COLO, Ia. — The Grand View Christian boys’ basketball team didn’t score 100 points on Monday night, something it did in two of its previous three games. But the Thunder still showcased its offensive brilliance en route to another big win.
Grand View Christian beat Colo-NESCO, 78-50, at Colo-NESCO Senior High School. The win is the Thunder’s 16th in a row, pushing them to 16-1 on the year, while its 28-point margin of victory is actually its third-closest game during its current winning streak.
“Both teams played hard tonight,” Grand View Christian coach Dave Stubbs said. “We definitely had some good moments.”
The Thunder entered Monday night’s matchup averaging a blistering 89.7 points per game, the best such mark in the state that was anchored by four 100-point showings. It was a drastic step forward after they scored 78.8 points per game a year ago.
Last season, Grand View Christian scored majority of its points by way of the 3-pointer, sinking 317 as a team, 36 more than any other team. This year’s team, though, is more balanced, having made just 119 triples of 348 attempts entering Monday night.
“If you have shooters, you try to work that in,” Stubbs said. “We have a handful of guys that can shoot the three, but we also have a couple of guys that are doing a good job inside.
“We definitely have some more balance this year.”
That’s not to say the Thunder can’t shoot the three — they still can, sinking eight on Monday night. But they can also score in a myriad other ways, too, a fact Colo-NESCO (12-6) found out the hard way.
It didn’t take long for Grand View Christian to get running, turning a first quarter 8-2 lead into a 21-10 advantage after the first eight minutes. By the intermission, that advantage had ballooned into 47-22, during which the Thunder sank 16 field goals, exactly double the Royals’ output.
“We just weren’t ready,” Colo-NESCO coach Patrick Wynja said. “… It was a learning experience for the kids. You can’t fault them. They played hard.”
The Royals were without Matthew Hill, a 6-foot-4 junior that averages 20.3 points per game. He injured his knee last week, and Wynja said he believes Hill will be back at the end of the week.
Hill does more than just score, of course. He’s grabbed 112 rebounds — including 60 on the offensive end — and has blocked 43 shots. Wynja called Hill a “pressure breaker,” something the Royals could’ve used against a mean Grand View Christian defense.
“This is the first time we’ve had to play against pressure without Matthew,” Wynja said. “The pace of the game kind of got out of control. It was just a sloppy game — especially for us. They’re athletic and fast, and they can shoot.
“They have kids that can knock down wide open shots, for sure. That team’s pretty loaded.”
The Thunder ran away with the contest in the second half, leading by as many as 40 in the third and fourth quarters. Three Grand View Christian players finished in double figures, led by Mach Nyaw’s 24 points. Garrett Tiarks led the Royals with 16, but scored just four in the second half.
Grand View Christian’s offensive balance proved to be too much for Colo-NESCO on Monday night. It’s been too much for most every team in the state, too, as the Thunder climbed the No. 3 spot in the latest Class 3A rankings. They even earned one first-place vote, a fact Stubbs thoroughly enjoys.
“We had our moments,” he said, “but we could’ve played a little better, too.”
Grand View Christian (78) — Stephen Glenn 14, DeMeulenaere 6, Montes 15, Crabb 6, Long 5, Nyaw 24, Sam Glenn 2, Saliu 6. Also played – Bruce, Long, Gatto, Fry. Totals: 28, 14-21.
Colo-NESCO (50) — P. Bower 12, Cutler 7, Tiarks 16, Clatt 12, Packer 2, Gray 1. Also played – Niemeyer, Eley, F. Bower. Totals: 18, 13-23.
Grand View Christian…21 26 19 12 – 78
Colo-NESCO…10 12 6 22 – 50
3-pointers – Grand View Christian 8 (Montes 2, Stephen Glenn 2, Nyaw 2, Long 1, DeMeulenaere 1), Colo-NESCO 1 (Cutler). Fouls – Grand View Christian 21, Colo-NESCO 17. Technical Fouls – None. Fouled out – Grand View Christian: Montes, Sam Glenn. Colo-NESCO: Niemeyer.
Cody Goodwin covers high school sports, college basketball recruiting and Drake athletics for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at (816) 582-0633, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send him a tweet at @codygoodwin.