The Ottumwa Courier

January 22, 2013

Rockets drop tight one to North Mahaska

ROGER THOMAS
Ottumwa Courier

EDDYVILLE — The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Rockets had the ball in their front court as the clock wound down but two shots didn’t find the mark and North Mahaska held on to win 37-36 in boys basketball action Monday night in Eddyville.

Obviously, one coach liked the tempo and one was disappointed.

“This is the kind of game that we need to play,” said Warhawk coach Jeff Phillips. “We need to be defensive minded and tonight I think we were.”

On the other side of the ledger, EBF coach Travis Stout had these thoughts.

“We needed to push the ball and get to the foul line. We weren’t as disciplined as we needed to be to get that done,” Stout said.

After baskets by Trevor Swartz and Christian Bambrook got the Rockets off to a 4-0 lead, the visitors controlled the rest of the quarter and led 9-8 after one.

Game high scorer, Connor Hehli, got the first two Warhawk scores inside the paint. Hehli’s 19 points came within reach of Rocket big man Bambrook.

“Especially in the first half, I thought Hehli played really well against Christian (Bambrook),” said Stout.

Hehli scored to open the second but then the Rockets went on a 7-0 run to go up 15-11 just three minutes into the period.

Hehli scored again but then Bambrook and Swartz combined for six points and EBF led 21-13. A late 3-pointer by Trent Wanders closed out the first half scoring.

Warhawk, Adam Pothoven, tied it with a three to start the second half. Brandon Plate’s 3-pointer gave the lead back to the Rockets but the visitors used a 7-0 run to go up 28-24.

“Roose on Leffler and Anderson on Bambrook really did good jobs,” said Phillips. “Zach (Anderson) gave up a lot on the offensive end to work so hard on Bambrook.”

Anderson, an offensive point guard, gave up five inches to the taller Bambrook.

“Playing bigs and handling the ball are just things that I’ve always been doing,” Anderson said.

A Swartz three and a Bambrook basket gave the lead back to E-B-F at 29-28. Hehli then scored inside on a put back for a 30-29 Warhawk lead.

“I just anticipated that he (Bambrook) might block my shot so I just went back up to get it,” said Hehli.

The final quarter started slowly as Bambrook’s basket gave E-B-F a 32-31 lead two minutes into the fourth. Hehli would have consecutive baskets to give the visitors a 35-32 lead. The second basket came after a perfect assist from Anderson hit him rolling to the basket.

North Mahaska extended the lead to 36-32 before the Rockets tied it at 36 on a Bambrook basket and two Leffler free throws with just over a minute and a half to play.

The remaining time included three steals, three turnovers but no scoring until Pothoven hit a free throw with just over a minute to play.

The Rockets had two shots in the final secondds but both rimmed out and the horn sounded and the visitors wsere 37-36 winners.

The (7-9) Rockets are back in action tonight as they host HLV. North Mahaska (7-7) returns to South Iowa Cedar League play tonight at Sigourney.

North Mahaska 37, E-B-F 36

N.M.         9      9  13   6    —    37    

EBF         8     13   9   6    —    36    

N.M. (37) — Conner Hehli 19, Zach Anderson 7, Adam Pothoven 4, Trent Roose 4, Trent Wanders 3. Totals 15-44 3-7 37.

3-point goals — 4-10 (Pothoven, Wanders, Anderson). Rebounds — 29 (Hehli 13). Assists — 7 (Wanders 2, Roose 2). Steals — 5 (Anderson 2). Blocks — 4 (Hehli 4). Total fouls — 9. Turnovers — 9.

EBF (36) — Christian Bambrook 12, Trevor Swartz 11, Trevor Leffler 7, Jevin Jensen 3, Brandon Plate 3. Totals 14-48 5-6 36.

3-point goals — 3-15 (Jensen, Swartz, Plate). Rebounds — 31 (Bambrook 12). Assists — 11 (Leffler 5, Swartz 5). Steals — 6 (Leffler 3). Blocks — 6 (Bambrook 5). Total fouls — 7. Turnovers — 9.