he was able to stay out of foul trouble, and North Linn had no answer for the 6-7 athletic freak. Samake finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, and his presence in the paint completely altered the way North Linn ran their offense.
Co-MVPs: Issa Samake (12 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks) and Grant DeMeulenaere (21 points, five rebounds, two assists) (Grand View Christian)
Samake was the biggest difference maker in this game. As we mentioned in the preview, if he was able to stay out of foul trouble, North Linn would have no answer for him. Well, he was able to stay out of foul trouble, and he delivered. He “only” blocked four shots, but he altered just about every shot that North Linn attempted around the rim, which completely changed the way that the Lynx went about their offense.
DeMeulenaere had struggled all week with his shot, entering this championship game with a 8-38 mark from the field. He rebounded in this one, going 7-15 from the floor, knocking down three 3s and leading the Thunder in scoring for the third time this week. With a shooter as good as him, it was only a matter of time before he broke out of the slump, and luckily for the Thunder, he broke out of it on Friday afternoon.
Grand View Christian: Grant DeMeulenaere 21, Issa Samake 12, Arturo Montes 7, Mach Nyaw 4, Sam Glenn 3, Bryce Crabb 2
North Linn: Jake Hilmer 17, Ryan Miller 15, David Seber 5, Trevor Boge 4, Adam Waskow 3, Carter Johnson 2
Grand View Christian: 17-45 FG (37.8%), 5-15 3P (33.3%), 10-17 FT (58.8%), 39 rebounds, 17 turnovers, nine assists
North Linn: 15-47 FG (31.9%), 2-18 3P (11.1%), 14-15 FT (93.3%), 25 rebounds, 10 turnovers, nine assists
All-Tournament Team (Media): Jack Kelley (Don Bosco), Derrick Schorg (Remsen, St. Mary’s), Issa Samake (Grand View Christian), Ryan Miller (North Linn), Grant DeMeulenaere (Grand View Christian), Jake Hilmer (North Linn, captain)
Semifinal No. 1: No. 1 North Linn 74, No. 5 Don Bosco 51
Top-seeded North Linn has thrived all season on creating pressure and making opposing teams uncomfortable. They did it again on Wednesday afternoon en route to punching their ticket to Friday’s 1A state championship, disposing fifth-seeded Don Bosco, 74-51.
Don Bosco actually landed the first punch of the afternoon, jumping out to a quick 12-6 lead and looking comfortable against the Lynx’s vaunted pressure. Then things began to unfold, as North Linn took their pressure up another notch and pieced together a 20-0 run to end the first quarter, which eventually extended to a 30-2 run over the course of 7:28 of game time. And that, as they say, was pretty much all she wrote. Once the Lynx put you in a hole like that, it’s nearly impossible to get out of. They just defend way too well and can turn that defense into offense in a hurry.
Throughout the second half, Don Bosco did a much better job of limiting live-ball turnovers and forcing the Lynx to play in the halfcourt, but the deficit they found themselves in was just way too much to overcome. North Linn’s lead was cut to as little as 11 early in the fourth quarter, but the Lynx quickly responded and cruised to the win down the stretch.
Don Bosco (23-4) will play in the consolation game on Thursday morning against either Grand View Christian or Remsen, St. Mary’s. The Dons shot 55.3% from the floor, but 20 turnovers which led to 28 Lynx points doomed them. They were led in scoring by Zach Huff, who had 15 points. Zach Nie chipped in 14 in the loss. They’ll lose their top two scorers from this year’s team in Sean McFadden and Zach Nie, but with their stellar backcourt of Zach Huff and Jack Kelley returning, the Dons will be heard from again next year.
North Linn moves to 28-0 on the season and will face the winner of the aforementioned Grand View Christian-Remsen, St. Mary’s game in Friday afternoon’s championship game. For the first time this season, the Lynx weren’t able to achieve a running clock against their opponent. They were led by Jake Hilmer, who had 29 points, five assists and four steals, but also had an uncharacteristic six turnovers. Ryan Miller added 25 points and five steals, and Trevor Boge had 15 points in the win. The Lynx shot 57.8% from the field in the win.
MVP: Ryan Miller (North Linn) — 25 points (9-13 FG, 1-4 3P, 6-7 FT), three rebounds, two assists, five steals
Hilmer led the team in scoring, but it was Miller’s play during the big 30-2 Lynx run that really spurred North Linn’s explosion. His activity on the defensive end and ability to get out in transition and score through contact helped carry North Linn to Friday.
Don Bosco: Zach Huff 15, Zach Nie 14, Jack Kelley 8, Cael Tenold 8, Sean McFadden 6
North Linn: Jake Hilmer 29, Ryan Miller 25, Trevor Boge 15, Adam Waskow 4, David Seber 1
Don Bosco: 21-38 FG (55.3%), 7-14 3P (50%), 2-4 FT (50%), 21 rebounds (three offensive, 18 defensive), 11 assists, 20 turnovers
North Linn: 26-45 FG (57.8%), 4-12 3P (33.3%), 18-24 FT (75%), 21 rebounds (six offensive, 15 defensive), 11 assists, nine turnovers
Semifinal No. 2: No. 2 Grand View Christian 59, No. 3 Remsen, St. Mary’s 53
Defending champions have to be put away when you have the chance, which is something that third-seeded Remsen, St. Mary’s didn’t quite manage on Wednesday evening as Grand View Christian ended their semifinal meeting on a 19-3 run to advance to Friday afternoon’s championship game, where the Thunder will have a chance to defend their title.
Trailing 48-40 with 4:13 to play and the Thunder’s star big man, Issa Samake, on the bench having fouled out, it looked like the Hawks had a chance to put the Thunder away. Enter the Thunder’s star guards. Mach Nyaw knocked down a corner 3, 48-43. They forced a turnover, and Nyaw knocked down a short jumper. 48-45. St. Mary’s missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and Grant DeMeulenaere slashed to the rim for a layup, 48-47. Arturo Montes came away with a steal, and Sam Glenn got the ball ahead to Nyaw for a layup. 49-48, and all the momentum. Montes followed with a tip-in a possession later, and St. Mary’s never got any closer.
So how’d we get to that point? Grand View Christian looked every bit the defending champion they are early on, jumping out to a lightning quick 9-0 lead, and it looked like the Thunder’s athleticism and speed might just be too much for St. Mary’s, in particular Samake. But after the Hawks got settled in, they battled back, and a Spencer Schorg 3 tied the game at 15 after one. The second quarter was hotly contested, with GVC taking a two-point lead, 28-26, into the break. The third quarter was similar.
The fourth quarter started with St. Mary’s taking the lead on a Carter Kuchel jumper, giving the Hawks their first lead since the 6:08 mark of the second quarter. Free throws by Nicholas Ruden and Brody Ricke extended that lead to four, then Samake made a pair for GVC to cut it back to two. A possession later, Samake was called for a charge, fouling him out, and swinging all the momentum back to St. Mary’s, seemingly, with the Hawks up 44-40 and GVC’s biggest advantage on the bench. The Hawks would score four more, then the aforementioned wide rally took place. In a game of major momentum swings and runs, the Thunder were the ones who got the last blow in.
St. Mary’s (26-1) suffered their first loss of the season in the semifinals for the second year in a row, and for the second year in a row, it was to Grand View Christian. The Hawks will face Don Bosco in the third place game on Thursday morning. They were led by Brody Ricke, who had 16 points. Nicholas Ruden added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Spencer Schorg had 10 points. The Hawks turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 25 GVC points, which was ultimately their downfall.
Grand View Christian (24-1) moves into Friday afternoon’s championship game, setting up the matchup people across the state have been waiting for with top-seed North Linn. The Thunder were led in scoring by Grant DeMeulenaere, who had 18 points, but shot just 5-25 from the floor. Mach Nyaw added 13 points, and Issa Samake had a monster stat line of 13 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and three steals before he fouled out.
MVP: Mach Nyaw (Grand View Christian) — 13 points (6-11 FG, 1-4 3P), one assist, two steals
Samake had a monster game, and DeMeulenaere led the team in scoring, but it was Nyaw who stepped up the most late, scoring seven of the Thunder’s nine points during the spurt to give them the lead back. He suffered a leg injury in the first half that didn’t look good, and it was a surprise that he was able to come back into the game at all, let alone contribute. But contribute he did, and he’ll have a chance to help lead his team to another state title.
Remsen, St. Mary’s: Brody Ricke 16, Nicholas Ruden 13, Spencer Schorg 10, Derrick Schorg 7, Carter Kuchel 6, Mitchell Schlitz 1
Grand View Christian: Grant DeMeulenaere 18, Mach Nyaw 13, Issa Samake 13, Arturo Montes 5, Bryce Crabb 5, Kong Neyail 5
Remsen, St. Mary’s: 19-47 FG (40.4%), 6-15 3P (40%), 9-13 3FT (69.2%), 35 rebounds (14 offensive, 21 defensive), 16 assists, 19 turnovers
Grand View Christian: 21-63 FG (33.3%), 3-23 3P (13%), 14-17 FT (82.4%), 39 rebounds (21 offensive, 18 defensive), 11 assists, 11 turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 1: No. 1 North Linn 80, No. 8 Edgewood-Colesburg 34
There wasn’t much drama in the state tournament opener, as top seeded North Linn rolled to a 80-34 win over Tri-Rivers Conference rival Edgewood-Colesburg on Monday morning.
In a pair of previous meetings this season, North Linn won by 44 (86-42) and 71 points (97-26), so another blowout win was expected. Behind a smothering pressure defense that forced 18 first half turnovers, North Linn jumped out to a 52-21 halftime lead and never looked back, getting to a running clock early in the second half and coasting to the win.
Edgewood-Colesburg ends the season with a 21-5 mark, three of those losses coming at the hands of North Linn. The Vikings were led by junior guard Ethan Streicher, who had nine points in the loss. The Vikings will return Streicher, Preston Rochford and Parker Rochford, a trio of double figure scorers, next season and figure to be in the running for a return trip to Des Moines.
North Linn advances to Wednesday’s semifinals, where they’ll meet either George-Little Rock or Don Bosco. The Lynx were led in scoring by Ryan Miller, who had 23 points to go with six rebounds and five steals. Star point guard Jake Hilmer had 20 points, nine assists and eight steals in the win, and David Seber chipped in 14 for the Lynx, who shot 60.7% from the floor.
MVP: Jake Hilmer (North Linn) — 20 points (9-14 FG), nine assists, eight steals, six rebounds
The star point guard has been sensational for the Lynx, setting the single season and career assist mark already as just a junior, as well as the single season steals record. He was dominant on both ends again in the win, nearly piecing together a triple-double. He’ll be the best player on the floor each time the Lynx play, and if he keeps it rolling like this on both ends, the Lynx will be nearly impossible to slow down.
Edgewood-Colesburg: Ethan Streicher 9, Jacob Wessel 8, Preston Rochford 7, Calvin Heims 5, Parker Rochford 3, Ben Ernst 2
North Linn: Ryan Miller 23, Jake Hilmer 20, David Seber 13, Adam Waskow 8, Brad Pflughaupt 5, Trevor Boge 4, Carter Johnson 4, Josh Smith 2
Edgewood-Colesburg: 15-46 FG (32.6%), 3-15 3P (20.0%), 1-3 FT (33.3%), 30 rebounds (13 offensive, 17 defense), 10 assists, 27 turnovers
North Linn: 34-56 FG (60.7%), 7-17 3P (41.2%), 5-9 FT (55.6%), 27 rebounds (seven offense, 20 defensive), 16 assists, eight turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 2: No. 5 Don Bosco 60, No. 4 George-Little Rock 57
Fifth-seeded Don Bosco broke open a tight game with a dominant second quarter, then held off a furious George-Little Rock rally to advance to the semifinals with a 60-57 win on Monday afternoon.
Trailing 10-9 with just under three minutes left in the first quarter, Don Bosco closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run. The Mustangs closed to within 22-20 before the Dons then closed the half with a 14-5 run to take a 36-25 lead into the locker rooms. The biggest key to their late half run was a changed defensive approach, packing it in tight and daring G-LR to shoot jumpers, rather than using their size advantage to control the offensive glass.
Don Bosco’s offense got a bit stagnant in the second half, scoring just seven third quarter points, allowing G-LR to close within 43-39 after three quarters. A pair of free throws from G-LR’s Josh Haken tied the game at 48 with 3:55 left to play. Don Bosco’s Zach Nie answered with a pull-up mid-range jumper, then a Jack Kelley layup off a pretty feed from Sean McFadden. A 3-ball from Haken drew G-LR back within one, 52-51, but the Mustangs were unable to draw any closer, forced to foul the Dons, who converted eight of 10 free throw attempts in the final 1:28 to secure the win.
George-Little Rock ends the year with a 19-7 record. With their top three scorers returning, and five of their top seven overall, look for the Mustangs to be making a serious push again next season. They were led by junior forward Caleb Terhark, who had 13 points and eight rebounds while playing all 32 minutes. Josh Haken added 12 and Landon Jumbeck had 10 points, including a pair of big 3s in the second half to keep G-LR within striking distance.
Don Bosco advances to face top seed North Linn in Wednesday’s semifinals. The Dons were led by their outstanding backcourt of Jack Kelley (17 points) and Zach Huff (10). Sean McFadden added 10 points in the win as well.
MVP: Jack Kelley (Don Bosco) — 17 points (5-11 FG, 7-9 FT), one rebound, two assists
Either of the Dons guards could get this honor for their effort in the win, but it was Kelley’s relentless attacking of the rim that jumpstarted the Don Bosco offense. A creative finisher around the rim, he found a way to make some big shots when the Dons really needed them.
Don Bosco: Jack Kelley 17, Zach Huff 10, Sean McFadden 10, Zach Nie 8, Cael Tenold 8, Clayton Weber 5, Kendall Becker 2
George-Little Rock: Caleb Terhark 13, Josh Haken 12, Landon Jumbeck 10, Jayden Mauldin 8, Lucas Nagel 8, Blake Johnson 4, Payton Mauldin 2
Don Bosco: 20-42 FG (47.6%), 3-6 3P (50.0%), 17-21 FT (81.0%), 32 rebounds (seven offensive, 25 defensive), 12 assists, nine turnovers
George-Little Rock: 21-56 FG (37.5%), 6-21 3P (28.6%), 9-13 FT (69.2%), 30 rebounds (13 offensive, 17 defensive), 10 assists, four turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 3: No. 2 Grand View Christian 78, No. 7 Council Bluffs, St. Albert 68
What looked like a blowout turned into a highly competitive game in the fourth quarter, as seventh-seeded St. Albert nearly completed a 16-point comeback effort against second seed, and defending 1A champion, Grand View Christian. The Thunder eventually pulled back away, winning 78-68 to advance to Wednesday’s semifinals.
A tight game for a majority of the first half was blown open a bit midway through the second quarter, as Grand View Christian opened up a nine-point lead heading into the break. Behind a smothering defense with quick hands, the Thunder forced nine first half turnovers as they built their lead (they’d force 20 in the game overall).
The third quarter was dominated by Grand View Christian, as they built their lead up to 16 points with 2:40 remaining in the quarter. St. Albert closed the quarter on a 7-2 spurt to gain some momentum heading to the final period.
Grand View Christian opened the fourth quarter with another mini-run to extend the lead back to 15, and it looked like they’d cruise into the semifinals. However, a string of missed free throws and turnovers allowed St. Albert to climb back into the game, and a 3-point play by Jared Gast with 2:55 left got the Falcons within a possession, trailing 66-63. Unfortunately for St. Albert, they ran out of gas late, and the Thunder converted 14 of their final 17 attempts from the free throw line to seal the win.
St. Albert closes the season with a 15-10 mark. Their “Big Three” of Jake Carley, Tyler Blaha and Matt Fagan made a pair of state tournament appearances during their careers (runner-up in 2016) and went down in a battle here. The Falcons were led by Carley, who had 18 points but shot just 5-16 from the floor. Jared Gast added 11 points off the bench.
Grand View Christian (23-1) advances to Wednesday’s semifinals, where they’ll face either Remsen, St. Mary’s or Lynnville-Sully. The Thunder had five players score in double figures, led by Arturo Montes with 23. Grant DeMeulenaere had 19 points, overcoming a rough shooting day (3-13) by going 13-16 from the line. Mach Nyaw had 11, and Issa Samake and Bryce Crabb each added 10 points in the win.
MVP: Arturo Montes (Grand View Christian) — 23 points (7-13 FG, 3-4 3P, 6-7 FT), five rebounds, five steals
The improvement that Montes has made over the course of the past year is impressive. The 6-4 forward is now a legitimate threat to step out to the three-point line and knock down shots, and he’s a really strong finisher around the rim. Always active on the defensive end, he swiped five steals and had a block as well in the Thunder’s win.
Council Bluffs, St. Albert: Jake Carley 18, Jared Gast 11, Matt Fagan 9, Tyler Blaha 7, Kyle Barnes 7, Luke Waters 7, Joe Liston 4, Garret Reisz 3, Lance Wright 2
Grand View Christian: Arturo Montes 23, Grant DeMeulenaere 19, Mach Nyaw 11, Issa Samake 10, Bryce Crabb 10, Sam Glenn 5
Council Bluffs, St. Albert: 20-52 FG (38.5%), 7-23 3P (30.4%), 21-28 FT (75.0%), 39 rebounds (16 offensive, 23 defensive), 11 assists, 20 turnovers
Grand View Christian: 22-48 FG (45.8%), 6-14 3P (42.9%), 28-43 FT (65.1%), 30 rebounds (12 offensive, 18 defensive), 11 assists, 13 turnovers
Quarterfinal No. 4: No. 3 Remsen, St. Mary’s 73, No. 6 Lynnville-Sully 57
A game featuring two of the top five scoring defenses in Class 1A actually turned into an offensive contest, with Remsen, St. Mary’s prevailing in a 73-57 quarterfinal win.
A 13-0 run in the second quarter made the biggest difference on Monday afternoon, as third seed Remsen, St. Mary’s turned a 26-all game into a 39-26 lead shortly before the half en route to the win.
Lynnville-Sully was able to claw back into the contest, and had the lead trimmed all the way down to 54-51 with 6:07 to play, but St. Mary’s responded with a 12-0 run to push the lead back to 15, and Lynnville-Sully never got any closer than nine points after that.
Lynnville-Sully’s season ends at 22-4. The Hawks group of seniors made a pair of state tournament appearances, and they were led today by Tanner Foster, who had 19 points in the loss. Rylan James chipped in 13 for the Hawks, who shot just 32.8% from the floor.
Remsen, St. Mary’s (26-0) advances to the semifinals for the second straight season. The Hawks were led by Derrick Schorg, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds, leading four Hawks in double figures. Brody Ricke chipped in 18 points, Carter Kuchel had 11 and Spencer Schorg added 10. They’ll face defending champion Grand View Christian in the semifinals.
MVP: Derrick Schorg (Remsen, St. Mary’s) — 20 points (6-9 FG, 8-9 FT), 12 rebounds, two assists
The 6-4 senior forward came in averaging 8.9 points and 5.7 rebounds, but he was great in the Hawks’ first round win, putting up game highs in both scoring and rebounding. With star forward Nicholas Ruden having an off night, it was Schorg who elevated his play the most in helping St. Mary’s advance to the semifinals. His activity around the rim on both ends of the floor made a major difference in this one.
Lynnville-Sully: Tanner Foster 19, Rylan James 13, Tyson Vander Linden 8, Brevin Hansen 6, Jesse Van Wyk 6, Blaize Kuhlmann 3, Corey McCoy 2
Remsen, St. Mary’s: Derrick Schorg 20, Brody Ricke 18, Carter Kuchel 11, Spencer Schorg 10, Nicholas Ruden 9, Mitchell Schiltz 5
Lynnville-Sully: 19-58 FG (32.8%), 6-27 3P (22.2%), 13-19 FT (68.4%), 33 rebounds (10 offensive, 23 defensive), six assists, six turnovers
Remsen, St. Mary’s: 26-54 FG (48.1%), 3-13 3P (23.1%), 18-24 FT (75.0%), 41 rebounds (10 offensive, 31 defensive), 11 assists, six turnovers