Spartans soar past Regents
Grundy Center nearly hits 100 in 2A districts
GRUNDY CENTER — There was only a brief moment early on where it looked as if Waterloo Christian was going to be able to compete with the high-flying, quick-attacking Grundy Center boys’ basketball.
However, an ensuing 17-1 run quickly put an end to any of those thoughts, and the Spartans advanced in Class 1A Region 6 play with a 98-52 win against the Regents.
Luke Zwack led all scorers with 38 points in his final game in a Waterloo Christian uniform. His season-best of 49 points is second-best to just two other players who have posted 50 this year. Bryce Flater led the Spartans (6-16) with 17 points, two rebounds and two assists.
With 98 points, it’s the most the Spartans have scored in the past decade, according to records on quikstats.com.
While the offense had no issues scoring — the Spartans posted 30 points in the fourth quarter with mostly bench players — it was the defense that showed lackluster play, Grundy Center head coach Joe Nelson said.
“I don’t think we played very good defense at all,” Nelson said. “I tried to throw different guys at [Zwack], but we just didn’t respond very well. We allowed him to do more things than we wanted him to do, and we’ll have to adjust going to into the next round.”
Zwack made five 3-pointers against the Spartans, and led the Regents (0-22) in rebounds (seven) and assists (two).
Ball movement early on was an area Nelson thought the Spartans excelled, helping find open perimeter shots as well as some easy looks down low.
Fourteen different Grundy Center players saw minutes, and all of them scored having at least two points. The Spartans took over at 9-8 and never looked back.
“The flow of the game, we really just couldn’t get into it,” Nelson said. “We struggled at times, so I tried to throw some different lineups out there, just to try and get a different flow and some energy.”
Tanner Appel led the way in rebounds with seven rebounds and Sage Klar tacked on six more. The Spartans were able to out-rebound the winless Regents 31-21 on the boards, and assisted on more than the Regents’ scoring plays, 18-13. Jared Krausman had a team-best four dimes.
With Zwack leading the way, the Regents didn’t have much else to look at for scoring. Ethan Van Sickle had eight points, while Waterloo Christian only used six players throughout the night.
The lack of depth from his opponent wasn’t a factor in the game, Nelson said, but rather a lack of execution in different facets of Monday night’s district game.
“They could’ve had 13 guys, our defensive scheme was still going to be the same,” Nelson said. “We knew who their good players were, just like any other team we would have coming in. We had to focus and get the stops, and we didn’t. Nothing against Zwack, he’s a great player, and he’s proved that game in and game out.”
With the win, the Spartans will head to top-seeded, fourth-ranked Gladbrook-Reinbeck for a district quarterfinal match. There’s plenty of history between the two NICL West foes. The Rebels (20-2) won both regular-season, as well as knocking out the Spartans in last year’s district final, 67-43.
“We’re going to have to get the momentum back in our way,” Nelson said. “We’ve got a tough one on Thursday night. But at this point, everyone’s going to be tough. You’ve got to approach it ready to go. Because at this point in time, you either win or you’re done.”
The Rebels and Spartans tip off in Reinbeck on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Grundy Center 98,
At Grundy Center
WATERLOO CHRISTIAN (0-22) — Luke Zwack 9 15-22 38, John Zwack 1 1-3 4, Ethan Van Sickle 3 0-0 8, Noah Blakesley 1 0-0 2, Isaah Krause 0 0-0 0, Ethan Sliger 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 16-25 52.
GRUNDY CENTER (6-16) — Drew Rathe 1 2-2 4, Jared Krausman 3 1-3 7, Cale Hendricks 2 0-0 4, Sage Klar 2 2-2 8, Chase Boren 3 0-0 9, Mitchell Munson 3 0-0 7, Josh Kupier 4 0-0 8, Bryce Flater 8 1-4 17, Cade Rohler 1 0-0 2, Joe Johnson 2 0-0 4, Tanner Appel 3 0-0 6, Cameron Steenhoek 2 1-4 5, Braiden Buhrow 2 4-5 9, Jordan Hook 3 2-3 8. TOTALS 39 13-23 98.
W. CHRISTIAN 9 16 16 11 — 52
GRUNDY CTR. 27 22 19 30 — 98
3-Point Goals–WC 8 (L. Zwack 5, Van Sickle 2, J. Zwack), Grundy Center 7 (Boren 3, Klar 2, Muson, Buhrow). Rebounds–WC 21 (L. Zwack 7), GC 31 (Appel 7). Assists–WC 13 (L. Zwack 5), GC 18 (Krausman 4). Total Fouls–WC 16, GC 19. Fouled Out–None.