by Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield and West Sioux boys’ basketball teams finished the regular season with a clash at A-W as part of a doubleheader.
With one of the largest crowds of the season on hand, the Falcons beat the Westerners, 58-46, for their fourth win of the year and second over A-W on Feb. 8.
“It was unbelievable. It was our best game of the season on offense and defense. We played well as a team,” said Falcons Coach Jerome Hoegh.
Freshman Porter Hummel scored 14 points, and Jesus Rivera and Lee Tapper each added 12 for the Falcons (4-17 overall record).
A-W was led by Kevin Carlson with 12 points and Chance Hoffman added 10. A-W was 2-19 overall record going into the Feb. 11 playoff tilt.
“I guarantee you Lee Tapper had 10 rebounds,” said Hoegh.
A-W jumped to a 7-0 lead on a three-pointer by Nathan Sanchez and led 9-3 on a basket by Hoffman with 2:25 left in the first quarter. But by the end of the stanza, the Falcons had gained a 9-9 tie.
West Sioux slowly pulled ahead in the second stanza, up 20-16 on a Tapper hoop but A-W’s Carlson made it 23-20. An 8-0 run to close the first half on baskets by Rivera and freshman Justin Negaard gave the Falcons command with a 31-20 halftime lead.
“After a good start, we just lost our focus,” said A-W Coach Jon Harris.
The Falcons’ lead reached 13 points on a Trevor Ericson hoop midway through the third period, 47-34.
Led by Tavian Banks’ three-point shooting, the Westerners had a rally, cutting the lead top 50-44 with 1:30 remaining in the contest.
West Sioux got to the free-throw line and made five-of-six to ice the win.
There was a lot of spirit from both sides throughout the junior varsity and varsity contests. A-W held on to win the junior varsity game, 47-45, surviving a last-second shot by West Sioux.
When the two teams clashed Feb. 11, it was for a chance to play Boyden-Hull there in the second round Feb. 14.
It’s “see you next winter” for varsity basketball games at the A-W gym. Afterward, it was time to ready for the Feb. 9 youth Westerner Shootout boys’ tournament run by Harris.