DES MOINES -- Heading to the bench with his fifth foul midway through the second overtime, Adam Woodbury offered a facetious wave to the Ankeny High School student section.
Teenagers, many of whom probably hope the 7-foot 1-inch East High center has a fantastic career at the University of Iowa, had gone a little over the top, chanting "Overrated'' while the future Hawkeye post player put together 17 points and 12 rebounds Friday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Not bad numbers at all. Both, in fact, were team-leading totals for one of Iowa's most coveted in-state recruits in recent years.
Still, Woodbury was first to take note how his East High teammates effectively finished the job as the fourth-ranked Raiders knocked off top-ranked and undefeated Ankeny after eight extra minutes, 60-56.
"I've got a lot of respect for my teammates and a lot of faith and they all showed it right there, hitting free throws, making plays and playing good defense,'' said Woodbury, rethinking the final two minutes and 42 seconds he watched from the bench -- a stretch in which each of the Raiders' other four starters made contributions that turned a tenuous 52-51 lead into a four-point win.
"We took our lumps during the season and it only made us better and pushed us forward and it showed out there today that we're ready to win this thing,'' said Woodbury.
Ten years after assisting his brother, Jeff, with East's Class 4A state champions of 2002, Ras Vanderloo's first season at the Raider helm has taken him all the way to the Iowa prep basketball season's very last game, a Class 4A final at 8:05 p.m. tonight against No. 2-ranked Iowa Ciity West, 25-0 after dethroning Linn-Mar's defending state champs.
It has been a winter in which East, now 20-0 against Iowa opponents, has been powered by emotions, losing two of the team's most loyal supporters in untimely fashion.
Rich Vanderloo, the former East coach and athletic director whose four sons have all followed him into coaching and education, lost a battle with cancer last Sept. 29 at age 68.
Meanwhile, 6-3 senior wing Alex Imming, who added 15 points and a team-high five assists Friday, suffered the loss of his father, Steve, just 48, to a fatal heart attack on Jan. 20.
"I know he's looking down and watching me,'' said Imming. "I just want to keep making him proud.''
"I think Rich was on top of the hoop, helping out with Alex's father,'' said a misty-eyed Ras Vanderloo.
J.C. Fuller chipped in 14 points, four shy of his team-leading average for East, 21-3 on the season. Also, Marcel Dunson contributed nine points and seven rebounds while 6-8, 250-pound Dillon Godfrey grabbed eight rebounds to go with five points.
Ankeny took its lead from sixth man Bryan Sumner, a 6-2 junior who hit three of his team's seven three-pointers while totaling a game-high 18 points.
Cory Myers and Connor Schabel, the two Ankeny starters who didn't foul out, added 13 and 11 points, respectively. And, each of them had four personals for a team that hadn't surrendered more than 56 points in a game all season.
"Ankeny was undefeated for a reason and they're a good team,'' said Woodbury, who limited the Hawks' 6-9 junior center Ted Friedman, son of Sioux City native Jo Ann (Karpuk) Friedman, to four points. "Come tournament time, though, anything can happen. We've been wanting to win this for a long time. Let's get it done.''
East's ninth state tournament team in 12 years, all following a 41-year hiatus for the Raiders, built a 25-17 lead midway through the second quarter before Ankeny surged back to finish the half on a 14-4 run. The Hawks seized a 31-29 halftime lead in somewhat ominous fashion when reserve Brent Jones banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer for just his third trey of the winter.
The Hawks opened up a 43-36 lead with a 12-3 third-quarter surge before Fuller turned a steal into a buzzer-beating layup that trimmed the deficit to five with a period to go.
Or, so it appeared.
After taking a 45-40 lead on Cole Myers' basket with 6:46 left in regulation, Ankeny began spreading the floor, seeking to pull East out of a zone defense and chewing up big chunks of clock in the process. It wound up backfiring, though, as the Central Iowa Metro League champs were blanked for the remainder of the quarter while East tied it up at 45 on a drive by Fuller with 2:46 to play.
It would stay that way, too, although both teams had their chances.
Still, it went to overtime and East saw a 49-48 lead vanish when Sumner got a fortuitous bounce on a three-pointer with 17 seconds on the clock. East recovered on Woodbury's game-tying putback with six seconds showing.
The Raiders scored the first three points of the second four-minute extension and were never again to trail despite missing six of nine free throws before Fuller and Dunson each hit a pair to ice it in the closing seconds.
"I think more than anything, Sioux City East deserves credit,'' said Ankeny Coach John Petersen. "They shot the ball extremely well, they were very aggressive going to the hoop. Both teams played very good at times and both made some mistakes at times.''
Trailing 16-6 on the bad side of the turnover chart at one point, East wasn't getting adequate mileage from a strong shooting performance that saw the Raiders finish 21 of 35, or 60 percent. However, Ankeny ran into turnover troubles late in the contest, finishing with 15 to East's 22.
Marcel Dunson 3-7 3-8 9, J.C. Fuller 5-8 3-3 14, Alex Imming 5-8 5-7 15, Adam Woodbury 7-11 3-6 17, Dillon Godfrey 1-1 3-6 5, Taylor DeLaughter 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 21-35 17-30 60.
Cory Myers 4-15 4-6 13, Cole Myers 1-2 2-2 4, Trevor Egli 1-3 0-0 3, Ted Friedman 2-8 0-4 4, Connor Schabel 4-11 2-4 11, Brent Jones 1-2 0-0 3, Bryan Sumner 5-9 5-5 18, Drew Lindman 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 18-51 13-21 56.
East High 16 13 9 7 6 9 -- 60
Ankeny 12 19 12 2 6 5 -- 56
3-point shots -- East 1-3 (Fuller 1-2, Imming 0-1), Ankeny 7-19 (Sumner 3-6, Jones 1-1, Egli 1-2, Shabel 1-4, Cor. Myers 1-5, Lindaman 0-1); Rebounds -- East 33 (Woodbury 12), Ankeny 27 (Schabel 9); Assists -- East 11 (Imming 5), Ankeny 9 (Cor. Myers 3); Fouled out -- Woodbury, Col. Myers, Egli, Friedman. Total fouls -- East 18, Ankeny 26. Turnovers -- East 22, Ankeny 15.