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Fifth-ranked Hawks snag 1A district title (Newton Daily Press article)

posted Feb 24, 2017, 8:18 PM by Webmaster lynnville-sully

Lynnville-Sully plays Martensdale-St. Marys for 1A Substate 6 title Saturday

Published: Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 9:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 10:43 a.m. CST

(Jocelyn Sheets/Daily News)
By Jocelyn Sheets Newton Daily News

Riding the ebb and tide of each basketball game, Lynnville-Sully’s Hawks have themselves right where they want to be — in the Class 1A Substate 6 championship game.

The fifth-ranked Hawks survived a third match up with fellow South Iowa Cedar League conference member Montezuma on Thursday. The Braves handed the Hawks their only loss of the season in December.

Lynnville-Sully (23-1) continued its winning pace with a 52-43 win over the Braves in the Class 1A District 11 title game at Newton High School. They will play Martensdale-St. Marys at 7 p.m. Saturday for the 1A Substate 6 championship and a trip to the 1A state tournament.

Martensdale-St. Marys (18-6) beat Murray, 61-48, Thursday in the 1A District 12 title game.

“This is awesome. It is such a rush,” Lynnville-Sully sophomore forward Rylan James said. “We’ll go to Knoxville on Saturday and give it all we have to get to the state tournament.”

James had the final go-ahead basket for the Hawks Thursday after Montezuma’s Dakota Strong drained a 3-pointer to rally the Braves. The teams were deadlocked at 43-all with 2:35 left in the game.

“That was a momentum booster for them. They had the crowd back into it. I’m just glad I was able to put it in,” James said.

The Hawks only had two steals in the game and they cam in the final two minutes. After James’ field goal gave his team a 45-43 lead at the 1:54 mark, senior Tyler Van Zante swiped the ball from the Braves.

A technical foul was called on Montezuma head coach Derek Schulte. Lynnville-Sully junior Jesse Van Wyk sank one of two foul shots. Strong had a long 3-pointer rim out and the Hawks collected the defensive rebound.

Van Wyk and junior Brevin Hansen sank 6-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the win, sending the Hawks to the Class 1A Substate 6 championship game on Saturday. Lynnville-Sully won its second straight 1A district title Thursday.

“It was a great ballgame,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Nick Harthoorn said. “Montezuma came out hot, but our guys hung tough. We were able to create a little lead, but Montezuma came right back. I was proud of the way our guys responded once they tied it up.”

The Braves pushed out to a 12-6 lead over the Hawks. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Logan Price put Montezuma up 18-9 with 2:32 left in the first quarter. Lynnville-Sully got a basket by Tanner Foster then free throws by James and Hansen closed the gap to 18-13 by the close of the period.

Trailing 24-18, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run to gain a 25-24 halftime lead.

“We just had to keep calm and play our game,” James said. “We had a game plan and we stuck to it.”

Harthoorn said the Hawks talked at halftime about all the fundamentally things they did to get the lead. He said it was about playing tougher defense, being stronger with the ball and being tougher on the boards.

Shane Helm’s basket put the Braves back on top 26-25 to open the third quarter. Van Zante and James had two buckets apiece to put the Hawks in front 33-26 by the 5:15 mark.

Van Zante, who finished with 16 points, drilled a 3-pointer with 59 seconds on the clock to give the Hawks a 39-31 lead.

Lynnville-Sully was up 39-33 going into the fourth quarter. A drive down the lane for a basket by Van Zante had the Hawks leading, 43-36, with 4:30 remaining in the game.

Price scored for the Braves then Strong had a basket and a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43-43.

“We took a timeout and talked about just settling down. Our guys showed a lot of character responding to that run by Montezuma at the end,” Harthoorn said.

Lynnville-Sully held the Braves scoreless the rest of the way while scoring nine points to win.

The Hawks shot 46 percent, 19-of-41, from the field and cashed in on 13-of-25 from the free-throw line. The Braves hit four of their six 3-pointers in the first quarter. They shot 31 percent, 16-of-52, from the field overall and went 5-of-14 at the line.

James had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Lynnville-Sully had a 33-24 rebounding edge. Van Wyk had nine rebounds, four assists and blocked two shots.

Price led the Braves (18-6) with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Montezuma 18-6-9-10—43

Lynnville-Sully 12-12-14-13—52

Lynnville-Sully (FG/3-pt): Hansen 2-5-4-9, Van Wyk 1-5-1-7, Van Zante 5/1-1-2-16, Foster 4-0-3-8, Hofer 1-0-3-2, James 4-2-0-10, McCoy 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 18/1-13-14-52.

Montezuma (FG/3-pt): Townsend 2-0-2-4 Losure 0-1-3-1, Strong 2/1-1-3-8, Ray 1/1-0-4-5, Helm 2/1-0-4-7, Price 3/3-3-2-18. TOTALS: 10/6-5-19-43.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or