“We like competition. We’re a good team and they’re a good team,” IHCC sophomore Lester Medford said. “It was just another mountain we had to overcome. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Both teams were impressive on Wednesday night in advancing to the regional championship showdown. Southeastern pulled away in the second half from an Iowa Western team that had been off for two weeks for an 88-71 win, opening up a double-digit lead by halftime while never allowing the formerly rated Reivers to make a serious threat.
IHCC, meanwhile, made amazing strides in the span of four days between matchups with Marshalltown. After having to rally from 11 points down to end the regular season with a 104-93 win over the Tigers last weekend, the Warriors rolled to a 133-80 win in a game that was highlighted by a season-best 18 made 3-pointers.
“I thought our coaches did a good job pinpointing what we needed to fix and what we needed to correct,” Peery said. “Ultimately, the guys did a great job taking that out to the floor and executing the game plan.”
Scott, who managed to pour in a game-high 30 points before fouling out on Wednesday in the regional semifinals, saw one simple difference in what made the Warriors click offensively.
“We got our rhythm back and you saw what a difference it made,” Scott said. “The biggest difference between those two games was simply that our shots weren’t falling. Once they start falling, there’s no stopping us.”
While tonight’s game is the first time in the five-team regional postseason setting that Southeastern and Indian Hills have met in a one-game championship setting, it is not the first time these two have battled under such circumstances.
In 2009, second-ranked IHCC lost the third and decisive game of the regional championship series to unranked Southeastern in an 81-80 overtime thriller decided on a Brian McMikle basket with seven seconds left. Dwight Buycks scored 32 points for the Warriors, which had rallied from 32-12 first half deficit to force OT.