DES MOINES — Battling back from an 11-point deficit late in the third quarter, Lynnville-Sully was in the hunt with six minutes left in Monday’s Class 1A state tournament quarterfinal.
Senior Tanner Foster’s 3-pointer made it 54-51 at the 6:01 mark of the fourth quarter. Lynnville-Sully was within reach of tying St. Mary’s, Remsen in the battle of the Hawks.
St. Mary’s Hawks had the final surge to take complete control on 12 unanswered points in a three-minute span. St. Mary’s knocked the Lynnville-Sully Hawks out of the 2018 Iowa High School Boys’ State Basketball Tournament, 73-57.
“We played a pretty solid first half, but we got into some foul trouble which made things tough on us. We have to have those two players (senior Jesse Van Wyk and Foster) on the court to be the best team we can be,” Lynnville-Sully head coach Nick Harthoorn said.
“I’m proud of the way our guys kept fighting and we got back in the game in the fourth quarter. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Harthoorn said the athleticism and physical play of St. Mary’s was a problem for Lynnville-Sully. He said with the early foul trouble presented challenges for the Lynnville-Sully.
“Our kids managed it pretty well. The guys coming off the bench did a good job. We just couldn’t slow St. Mary’s up offensively. We normally don’t give up 70 points to opponents,” Harthoorn said.
Fourth-ranked Lynnville-Sully jumped out to an 8-2 lead over No. 3 St. Mary’s. Foster, who led Lynnville-Sully with 19 points, sank two free throws to tie the game at 2-2 then Jesse Van Wyk and Foster drained back-to-back 3-pointers.
St. Mary’s pulled even, 9-9, with 3:41 left in the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Carter Kuchel. Lynnville-Sully junior Tyson Vander Linden answered with a 3-pointer of his own. Van Wyk hit a free throws to put Lynnville-Sully up 12-11 at the 1:52 mark.
Foster had two baskets to push Lynnville-Sully’s lead to 17-14. One of the guys inside for St. Mary’s was senior Derrick Schorg and he muscled in a game-high 20 points. He scored the final basket of the opening quarter to make it 17-16.
St. Mary’s had the first two baskets of the second period to gain a 20-17 lead then Lynnville-Sully rattled off six points. Senior Corey McCoy came off the bench for a bucket then senior Brevin Hansen and Foster had back-to-back steals for layups.
With Lynnville-Sully leading 23-20, Derrick Schorg asserted himself with six consecutive points. Lynnville-Sully’s Van Wyk picked up his second foul with 3:22 left and his team was down 26-23.
Junior Rylan James worked inside for a three-point play to tie the game. St. Mary’s went on a 13-2 run to end the first half. Van Wyk and Foster each had three fouls with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter.
“We just kept putting them on the line and gave up some easy shots,” Hansen said. “Our defense wasn’t our best today, giving up 70 points. At halftime we discussed that we needed to get it going on the defensive end.”
James, who finished with 13 points, sank two free throws to make it an 11-point game, 39-28, at the break.
“We knew we had to rebound better, especially offensively,” James said. “We came out wanting to get the ball inside more and working it around to get good shots.”
Lynnville-Sully came out attacking the rim in the third quarter. Vander Linden made a quick drive for a pull-up jumper to open the period and Hansen did the same. It was 41-32 when Van Wyk drove to the basket and scored, but it was wiped out on a charging foul call, which gave Lynnville-Sully’s leading scorer and rebounder his fourth foul.
Foster scored at the 5:46 mark to close the gap to 41-34. Brody Ricke knocked down a 3-pointer and Derrick Schorg downed two free throws.
Lynnville-Sully kept fighting as Hansen connected for a basket and Foster had a free throw. Sophomore Blaize Kuhlmann, who came off the bench, drilled a big 3-pointer for Lynnville-Sully with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. James sank two free throws to pull Lynnville-Sully to within six, 48-42, heading into the final eight minutes of play.
James and Van Wyk had baskets and Foster delivered at the free-throw line on both ends of a one-and-one to make it 52-48. Foster, who was 5-of-7 at the line in the game, hit from long range to make it a three-point game.
Unfortunately, Lynnville-Sully got no closer. St. Mary’s closed it out with the 12-0 run then hit free throws down the stretch. St. Mary’s cashed in on 18-of-24 free throw attempts in the game while Lynnville-Sully went 13-of-19.
“We left it all out on the court,” Foster said. “We played our hearts out. We didn’t play as well defensively as we thought we should have. They (St. Mary’s) are a good team
Lynnville-Sully struggled offensively against St. Mary’s. It shot just 33 percent, 19-of-58, from the field overall. For the season, Lynnville-Sully shot 36 percent from 3-point range, but only managed 22 percent, 6-of-27, in the state quarterfinal game.
“It’s a different background and we just didn’t shoot very well. Brevin couldn’t get going, but there wasn’t a shot he took I wouldn’t want him to take,” Harthoorn said.
Hansen led Lynnville-Sully with 51 3-pointers on the season. He did not have a 3-pointer on Monday.
“We knew we could play with these guys. We just didn’t make some plays at the end that we needed to,” Hansen said.
St. Mary’s shot 48 percent, 26-of-54, from the field, hitting 3-of-13 from outside the 3-point arc. Another factor was St. Mary’s won the battle on the boards, out rebounding Lynnville-Sully 41-33, claiming 31 defensive boards.
Derrick Schorg had a double-double with 20 point sand 12 rebounds for St. Mary’s. Ricke poured in 18 points while Kuchel had 11 and Spencer Schorg added 10 points.
James pulled eight rebounds and Foster had seven for Lynnville-Sully. Van Wyk scored six points and cleared six rebounds. Van Wyk ended his career for Lynnville-Sully with 1,075 points and 623 rebounds.
Hansen and Vander Linden each had two steals in the game for Lynnville-Sully. Hansen dished out four assists.
“This last couple of weeks has been a special run — to win three games in four days to get back here at Wells Fargo Arena. These seniors have put so much into it and the rest of our guys as well,” Harthoorn said of his team. “To get back to state in back-to-back years is not many schools can say that and it is something these players can be proud of for many years to come.”
Lynnville-Sully lose Van Wyk, Foster, Hansen, McCoy and Kemper Lukehart to graduation. Vander Linden and James will be returning starters for it next year.
Lynnville-Sully finished the season tied for the No. 4 ranking in Class 1A. It had a 22-4 overall record. It had won 10 straight games until the state tournament loss. Lynnville-Sully went undefeated, 16-0, in winning the South Iowa Cedar League championship.
Before the game, Randy and Pat Taylor were given a game ball by the Iowa High School Athletic Association as Lynnville-Sully’s fans of the game. Each team has a fan-of-the-game awarded at the state tournament.
In Monday’s other 1A quarterfinals, top-ranked North Linn powered past Edgewood-Colesburg, 80-34, fifth-seeded Don Bosco edged out fourth-seeded George-Little Rock, 60-57, and defending champion Grand View Christian outlasted St. Albert of Council Bluffs, 78-68.
On Wednesday in the semifinals, North Linn plays Don Bosco at 2 p.m. and St. Mary’s plays Grand View Christian, which is a rematch of last year’s semifinal won by Grand View Christian, at 3:45 p.m.
The semifinal losers will play at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday in the consolation game for third place. The Class 1A championship game is at 2 p.m. on Friday.
St. Mary’s, Remsen 16-23-9-25—73
Lynnville-Sully (FG/3-pt): Hansen 3-0-2-6, Van Wyk 1/1-1-4-6, Vander Linden 1/2-0-2-8, Foster 4/2-5-5-19, James 3-7-0-13, Kuhlmann 0/1-0-2-3, McCoy 1-0-4-2. TOTALS: 13/6-13-19-57.
St. Mary’s, Remsen (FG/3-pt): S. Schorg 3/1-1-2-10, Kuchel 3/1-2-1-11, Ricke 6/1-3-4-18, Ruden 3-3-3-9, D. Schorg 6-8-0-20, Schiltz 2-1-3-5, Galles 0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 23/18-15-73.