Eagles grounded by West Lyon
DES MOINES – The fourth-seeded Keota High School boys’ varsity basketball team was taken off its flight path toward a Class 1A state championship at Wells Fargo Arena on Thursday, March 13. The West Lyon Wildcats defeated the Eagles in the state semifinal game 61 – 40.
West Lyon seemingly couldn’t find a way to miss the basket, especially early in the game. They used their hot shooting to build a 10 – 2 lead at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter.
“They [West Lyon] have some really talented players, especially inside. They were shooting the ball really well from the get-go and that didn’t help us,” Keota head coach Dan Stout said.
With 2:53 remaining in the first quarter, a senior Derek Berg steal led to a junior Nate Owen layup to cut the Wildcat lead to 12 – 9. That margin of three points was the smallest difference the game would see from that point on.
From there, West Lyon went on a 5 – 0 run to take a 17 – 9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Owen’s game picked up during the second quarter, as the Wildcat defense keyed on senior Kolton Greiner and the rest of Keota’s guards. The Eagles were able to put up 11 points in the second quarter, but West Lyon put up another 17 themselves to make the halftime score 34 – 20.
“Their players did a good job of putting pressure on our shooters. That allowed Nate to do some things and make some shots. They weren’t easy shots, but he still found a way to sink them,” Stout commented.
The Wildcats shot an impressive 63 percent (14/22) from the field and went 4/7 from 3-point territory in the first half. The second half went much the same way the first did, as West Lyon forced turnovers and capitalized on them on many possessions.
As a team Keota shot 35 percent (14/40) from the field, 5/15 from 3-point territory and 7/10 from the free-throw line. The Eagles were outrebounded by the Wildcats 31 – 18. Keota’s other totals were ten steals, nine assists and a blocked shot.
Owen led Keota in scoring with 12 points, tied for the team lead with two assists and he recorded the blocked shot. Greiner scored nine points and led the team in steals with three. Senior Luke Lyle contributed eight points and led the team in rebounds with six. Sophomore Isaiah Hahn threw in six points. Sophomore Zach Mousel registered three points. Senior Justin Hultman completed the scoring for the Eagles with his two points.
Keota’s record now stands at 25 – 2. The Eagles will play the seventh-seeded Belmond-Klemme Broncos on Friday, March 14 at 10 a.m. for third place. It will be Keota’s last game of the season, win or lose.
“From what I saw today I think Belmond will be a much better matchup for us. They don’t have the size that West Lyon has. They are a good squad with some speed and shooters. It will come down to which team is more excited to be there,” Stout explained.