WEST DES MOINES, Ia. — Midway through the fourth quarter, the Valley boys’ basketball team led Dowling by two. Both student sections were in full throat. The parents were sweating out of nerves. It was, in a word, intense.
In an attempt to tie, Dowling’s Sam Ingoli drove into the paint and flipped the ball to the rim. Miss. Valley turned the ensuing possession into a fast-break bucket. Dowling’s Joey Kern tried on the next possession, but he missed, too, and the Tigers scored again.
A few more misses, followed by a few more Valley buckets, and the Tigers’ lead had ballooned back to 10. Coach BJ Windhorst cracked and smile and clapped his hands as his team huddled up during a Dowling timeout.
“Anytime you can go get some easy baskets, it’s huge,” Windhorst would say postgame. “We have to do that. We’re still an inexperienced team trying to figure out how to be better on offense.”
That late surge helped Valley beat Dowling, 63-55, on Tuesday evening at Valley High School. It is the fifth win for the Tigers (8-3) in their last six games, while the Maroons (6-3) have now dropped two of their last three.
Before the late-game fireworks, the Tigers jumped out to a 17-10 lead after the first quarter, an effort buoyed by three big 3-pointers. For the night, Valley drained six treys to Dowling’s three.
“Those were crucial,” said senior Nate Dennis, who hit two 3-pointers — including one in the first quarter — en route to 11 total points. “We haven’t been shooting the best as the team lately, so to see some go in early really helped build our confidence.”
Valley led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but went into halftime with a 32-25 lead. The Maroons hung tough in the first half thanks to a slew of free throws. They ended up 16-for-26 from the line for the night while Valley went 7-for-13, all of which came in the second half.
Dowling methodically inched closer in the second half, closing the gap completely in the third quarter and again in the fourth. Ingoli was vital in the effort, as 12 of his 18 points came after intermission. He hit a pair of free throws in the fourth to tie the game at 46.
But Valley responded when Reese Skinner scored on the ensuing possession. He led Valley with 12 points, and Charley Crowley matched Dennis with 11 while Austin Hinkle added 10 more. Dowling attempted to recover during the next few possessions, but Valley turned the misses into points, and took the game over.
“We had some chances offensively to either tie or take the lead and we just didn’t make very good decisions,” Dowling coach Mike O’Connor said. “During the times when we had a little momentum, we didn’t get back and guard, and the easy transition squelched the momentum.
“It’s really frustrating because we’re better than that, but you have to give Valley credit. They capitalized.”
Dowling (55) – Coffin 2, Ingoli 18, Olson 9, Kern 13, Waggoner 10, Bell 3. Also played – Clark. Totals: 18, 16-26.
Valley (63) – Hinkle 10, Skinner 12, Sueppel 5, Crowley 11, Brown 2, Brinkmeyer 6, Frey 6, Dennis 11. Also played – Samples. Totals: 25, 7-13.
Valley 63, Dowling 55
Dowling 10 15 13 17 – 55
Valley 17 15 11 20 – 63
3-pointers – Valley 6 (Frey 2, Dennis 2, Skinner 2), Dowling 3 (Kern 2, Ingoli 1). Fouls – Dowling 17, Valley 22. Fouled Out – Valley: Brinkmeyer, Crowley. Technical Fouls – None.
Valley girls beat Dowling in nail-biter
The Valley girls’ basketball team beat Dowling, 76-72, in a thriller on Tuesday night at Valley High School.
The Tigers jumped out to a commanding 36-25 halftime lead, led by Jackie Feldt’s 10 points and a 10-0 second-quarter run. But Dowling came roaring back to be within 56-53 at the start of the fourth, thanks to an 18-point third-quarter performance from freshman Caitlin Clark, who finished with 26.
The Maroons (9-2) came within two points midway through the fourth quarter, but the Tigers (11-2) did enough to hold their distance. Feldt led Valley with 19 points. Zoe Young followed with 18 and Hannah Fuller chipped in 17. Behind Clark, Josie Filer scored 19 for Dowling.
Dowling (72) – Clark 26, Wanek 15, Filer 19, Cataldo 2, Ketcham 6, Koethe 4. Also played – Gaber, Moses. Totals: 22, 20-23.
Valley (76) – Young 18, Jackie Feldt 19, Honnold 11, Jamie Feldt 4, H. Fuller 17, S. Fuller 7. Also played – Carr. Totals: 29, 12-19.
Valley 76, Dowling 72
Dowling 18 7 28 19 – 72
Valley 23 13 20 20 – 76
3-pointers – Dowling 8 (Clark 4, Wanek 2, Filer 2), Valley 6 (S. Fuller 2, H. Fuller 2, Honnold 1, Jackie Feldt 1). Fouls – Dowling 16, Valley 16. Fouled out – None. Technical Fouls – None.