North Scott senior Cortez Seales gets in the way of a shot made by Iowa City West junior Alex Henderson during their state basketball game on Friday, March 13, 2015, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Small team, big dreams.
Second-ranked North Scott of Eldridge played with an undersized lineup and faced a school twice its size Friday. But the Lancers have the confidence to take on all foes.
Marlon Stewart and Cortez Seales combined to score 43 points, and the Lancers ended No. 1 Iowa City West’s run of three consecutive state titles Friday with a 57-51 Class 4-A semifinal win at Wells Fargo Arena.
Bring ’em on. Even if it’s an NBA team.
“I don’t know if this is good or bad, but our kids think they can beat the Chicago Bulls,” North Scott coach Shamus Budde said.
North Scott ranks No. 46 out of 48 4-A schools in enrollment. The Lancers’ starters average less than 6-foot-2 and faced a foe that fielded 6-7 and 6-6 players.
North Scott (22-3) jumped to a 16-7 lead in the first quarter. Stewart scored 23 points and Seales added 20 in the victory.
“We play with a lot of heart,” Seales said, as a trainer wrapped an ice pack to his back.
STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Brackets
A 30-game winning streak dating to last season ended for West (24-1). The Trojans won the three previous Class 4-A state titles.
“All good runs have got to end eventually,” West’s David DiLeo said.
Wali Parks led West with 13 points. Devontae Lane had 11, and Tanner Lohaus and Alex Henderson both added 10.
North Scott will face the winner of Friday’s Hoover-Pleasant Valley semifinal in the championship at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Lancers led 27-21 at halftime.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” DiLeo said. “We played well defensively, I thought, to fight our way back. But we just couldn’t get over that hump.”
North Scott hit five of nine 3-point attempts and forced 12 turnovers. West outrebounded North Scott by a narrow 23-18 margin.
West cut the lead to 34-32 late in the third quarter, but North Scott stayed strong down the stretch.
“Our kids have played so much,” said Budde, who played for Bettendorf in two state tournaments. “They aren’t scared.”
The Lancers reached the state championship game for the second time. The 2003 team took second.
“We’ve come a long way, and I’m glad to be here,” Seales said.
NORTH SCOTT (57)— Stewart 23, Seales 20, Kilburg 2, Graham 2, Grimes 7, Greve 3. Also played—Anderson. Totals 19 14-20.
IOWA CITY WEST (51)— Parks 13, Lane 11, Lohaus 10, Handerson 10, McCaffery 4, DiLeo 3. Also played—Majors. Totals 16 16-21.
North Scott…16 11 8 22—57
West…7 14 19 19—51
3-point goals—North Scott 5 (Stewart 3, Seales, Greve), West 3 (Henderson 2, Parks). Fouls—North Scott 16, West 17. Fouled out—Henderson.