By Steve Peterson
Mid-way through the fourth quarter in the boys ‘basketball game against Sioux City West a West Sioux fan shouted, “Don’t give up!”
The Wolverines (4-5 record) had turned an eight-point West Sioux lead to a an eight-point lead of their own, 47-39 with just three minutes left.
But the Falcons heeded the advice of the fan to out score Sioux City West, 22-8, the rest of the way to earn a thrilling 65-55 win.
Sophomore Porter Hummel led the way with 29 points while Dominic Hirsch added 13 for West Sioux, which improved to a 4-5 record. Hummel had the first five points of the game and made five of his 10 three-point tries.
Junior Colby Hill out dueled Hummel in their top scorer battle with 33 points and made one three-pointer but the Falcons just were not to be denied in the CNOS Foundation Classic game that was all that, a classic, on Jan. 9.
“We have a lot of players who are very resilient. I was very happy with their performance. We out rebounded them and out hustled them,” said West Sioux Coach Jerome Hoegh. “We had some bad plays in the fourth quarter but after each one, they just shrugged it off.”
“Porter is a tough kid and his teammates did a great job of getting him the ball in some easy situations,” said Hoegh.
West Sioux led 21-16 at halftime as Hummel had 11 of the Falcons’ points. The lead grew to 36-28 on two baskets by Hirsch at the end of the third quarter but West scored four points for a 36-32 deficit after three.
Sioux City West took a lead at 40-38 on Hill’s free throw with 4:11 left. The lead grew to 47-39 a minute later.
The Falcons responded with a flurry of intense defense in the next minute. Three-of-four free throws by Hummel and two by Kezden Blankenship gained a 49-49 tie with 1:16 left.
West Sioux played stellar defense in the final 76 seconds drawing two charge calls on Sioux City West, one which cancelled out a basket.
In the four-minute overtime, Blankenship, who tallied eight points, got to the free-throw line and made both for a 51-49 lead. Hummel made a three-pointer for a 54-49 margin. The Wolverines did not know what had hit them — just a determined group from Hawarden ready to make this Thursday night indeed a classic contest.
After Justin Negaard tallied on a lay-up for a 10-point lead, the West Sioux celebration began. Afterward, players high-fived girls’ basketball team members in the front row at Tyson Events Center-Gateway Arena, aka the home-away-from home for WS.
Negaard finished with eight points and Mitch Schlumbohm had five for the Falcons.
The final tally for overtime was 16-6 for the Falcons.
West Sioux made 19-of-24 free throws while Sioux City West was 14-of-20.
Leadership Award: senior Mitch Schlumbohm won the Falcons’ Future Leaders Award presented by CNOS after the game.
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Kezden Blankenship: 8 points, 1-of-3 all field goal attempts, 0-of-1 three-point field goal attempts, 6-of-6 free throw attempts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
Porter Hummel: 29 points, 7-of-18 all field goal attempts, 5-of-10 three-point field goal attempts, 10-of-14 free throw attempts, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
Mitch Schlumbohm: 5 points, 1-of-3 all field goal attempts, 3-of-4 free throw attempts, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Justin Negaard: 8 points, 4-of-10 all field goal attempts, 0-of-4 three-point field goal attempts, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Dominic Hirsch: 13 points, 6-of-10 all field goal attempts, 1-of-3 free throw attempts, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Devan Miller: 0-of-2 all field goal attempts, and 6 rebounds.
Dalton Waterman: 1 rebound.
Trevor Ericson: 2 points, 1-of-1 all field goal attempts.
Team (unassigned) rebounds, 3.
Team totals: 65 points, 20-of-47 all field goal attempts, 6-of-18 three-point field goal attempts, 19-of-24 free throw attempts, 27 rebounds, 6 assists, and 10 steals.