Boys' basketball: Urbandale clips Hoover for first state bid in four years

Boys' basketball: Urbandale clips Hoover for first state bid in four years

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Boys' basketball: Urbandale clips Hoover for first state bid in four years

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JOHNSTON, Ia. — The first meeting of Aurora Avenue rivals Urbandale and Hoover turned into a triple-overtime thriller.
With a spot in the Class 4-A state tournament on the line Wednesday night in Johnston, Urbandale’s experienced lineup was over the suspense.
The J-Hawks (17-6) earned their first state tournament trip since 2009 with a 48-43 win over the ninth-ranked Huskies.
“We didn’t care who scored, because it was a team effort and we just wanted to get to state for all the seniors,” Urbandale senior Austin Shappell said. “And we finally got it.”
Tied at the end of the second and third quarters, Urbandale broke the tension with the Metro Conference champs in the fourth with vital hustle plays and a healthy free throw advantage. The J-Hawks hit nine free throws in the final frame of the Substate 8 final.
“I thought our guys came out and really competed, but they’re a veteran crew and they just made the plays down the stretch to win,” Hoover coach Courtney Henderson said. “Urbandale stayed composed and didn’t panic.”
Starting three sophomores in a six-man rotation, the Huskies were the aggressors early.
A second quarter 9-0 run and third quarter 8-0 run by Urbandale eventually broke through Hoover’s trademark defense.
The J-Hawks started the game with four seniors on the court.
“Our young guys, at some points in the game, showed our youth,” Henderson said. “For these guys to be that young and that small and still finish 18-4, I’m still so proud of them.”
In a largely whistle-free game, Hoover senior Gatlat Toang picked up three quick fouls in the fourth quarter. Urbandale’s Allen Lazard attacked the basket and scored while drawing a foul, and sophomore Brody Egger rebounded Lazard’s missed free throw and drew another foul.
“We end up getting a four-point play and that made it a two possession game,” Urbandale coach Brad Bjorkgren said.
The plays gave Urbandale a 41-36 lead and momentum never shifted back.
“We don’t play but six guys, so anytime anybody gets in foul trouble, we know it’s not a good thing for us,” Henderson said.
Egger went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Senior Nick Noah led the J-Hawks with 10 points. Lazard wasn’t the J-Hawks’ primary scoring option, but finished with six points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.
Sophomore guard Khalid Edwards led the Huskies (18-4) with 13 points, showing some grit with his team trailing late. The loss was Hoover’s second straight substate final exit.
“Courtney has got those guys playing so well,” Bjorkgren said. “They’re so disciplined and they’re a bunch of good guys, and that’s because of their leader.”
URBANDALE (48)–Shappell 3 1-4 7, Lazard 3 0-1 6, Razor 3 0-0 8, Agic 2 5-7 9, Noah 5 0-0 10, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Egger 0 8-8 8. Totals 16 14-19.
HOOVER (43)–Edwards 5 0-0 13, Thomas 3 0-0 7, King 2 2-2 7, Canada 4 0-2 8, Toang 3 0-0 8, Houston 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 2-4.
Urbandale… 9 9 13 17–48
Hoover………12 6 13 12–43

3-point goals–Urbandale 2 (Razor 2), Hoover 7 (Edwards 3, Toang 2, Thomas, King). Fouls–Urbandale 10, Hoover 16. Fouled out–Toang.

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Boys' basketball: Urbandale clips Hoover for first state bid in four years
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