SIOUX CENTER, Iowa | There’s one thing great about being the son of the head coach.
Tyus Arends takes advantage of all the shooting time he can. Sometimes, he even takes personal time to shoot at the high school gym.
The son of 17-year veteran Sioux Center basketball coach Todd Arends was feeling it Friday night. He scored 13 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter, when the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 2A boys basketball team went on a 27-11 run on the way to posting a 76-60 Siouxland Conference win over West Lyon.
Sioux Center (8-0) was ahead by a narrow 46-38 margin when Arends made the first of his game-high five 3-point baskets, three which came in the third frame. Tyler Van Beek added a three of his own, then Arends just kept firing and swishing.
“One thing I need to do is thank my teammates,” said Arends. “They were finding me shots, setting screens, getting me open. (West Lyon) had to guard guys like Isaac Vietor, Cade Bleeker, stuff like that and that helps me get my open shots. It’s a tribute to them. I just stroked it and it went in.”
“His pull-ups were working,” said teammate Brendan Zeutenhorst, who added 16 points. “Just give him the ball and let him score. In practice all the time you see it, but that’s the first game like that when he’s stroked it. You love to see it when shooters get confident like that.”
Sioux Center, for the second time this season, had five double-digit scorers. Van Beek and Vietor each added 11 points for a squad that shot a robust 63 percent while Cade Bleeker added 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Malachi Van Wyhe paced West Lyon (7-2) with 19 points while Korbyn Gramstad’s 12 points included the game’s first five points. Aside from dominating offensive action in the second quarter with eight points, Zeutenhorst, a 6-foot-6 senior, also had the defensive assignment against West Lyon 6-4 senior Micah Meyer.
Meyer was one of the reasons why West Lyon had won three of the previous four games in the series. Last season, Meyer averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as the Wildcats won each of its two games against Sioux Center.
Meyer, who entered the game with a 21.5 scoring average, was held to 10 points and four rebounds. He had two quick baskets to start the second quarter and lift West Lyon within 18-17, but sat out the final four minutes with two fouls.
“We talked about trying to get their bigs into foul trouble,” said Zeutenhorst, who had help from 6-5 senior Trajan Walhof in guarding Meyer. “We just stayed in front of him and gave him hard buckets the whole time. It worked. He had 10 points. That’s as good as we could do.”
“Zeutenhorst is a big, physical kid down low,” said West Lyon Coach Dan De Jong. “Sioux Center had a good scheme, switching up their defenses all the time and did a great job of packing it in on us. They’re athletic, a very well-coached team. Coach Arends does a great job with them as he always does. Obviously, they can shoot the ball and that’s what they did tonight.”
Van Wyhe’s inside basket with 3:44 left until halftime gave West Lyon a 27-24 lead, but that’s when Zeutenhorst began dominating from the inside. Zeutenhorst had eight points in a 12-3 run to close the first half and give Sioux Center a 36-32 halftime lead.
The Warriors then blew the game open in the third quarter, hitting 10 of 14 from the field, which included just one miss in six 3-point tries.
“I hadn’t been shooting well so far this season before this game,” said Arends, who reached 1,000 career points in the contest. “Dad said I was getting my shoulders over my toes. So in warm-ups, I was getting the shoulders over my toes and then, shots started falling. A lot of it is my coaching and my dad. He’s right more often than he’s not.”