Western Christian Advances to the 2A Semifinals

Western Christian 2Des Moines Iowa — Jesse Jansma hit a jumper for the first points of the ball game and Western Christian never trailed on route to a 56-42 win over Kuemper Catholic in their first action at the 2A State boys basketball tournament in Des Moines.

With the win the Wolfpack are on to the semifinals on Thursday afternoon at 3:45 pm. We’ll bring you the coverage on KIWA FM 105.3 with pregame at 3:30. #2 seed Western will take a 23-2 record into the game   against #6 seed Anamosa. (21-5) Anamosa upset #3 seed Des Moines Christian 74-60 to advance to the semifinal round.

Western took a 13-11 first quarter lead and pushed that to a 27-19 halftime advantage. A Joey Horstman three with :04 seconds left at the third quarter put the Wolfpack up 42-34 going into the fourth quarter. Western would go on to win it 56-42.

Jesse Jansma led the offense with 14 points followed by Josh Van Lingen and Dustin Marra with 12 points each. Both had double-doubles as Van Lingen pulled down 14 rebounds while Marra had a dozen boards.

Kuemper had one player in double figures as Matt Dentlinger hit for 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double of his own. With the win Western improves to 23-2 on the year. The Knights end the year at 18-7.

Defense and rebounding helped Western Christian advance in class 2A. Despite shooting only 40 percent for the game the Wolfpack never trailed in 56-42 win over Carroll Kuemper.

That’s Western Christian coach Jim Eekhoff who also said Kuemper had a good defensive game plan.

Western is on to the Class 2A semifinals on Thursday where they square off against Anamosa at 3:45 pm.

South O’Brien on to Semifinals

South O'Brien WolverineDes Moines Iowa — Stifling defense by South O’Brien held Grand View Christians top ranked offense to less than half of their season average in a 46-32 quarterfinal win at the Class 1A boys basketball tournament in Des Moines. Grand View had averaged 80.6 points per game coming into the State Tournament.

At the end of the first quarter Grand View led 12-11. At the half South O’Brien had pulled in front 18-15. By the end of the third quarter the lead was up to 34-23 with the Wolverines going on to win it 46-32. Cameron Maxwell led the Wolverines with 19 points as the games top scorer. He was joined in double figures by Damon Struve with 10. Stephen Glenn led Grand View Christian with 9 points.

Another factor in the game was the free throw line where South O’Brien went 10-of-19 while Grand View Christian did not shoot a free throw in the contest.

With the win South O’Brien the #7 seed advances to the semifinals Thursday at 12:15 with a record of 23-3. Grand View Christian the #2 seed ends the year at 25-2.

South O’Brien will meet  #3 seed Gladbrook Reinbeck who defeated #6 seed Jesup 67-48 in the final quarterfinal game of the day in 1A. We’ll bring you the coverage on KIWA FM 105.3.

Kats Signs With Dordt

Dordt_Defenders logoSioux Center, Iowa — Kenedie Kats, a senior at Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa has announced her intention to attend Dordt College and join the women’s cross country and track programs.

Kats placed first overall in the conference cross country meet her junior year, while also being named to the all-conference team. She was also named all state during her sophomore and junior seasons as a member of the Wolfpack. Kats holds a 5,000 meter personal best of 21:14 and a 4,000 meter personal best of 15:24.

“I am excited to welcome Kenedie to Dordt College and our distance program. As shown by her 2014 state cross country meet, she is a talented runner that can impact our women’s team. Her experiences at Western Christian will help her as she transitions to college running. I look forward to working with her and watching her grow and develop during her time at Dordt College,” said head coach Nate Wolf.

Kenedie is the daughter of Ryan and Laura Kats of Sheldon, Iowa.

South O’Brien Boys Open State Tournament Monday Afternoon

South O'Brien WolverineDes Moines Iowa — The South O’Brien Wolverines open Class 1A State Boys Basketball play Monday afternoon at 2:00 pm. We’ll bring you the coverage on KIWA FM 105.3 with pregame at 1:45.

South O’Brien making their second straight appearance at the State Tourney come in at 22-2 and drew the 7th seed. They square off against Grand View Christian the 2nd seed who bring a 25-1 record to Wells Fargo Arena.

South O’Brien has two players averaging double figures on the year with Damon Struve hitting for 19 points per game and Kyle Paulsen averaging 13.6 per game. Struve has hit for 37.2 percent from 3-point range with Peyton Brasser hitting 38.7 from behind the arc. Struve also leads the Wolverines in rebounds with 134, assists with 82 and steals with 98.

Grand View Christian has four players averaging double figures with Stephen Glenn at 15.8, Noah Burt at 14.3, Robbie Seyler at 12.7 and Grant DeMeulenaere averaging 11.9 points per game. Grand View is capable of lighting it up from outside with Glenn hitting 45.5 percent on three-point shots and DeMeulenaere conneccting on 52.9 percent on three-point attempts.

Montes leads the team in rebounds with 165. Glenn is the assists leader with 115 and steals with 105.

(22-2) Western Christian opens tournament play Tuesday afternoon at 12:15 against (18-6)Kuemper Catholic. The Wolfpack will be making their final appearance at State under longtime coach Jim Eekhoff who has announced he will retire at the end of this season.

The Western game will be followed by MOC Floyd Valley’s 3A Tournament opener against Dubuque Wahlert scheduled to tip off at 2:00. MOC Floyd Valley brings a 21-3 record to State with Wahlert coming in at 19-5.

We’ll bring you coverage of both games Tuesday with pregame coverage scheduled to begin at 12:00.Listen in on KIWA FM 105.3.

Unity Wins 2A Girls Basketball Title

unity logoDes Moines Iowa — A thriller in the Class 2A finals led to a second consecutive state championship for Unity Christian. Josie Blankespoor hit the go-ahead basket with 2 minutes left and Unity held on through a hectic final minute to beat Western Christian 42-41.

Blankespoor’s shot, a jumper from the left baseline, gave Unity a 41-40 lead and was the fifth lead change of the fourth quarter. Unity’s Anna Kiel then rebounded a Western Christian miss and the Knights had the ball most of the way from then on, coming up with two big offensive rebounds to keep possession.

Alyssa Fedders rebounded her own miss and teammate Chanda Zomermaand was fouled. Zomermaand missed the front end of a 1-and-1 but Blankespoor slipped in for the rebound and Zomermaand was fouled again. She made one and missed the second, giving Western Christian a chance with 27 seconds left.

Western’s Ashtyn Veerbeek made the first of two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining and Blankespoor rebounded the miss. But she was tied up and Western Christian had the possession arrow, so the Wolfpack kept the ball. The Wolfpack missed a layup and the Wolfpack couldn’t get off another shot before the buzzer.

Kiel led Unity with 13 points and had another monster effort on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds. That gave her a record 53 for the tournament, breaking the old mark of 50 set by Exira’s Hallie Christofferson in 2010. Christofferson is going into the Hall of Fame this weekend.

Kiel was voted captain of the all-tournament team. She played in nine state tournament games in her career and piled up 107 rebounds. Deidra Noteboom added 10 points for Unity and
Veerbeek led Western Christian with 13 points and nine rebounds.

The two schools have combined for the last five 2A championships. Western Christian won three in a row before Unity captured last year’s title and repeated this year. Unity finished 25-1 and avenged its only loss, a 59-48 setback at Western Christian on Jan. 16. Western finished 24-3.

Keil was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Chanda Zomermaand. Western was represented by Kaira Moss and Ashtyn Verbeek. Emily Wintz of Okoboji earned a spot on the team as well.

Snyder Signs With Northwestern

Northwestern College logoOrange City, Iowa — Colin Snyder has signed a letter of intent to continue his football career at Northwestern College next year.

Snyder is a three-year letterwinner for the West Lyon High School football team. Snyder, a 5’11”, 190-pound safety, earned first team all-district honors after posting 34 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery last fall. He was a key member of a Wildcats’ team that qualified for the state playoffs and finished with a 6-4 record. An academic all-district selection, Snyder plans to major in exercise science at Northwestern. He is the son of Tim and Sheri.

“Colin is a smart, hard-nosed football player,” stated head coach Matt McCarty. “Colin understands the game and has been coached very well throughout his career. He possesses good feet, athleticism and will be an excellent addition to our program. I’m excited to see the impact that Colin will have on our program and at Northwestern College.”