Valley holds off Trojans to win 4A championship

DES MOINES – West Des Moines Valley stifled Iowa City West with an active zone defense and got 16 points from Quinton Curry in beating the Trojans 46-39 Saturday night to win the Class 4A state championship.

Valley (23-3) lost to West in the 2014 state finals but took advantage when it got another crack at the eastern Iowa power, which had been seeking its fourth championship in five years.

The Tigers never trailed after Pete Economus knocked down a 3-pointer for a 5-3 lead, went ahead by as many as 11 and then answered each time West threatened.

Carlo Marble and Turner Scott each scored 10 points for Valley, which won its second title, and Curry grabbed nine rebounds.

Devontae Lane’s 14 points led West (21-5), which lost for just the second time in eight appearances in the championship game. Wali Parks added 11 points and Alex Henderson eight.

West shot only 28.6 percent and went just 4 for 18 from 3-point range as the Trojans struggled for good shots against the Valley zone. They missed eight of their first 10 shots and never found a consistent rhythm.

Still, West forced some turnovers and managed to make it a game after trailing 23-14 at halftime. The Trojans pulled to within a point on three occasions, the last time at 34-33 when Parks sank two free throws with 3:44 remaining.

Curry answered quickly with a pull-up jumper in the lane and Scott made a key play on the defensive end when he drew a charge on Lane as the West guard was feeding Parks for a dunk. That nullified the basket and started a Valley parade to the free throw line.

Curry made the first two for a 38-33 with 1:29 left and the Tigers sank eight more to stay in control.

Valley’s only other title came in 1993. The Tigers have lost five times in the finals, including a 57-45 loss to West in 2014, when the Trojans won the last of three consecutive crowns.

CLASS 3A

Cedar Rapids Xavier 62, Dubuque Wahlert 57

Sophomore Jackson Joens scored 18 points and Cedar Rapids Xavier stunned Dubuque Wahlert 62-57 Saturday night to win the Class 3A state championship, ending the Golden Eagles’ bid for a third consecutive title.

Mitchell Burger hit some key second-half shots and finished with 16 points for Xavier (19-8), which staged a remarkable turnaround after losing its last six regular-season games, including a 68-56 setback to Wahlert in the finale.

The Saints won the one that counted, however, and claimed the title in their first trip to the finals. They did it with a hustling, scrappy defense and a quick burst that erased Wahlert’s final lead.

University of Iowa recruit Cordell Pemsl led Wahlert (21-6) with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Schmitt also scored 15 for the Golden Eagles on 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point range and Austin Kluck added 10 points.