Trojans hold off PCM
LE GRAND — The free-wheeling West Marshall offense let loose on more 3-point attempts than shots from inside the arc, even when it held a lead and the ball and had time on its side.
Yet when shot selection wavered and PCM pulled closer and closer, the Trojan boys’ basketball team had just enough determination to finish off the Mustangs for a 61-58 victory in Thursday’s Class 2A District 13 semifinals.
With the win, West Marshall (15-7) earned the opportunity to avenge a pair of regular-season losses to No. 7 East Marshall (21-0) on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse in Marshalltown with the district title on the line.
But not until completing the final inbounds pass of Thursday’s showdown with PCM (16-6) did the Trojans have that victory secure.
West Marshall shot 1-for-5 from the free-throw line in the final 34 seconds, but still finished off what had been an eight-point lead with 1:29 remaining. PCM tried its luck launching away from distance but came up empty too many times down the stretch to slice into the margin.
The Trojans never trailed over the final three quarters, led by as many as 12 (at halftime) and made enough plays to fend off the Mustangs.
“A little bit at the end I was not too happy, we were shooting too many outside shots when we should have been attacking and maybe getting ourselves to the foul line,” West Marshall head coach Paul de Neui said, “but overall we did a pretty good job and got the win.”
West Marshall went 10-for-26 from 3-point range to move past PCM and into the district finals, but the Trojans knew they could shoot in East Marshall’s gym. In a 68-60 loss to the Mustangs two weeks ago, West Marshall sank 12 treys. The Trojans are tops in the state in 3-pointers made (224).
“They felt comfortable coming here because we’ve been in here multiple times and played some really good games,” de Neui said. “We have short memories at times because we shoot a lot of threes but there were times we really wanted to go to the hoop and we called a couple timeouts expressing that.
“In the second half our threes weren’t falling like they were in the first half, and when they’re not going down you need to do other things. Sometimes it sinks in and sometimes it doesn’t, but Beau [Coberley] does a good job going to the hoop and Cam [Bannister] did a little bit there at the end and that helped us a lot.”
Coberley came away with a team-leading 17 points, Alex Dickey made five 3-pointers for 15 points and Peyton Pope added three triples and 12 points.
Dickey’s three-straight treys in the first quarter rescued the Trojans from a 12-5 deficit, while back-to-back Joe Halverson treys gave West Marshall the lead to start the second quarter. Pope and Dickey went back-to-back from deep to end the first half scoring and send the Trojans into the intermission with their largest lead of the night at 39-27.
But PCM scored the first 10 points of the third quarter before West Marshall countered with a 7-0 run of its own. The surges steadied in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs got consecutive 3-pointers from Jackson Thomas and Derek Brown to make it a 3-point game just past the midway point.
A pair of Coberley free throws put the Trojans out front 60-52 with 1:29 to go, and not even some free-throw struggles and a pair of turnovers were enough to keep West Marshall from the winner’s circle.
Andrew Van Ryswyk led PCM with 18 points, Thomas tallied 13 and Reed Worth had 10 in the finale for the Mustangs.
“[Van Ryswyk] is a heck of a player and we’re not the biggest kids so we had to do a good job defending him and overall we did,” de Neui said. “Michael Doe came off the bench and did a tremendous job rebounding for us too.”
Doe, Pope and Halverson shared the team lead with six rebounds apiece, and Coberley chalked up four assists. And now the Trojans will take on their cross-county foes in hopes of advancing to the substate finals.
“It’s in the back of our mind,” de Neui said of squaring off with East Marshall a third time. “I’m sure the boys are looking forward to the opportunity to play them again and I’m sure [East Marshall] will be too. It’s been a fun series between these groups of seniors.”
West Marshall 61, PCM 58
At Le Grand
PCM (16-6) — Elijah Sperfslage 0 0-0 0, Reed Worth 4 0-0 10, Jackson Thomas 5 1-5 13, Noah Lanphier 2 1-2 5, Andrew Van Ryswyk 7 4-5 18, Jason Stafford 3 0-0 7, Dayton Boell 0 0-0 0, Nick Dredge 0 0-0 0, Derek Brown 1 0-0 3, Isaac Telfer 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 23 6-12 58.
WEST MARSHALL (15-7) — Beau Coberley 6 5-5 17, Cameron Bannister 1 3-4 5, Peyton Pope 4 1-2 12, Joseph Halverson 3 0-0 8, Alex Dickey 5 0-3 15, Josh Larsen 1 0-0 2, Michael Doe 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 21 9-14 61.
PCM 18 9 15 16 — 58
W. MARSHALL 19 20 9 13 — 61
3-Point Goals–PCM 5 (Worth 2, Stafford, Thomas, Brown), WM 10 (Dickey 5, Pope 3, Halverson 2). Total Fouls–PCM 15, WM 11. Fouled Out–Halverson.