Dallas Center-Grimes gave West Delaware a furious fourth but eventually lost in a state boys’ basketball quarterfinal Tuesday.
The Mustangs (15-10) scored 32 points in the final quarter but couldn’t overcome a lead that was 18 points at one time. West Delaware of Manchester won 66-58 in a Class 3A game at Wells Fargo Arena.
Dallas Center-Grimes trailed 43-26 to start the period. Then the Mustangs used a ferocious press and clutch shooting.
Guard Steve Borneman, who scored a game-high 19 points, scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the offensive attack.
“I knew we had to get going,” said Borneman, a guard. “Coach set up a couple of plays for me. I’d been struggling all game.”
Borneman scored seven points during a minute-long span, hitting three baskets. His jumper with 1:40 to go cut West Delaware’s lead to 61-56.
West Delaware, now 25-0, advanced to a semifinal. All five starters scored in double figures, led by John Nagel’s 15 points. Derek Krogmann had 11 points, 13 rebounds.
Senior point guard Ryan Trainer, a four-year starter, helped calm his team. So did Nagel, who is an Iowa State football recruit.
“When we get in close games, it’s nice to have seniors out there,” Nagel said.
The Dallas Center-Center defense rallied in the fourth quarter by forcing turnovers. The Mustangs outscored their foes 32-23 in the final quarter.
“It’s a sense of urgency,” Mustang coach Joel Rankin said. “We got a little physical and a little intense. We were very aggressive. The kids — they didn’t give up; they made a run.”
Expectations weren’t high for Dallas Center-Grimes after last season’s team went 11-11 and just four players returned.
Things changed when the team began the season with a winning streak.
“Nobody really believed in us,” senior Trevor Grove said. “We started the season 9-0 and that pushed us to set our goals a little higher.”
Both Grove and Brody Kleen scored 12 points Tuesday.
Rankin said the players always wanted to stay after practice to shoot — occasionally costing him his evenings’ plans.
“I had to go home; I had to eat; I had a date,” Rankin said, “and they wouldn’t let me go.”
That work ethic took the Mustangs to state.
Dallas Center-Grimes returns all but four seniors for next season.
D.C.-Grimes (58)—Duey 3, Grove 12, Borneman 19, Humphreys 6, Kleen 12, Biegger 3, Pride 3. Also played—Meggers, Cooney, Epple, Rosa, Protzman, Clapper. Totals 19 16-28.
West Delaware (66)—Trainer 12, Kelley 11, Wright 14, Krogmann 11, Nagel 15, McCarty 3. Also played—Soppe, Wubbena, Monoghan. Totals 18 25-30.
DCG… 10 3 13 32—58
W.Delaware…11 16 16 23—66
3-point goals—D 4 (Biegger, Pride, Borneman 2), W 5 (Trainer, Wright 3, McCarty). Fouls—D 25, W 21. Fouled out—Kleen.