Iowa Mennonite School boys’ team advances
The New London boys’ basketball team came up short in an effort to upset IMS in the district tournament, falling by a score of 61-43 in the quarterfinal game on their home court Thursday.
“I thought New London did a nice job making things difficult for us,” IMS Coach Dwight Gingerich said. “They hit shots, they were aggressive, they had us on our heels a couple times. But we settled in defensively, starting moving the ball better and getting open shots.”
For just a short time, the Tigers let their guard down— but that was enough for IMS.
Leading 13-7 with 2:33 left in the first half, IMS scored 10 unanswered points. Reggie Hostetler scored seven of the 10 points on a jumper in the lane, a layup and a 3-pointer.
“We just let them get one run on us,” New London Coach Curt Watson said. “We played pretty even after that.”
After taking a 23-10 lead on the run, Iowa Mennonite gained just five more points on the Tigers the rest of the way, winning by an 18-point margin.
“We knew we had to play hard, and that these guys were not going to give up,” IMS’ Dallas Nye said.
“It’s pretty special to have a guy like Eli (Gingerich) who can shoot outside, and we have plenty of guys that can go inside,” Nye said. “The guys on the perimeter really open things up.”
Quincy Porter led New London with 13 points and Hunter Moeller added 11. The Tigers got key baskets from Cameron Watson – who had an and-1 layup in the last second of the first half, and from Mitch Boles, who had a half-court buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter.
“They were hitting shots at the end of the quarters, giving them momentum that we had to overcome,” Gingerich said.
But the momentum wasn’t enough to carry the Tigers to a win, and they end their season with a record of 6-16.
“The season was up and down,” Watson said. “We had some really good moments and some low moments, a couple of good wins and some heartbreaking losses. The good news is that everyone’s back next year.”
IMS is now 18-4 on the season, and will play Lone Tree in a semifinal game on Tuesday.
“They (Lone Tree) are very well-coached; they’ve had a tremendous program the last couple years and they’re a strong team again this year,” Dwight Gingerich said.
IMS is familiar with Lone Tree after playing their conference foe to a pair of wins, 59-44 and 53-42, earlier this season.
“I think that at this point, it all comes down to effort and execution,” Nye said.