By winning the Class 1A District 10 championship, the 21-3 Sigourney Savages earned the right to take on top-ranked Danville with their 64-46 win over Moulton-Udell, Friday night in Albia. The Savages will meet the undefeated Bears tonight in Oskaloosa.
Top-ranked Danville easily advanced to the Class 1A, Substate 5 Finals with an 88-58 win in the District 9 finals over Pekin in Muscatine. The Panthers season ends at 15-9.
Sigourney used a 14-5 first quarter to take control early but the Eagles fought back to close within seven at 39-32 with just over a minute to play in the third.
Big man, Brandon Stuhr, had nine first quarter points to help the Savages to the first quarter advantage. Stuhr would go on to have a game high 25.
“It was easy to see that they were focusing on ‘V’ (Bujnoch) and that meant I had some advantages inside,” said Stuhr.
With Sigourney leading 4-2 on two Stuhr baskets, Jackson Davis’ 3 pushed the lead to 7-2. Stuhr’s next two baskets -a 2 and a 3 –- gave Sigourney a 12-4 lead late in the first.
“We’d like to have that first quarter back,” said M-U coach Brent Martsching. “We had two or three good looks that we needed to have fall.”
The Eagles continued to use their full court press to stay in the game. Stuhr scored to open the second. Bujnoch’s first basket put the lead at 20-7. His next basket gave Sigourney their biggest lead in the opening half at 24-9.
“They went on a little run in the second, but I thought we defended really well early in the game,” said Sigourney coach Mitch Eslick.
Bujnoch scored again to keep the Savages up 26-13. Kalen Martsching’s 3 closed out the first half scoring. Martsching would have seven second-quarter points to lead the Eagles. Martsching would lead M-U in scoring with 16 and by doing so, went over the 1,000 point total for his career.
Sigourney scored the first five points in the third to go up 31-16. Quentin Fowler would start his eight point quarter with a basket to cut the lead to 31-18. Then Stuhr would step out and hit his second 3 for a 34-18 Savage lead.
Eslick had to keep his Savages on track and deal with foul trouble to Davis and Stuhr. They would each get brief minutes on the bench, but have to return as the Eagles, behind the play of Fowler, would pull to within eight at 36-28. Stuhr would then step out again and bury his third 3.
“If I can continue to hit that shot, it means teams will have to guard me in more places,” added Stuhr.
M-U used four free throws to close to within seven with a minute to play in the third. The Eagles would trail 41-32 entering the fourth.
“I give a lot of credit to M-U for how hard and how well they played the press,” said Eslick. “They pretty much dictated the tempo in the third quarter.”
Freshman, Blaine Gretter, would step up to lead Sigourney in the final eight minutes. He would have 11 of his 15 points and seven of the 11 in a 9-0 Sigourney run that put Sigourney up 52-34 near the midpoint of the fourth.
“I knew I needed to play strong and they were letting me work down low,” said Gretter. “I just try and always play smart whenever I get minutes.”
Fowler added two deep 3s and Martsching added six points for the Eagles, but the lead would never be closer than 15 as the two teams battled to a 64-46 final score.
M-U (16-8) will have to replace a number of seniors.
“This is a really special group of seniors,” said Martsching. “We just ask every kid that plays for us to play as hard as he can. They have been a good example of that.”
Eslick commented on his team’s meeting with undefeated Danville.
“We have tried to base what we do on defensive intensity and at times this year, it showed us that we can play with anybody,” said Eslick. “We know that it will be a real challenge but we are looking forward to it.”
Class 1A, District 10 Finals
Sigourney 64, Moulton-Udell 46
M-U 5 11 16 14 — 46
SIG 14 12 15 23 — 64
M-U (46) — Grey McCoy 2, Trey Stansberry 8, David Sheets 3, Quentin Fowler 14, Kyle Neher 3, Kalen Martsching 16. Totals 15-54 12-21 46.
3-point goals — 4-26 (Fowler 2, Martsching 2). Fouled out — Neher. Rebounds — 26 (Fowler 10). Assists — 6 (Martsching 2). Steals — 10 (Stansberry 4). Blocks — 1 (Fowler). Total fouls — 21. Turnovers — 11.
SIG (64) — Allen Denny 2, Kyle Ferree 4, Jackson Davis 8, Blaine Gretter 15, Vaclav Bujnoch 10, Brandon Stuhr 25. Totals 25-53 10-19 64.
3-point goals — 4-16 (Stuhr 3, Davis). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — 42 (Stuhr 18, Bujnoch 11). Assists — 13 (Davis 5). Steals — 4 (Bujnoch 2). Blocks — 6 (Stuhr 4). Total fouls — 18. Turnovers — 16.