Try 1 month for 99¢

DES MOINES -- Some of the peripheral hardware might have been distributed a little differently.

But then again, the Comets of Boyden-Hull had their eyes focused squarely on one prize only.

And, Friday night at the Wells Fargo Arena, they walked away as champions over the 164 schools that made up this year's expanded Class 1A boys basketball division in Iowa.

Pulling away from top-ranked Danville in the fourth quarter, the team rated No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll prevailed 63-45 over a team that knocked them out of last year's tournament with a 69-62 verdict in the opening round.

It was the second year in a row that Danville was undefeated before losing a double-digit championship game verdict, following up a 74-59 loss to Storm Lake St. Mary's last March.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I hung around teams my dad coached,'' said Taylor Francis, eldest of Boyden-Hull Coach Bill Francis' four sons. "I wanted to work hard because one day I wanted to have that big trophy. And, every second paid off.''

Fourth in the 1A tournament in scoring with 47 points, the 6-2 senior guard had plenty to do with the 25-2 finish that matched Boyden-Hull's record from the school's first state championship team in 2003. And, that had been a monumental breakthrough after four previous title game tries, all since 1990, had come up short.

Unfortunately, the coach's son didn't join teammates Bryce Moss and Brandt Van Roekel on a six-member all-tournament team.

Also somewhat unfortunately, Moss, a 6-5 senior who made a remarkable 18 of 19 shots in his team's first two games here, wasn't named the captain of the team despite leading his team in scoring for the third time in as many games with 17 to follow up outings of 18 and 22.

And, Moss had been, after all, the only senior selected along with five juniors, including Danville's 6-5 junior twins Steven and Michael Soukup.

Steven Soukup, leading the Bears with 15 points Saturday to nip Moss 58-57 for tournament scoring honors, got the captain's nod on a team that also included juniors Kennedy Drey and Luke Lenhart from third-place Storm Lake St. Mary's.

St. Mary's, 27-1 for the second season in a row, was also rewarded with the Class 1A sportsmanship trophy after a tournament in which the Panthers had a 45-game winning streak snapped in a 69-61 semifinal loss to Boyden-Hull.

"We came in here and kind of flew in under the radar,'' said Bill Francis, proud to have seen his team cap its season by spoiling the perfect records of St. Mary and Danville in back-to-back games. "We didn't care just like we could care less who got on the all-tournament team. Because that's how we've always been.''

The poll snub stemmed completely from the rugged Siouxland Conference schedule the Comets face, an agenda that helped them get here last year with no less than eight regular season losses.

This time around, they had lost only two close games with the MOC-Floyd Valley team that came into the Class 3A tournament undefeated and ranked No. 1.

"Playing against the competition we face, we're used to being in close games,'' said Van Roekel, a 6-3 junior point guard who totaled 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the title game. "We just do what we do best and the wins take care of themselves.''

This time, the Comets' standard operating procedures led to serious foul trouble that Danville was unable to overcome. And, Danville Coach Ken Laffoon was unable to keep his frustrations to himself.

"You know it must be something about the state tournament because the games are officiated so much differently,'' said Laffoon pointedly. "We either need to adjust to the way they call the game down here or we need to go back to ruling from the rulebook.

"I'm not happy with the officiating. It didn't cost us the game, though. We did not play well. That's what cost us the game. We got outplayed. I'm just saying we have to adjust to the officiating and we are not adjusting down here.''

Nathan Alexander added another 15 points for the winners, who shot well for the third time in as many games, hitting 58.3 percent (21 of 36) to finish at 58.1 percent (68 of 117) for the tournament.

Leading by only a 43-39 margin after three quarters, Boyden-Hull scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, getting six of those from Moss. And, when Michael Soukup and Josh Stevens both fouled out midway through the period, the Bears shifted into desperation mode.

Boyden-Hull hit 10 of 12 free throws after that to put the game well out of reach.

Boyden-Hull (63)

MIN FG A FT A RB A PF TP

Bryce Moss 30 6 12 5 8 4 3 1 17

Colin Bolkema 14 0 1 0 0 2 2 4 0

Brandt Van Roekel 32 6 8 3 4 9 6 3 15

Nathan Alexander 29 5 9 5 6 5 3 2 15

Taylor Francis 32 3 4 5 6 1 0 2 13

Riley Francis 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MIquel Alvarado 19 1 2 0 1 0 0 1 3

JC Koerselman 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

Team 3

Totals 160 21 36 18 25 24 15 15 63

Danville (45)

MIN FG A FT A RB A PF TP

Connor Hogberg 32 2 6 1 2 3 3 2 5

Michael Soukup 27 2 10 0 0 3 2 5 4

Steven Soukup 23 4 7 6 8 2 0 4 15

Josh Stevens 27 4 6 2 2 4 2 5 10

Collin Bartsch 31 4 10 0 0 5 2 4 8

Alek Blain 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Brandon Sanchez 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 0

Connor Hoelzen 12 1 1 0 0 1 2 3 0

Dalton Stevens 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Team 0

Totals 160 17 42 9 12 18 9 24 45

Score by quarters

Boyden-Hull 10 20 13 20 -- 63

Danville 16 11 12 6 -- 45

3-point shots -- Boyden-Hull 3-6 (T Francis 2-3, Alvarado 1-2, Bolkema 0-1), Danville 2-11 (Hoelzen 1-1, S Soukup 1-2, M soukup 0-2, Sanchez 0-2, Hogberg 0-4.

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments