Sheldon, Iowa — Western Christian downed Rock Valley Tuesday night to move to Substate on Saturday and play for a spot in the 2A boys State Basketball Tournament.
Western posted a 74-59 win at the Sheldon high school gym to claim the District 3 title. They’ll meet Spirit Lake for a third time this year Saturday. This time it’s for a spot in the State Tournament. Spirit Lake eliminated Sioux Central 65-52 in the District 4 title game played at the Okoboji High School Gym.
The two Lakes Conference foes split the season series with each team getting a win on their home floor. The best of three series will be decided at the Sibley Ocheyedan High School Gym on Saturday night with a 7:00 pm opening tip.
Western opened a 15-9 first quarter lead and went up by a 35-20 margin at halftime as Ashtin Van’t Hul scored from in tight off the glass left side as the half came to a close. The Wolfpack scored four times from behind the arc in the second quarter to spark the surge.
At the end of the third quarter Western remained in control 55-43. In the fourth quarter the Rockets got to within 5 points but the wolfpack were able to ride out the storm and get the win 74-59.
Western put four of the five starters in double figures led by Ty Van Essen with a game high 23. Eli Van Essen hit for 15 points. 12 came from behind the arc. Wyatt Gaulker added 14 with Brayden Van Meeteren hitting for 11.
Rock Valley was led by Bryson Van Grootheest who attacked the basket early and often in the second half to finish with 22 points. Landyn Van Kekerix joined him in double figures with 20.
With the win Western is 18-5 heading into Substate on Saturday. Rock Valley closes the year at 17-6.