Tuesday Updates: Xavier, Waverly-Shell Rock, Kuemper advance

Tuesday Updates: Xavier, Waverly-Shell Rock, Kuemper advance

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Tuesday Updates: Xavier, Waverly-Shell Rock, Kuemper advance

Class 3A Quarterfinals

Cedar Rapids Xavier 59, Mount Pleasant 44

Good things happen to basketball teams when they only turn the ball over four times in 32 minutes.

And when they shoot 56.1 percent from the floor? Those good things turn into great things.

Xavier senior Max Techau puts up a shot against Mount Pleasant during the first round of the Iowa High School state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Xavier senior Max Techau puts up a shot against Mount Pleasant during the first round of the Iowa High School state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Such was the case with Cedar Rapids Xavier in its Class 3A quarterfinal matchup against Mount Pleasant on Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. The Saints shot 56.1 percent and committed just four turnovers in a 59-44 win over the Panthers.

“We weathered the storm,” Xavier coach Ryan Luehrsmann said. “They threw a couple of haymakers early, but we didn’t flinch. We took those shots and threw our own punches there in the second half — and that was key.”

After the Panthers took a 23-22 half into the intermission, the Saints (14-11) came out firing in the second half. They shot 9 of 12 in the third quarter alone, part of a 14 of 18 showing from the floor in the second half, helping them outscore Mount Pleasant 37-21 in the process.

Max Techau led Xavier with 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting, adding seven rebounds and two blocks. Matthew Mims scored an additional 17 on 6 of 10 and dished out six of the Saints’ 16 total assists.

“We just got a lot more comfortable and started playing more as a team,” said Mims, a junior. “We started taking the best shot instead of an OK shot, and that really helped us.”

Brady Sartorius led Mount Pleasant with 19 points — but needed 17 shots to get there. Tom O’Connor added 10 on 4 of 7 — all of which came in the first half. The Panthers finished the season 22-3.

Waverly-Shell Rock 58, Atlantic 45

The goal of the Waverly-Shell Rock boys’ basketball team was to stay in Des Moines for the week. That meant winning Tuesday’s quarterfinal game against Atlantic.

By the end of the first quarter, the Go-Hawks made certain they’d be here for the duration of the state tournament.

Top-seeded Waverly-Shell Rock beat Atlantic, 58-45, in the Class 3A quarterfinal round on Tuesday afternoon. The Go-Hawks advance to Thursday’s semifinals, where another win will push them into the state championship game.

“We got off to a great start,” Waverly-Shell Rock coach Nate Steege said. “We got off to the start that we wanted to. I thought we were really focused, and we executed our game plan really well.”

The Go-Hawks (22-1) won their sixth straight game with the help of a dominant first quarter. They outscored Atlantic 21-9 in the first eight minutes by making 9 of 14. The Trojans were never able to fully dig themselves out of that deficit.

RELATED: Boys’ state basketball tournament bracket and results

Austin Phyfe, a Northern Iowa signee, led the Go-Hawks with 17 points on efficient 6 of 9 shooting. He added nine boards, three blocks, three steals and three assists. John Stensland added nine points. In all, nine Waverly-Shell Rock players contributed points, and, as a team, the Go-Hawks went 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Garrett Franken scored 21 points to lead Atlantic. Behind him, Chase Mullinex and Scot Leonard added 11 and 10, respectively. The Trojans finished the season 19-6 overall.

Waverly-Shell Rock will play Cedar Rapids Xavier in the Class 3A semifinals on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6:35 p.m.

Class 2A Quarterfinals

Kuemper Catholic 51, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 31

Photo gallery: 13 Photos: Kuemper Catholic rolls past Garner-Hayfield-Ventura in 2A

Kuemper Catholic remembered getting knocked out of last year’s state tournament after just one game. The Knights held onto that feeling all year long, and when Tuesday’s Class 2A first-round game came to an end, a feeling of relief washed over them.

Kuemper beat Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, 51-31, in the quarterfinals of the 2A boys’ basketball state tournament. The Knights advance to Thursday’s semifinal round, where they’ll play Pella Christian at 3:45 p.m.

“Really proud of our defensive effort,” Kuemper coach Sean Minnehan said. “Our guys stepped up and did a good job holding a team like that to 31 points.”

The game turned in the second quarter, when the Knights (23-2) uncorked a 20-2 run to take a 29-10 lead into intermission. The Cardinals were never able to dig into that deficit, thanks also to Kuemper’s depth — 16 of its 51 points came from off the bench.

MORE CLASS 2A RESULTS: Pella Christian outlasts Van Meter to reach 2A semifinals

Matt Dentlinger led Kuemper with 19 points and 11 boards. In doing so, the 6-foot-7 senior became the Knights’ new all-time leading scorer, at 1,275 career points. Sam Auen added 11 more points and Jared Tigges scored another 10 from off the bench.

Ryan Meyers was the lone GHV player to reach double digits, scoring 11 points on 5 of 10 shooting. James Betz added another eight, but no other player had more than three. The Cardinals finished the season 23-2.

Cody Goodwin covers high school sports, college basketball recruiting and Drake athletics for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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Photo gallery: Photos: Xavier rolls over Mt. Pleasant

Waverly-Shell Rock's (50) Austin Phyfe shoots over an Atlantic defender during their 3A quarterfinal matchup at the Iowa boys' state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday March 7, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Waverly-Shell Rock’s (50) Austin Phyfe shoots over an Atlantic defender during their 3A quarterfinal matchup at the Iowa boys’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday March 7, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kuemper Catholic's (32) Matt Dentlinger shoots over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura's (34) James Betz during their 2A quarterfinal matchup at the Iowa boys' state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday March 7, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kuemper Catholic’s (32) Matt Dentlinger shoots over Garner-Hayfield-Ventura’s (34) James Betz during their 2A quarterfinal matchup at the Iowa boys’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday March 7, 2017, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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