Lions deny Trojans in district semifinals
URBANDALE — The Trojans had their chances Thursday. The West Marshall boys’ basketball team just couldn’t get the couple of bounces it needed to go its way.
The Trojans came up on the short end of a 62-57 contest to Des Moines Christian in the Class 2A District 11 semifinal on the Lions’ home court. The Lions advance to face East Marshall (16-5) in Tuesday’s district final in Ankeny.
The Trojans (9-13) trailed by as many as five points at two different times in the first quarter, but they refused to lay down. A 10-3 run, including 3-pointers from Beau Coberley and Alex Dickey, helped West Marshall take a 15-13 lead. The Lions (18-4) however, came back with a 10-0 run of its own that went into the second quarter to build a 23-15 lead, prompting a West Marshall timeout.
“At the beginning, their fast breaks,” said West Marshall coach Paul deNeui. “Their four or five fast breaks they got at the beginning, they got up by six or seven points, and that’s the difference.”
The Trojans, again, refused to let DMC run away with the game. Out of the timeout, Dickey made a 3-pointer. Then some quick passing around the horn found Cam Bannister underneath the bucket for two points. Anytime though the Trojans tried to climb back in it, the Lions kept them at arm’s length. DMC led through almost the entire second quarter, building its lead back out to as much as six, but the Trojans fought back to tie it 31-all before the Lions took a 33-31 halftime lead.
The Lions led the rest of the way, taking a one-point lead in the third out to a nine-point lead at 44-35 on a 9-0 run. The contest became tug of war competition, but for every step West Marshall gained on the opposition, the Lions gained two steps. The Trojans got within four points heading into the fourth quarter, but again DMC stretched it out to as much as eight.
Getting five straight points from Josh Larsen and then Bannister on a 3-pointer, the Trojans got the deficit within two, 52-50, thanks to some DMC struggles at the free-throw line. The Lions shot less than 50 percent from the charity stripe, but West Marshall couldn’t come any closer. The Lions opened a 58-52 lead with 1:10 to play, and held on for the nail biting win.
“They did a lot of great things,” deNeui said recapping the Trojan season. “Won some good ball games. Competed hard against some good teams. They have a lot to be proud of that they’ll remember.”
Austin Mora led all scorers, pacing the Lions with 16 points. Ben Juhl and Grant Veurink added 14 and 11 for DMC, respectively. Disney, just one of two seniors listed on the West Marshall roster, led the Trojans with 15 points. Bannister finished with 12, and Larsen added 10.
“They’re deflated,” deNeui said of the atmosphere in the locker room following the game. “They really believed they could’ve won. They competed hard, and I’m really proud of what they’ve done. It’s hard that the season is over.”
Des Moines Christian 62, West Marshall 57
WEST MARSHALL (9-13) — Beau Coberley 3 0-1 8, Alex Dickey 2 0-0 6, Cam Bannister 5 1-2 12, David Disney 5 5-6 15, Joe Halverson 1 4-4 6, Josh Larsen 4 2-2 10, Chandler Sponseller 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 12-15 57.
DM CHRISTIAN (18-4) — Nathan Herbers 3 1-2 7, Grant Veurink 5 0-2 11, Austin Mora 6 3-6 16, Ben Juhl 6 1-5 14, Isaac Prewitt 2 5-6 11, Brandon Loverude 1 0-0 3, Seth Juhl 0 0-0 0, Jordan Harris 0 0-0 0, Sam Buxvoort 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 23 10-21 62.
W. MARSHALL 15 16 10 16 — 57
DMC 18 15 12 17 — 62
3-Point Goals–WM 5 (Coberley 2, Dickey 2, Bannister); DMC 6 (Prewitt, Loverude, Veurink, Mora, B. Juhl). Total Fouls–WM 13, DMC 15. Fouled Out–None.