PARKERSBURG — A season that ends without a state tournament trip is not a season the Waverly-Shell Rock boys’ basketball team considers to be successful.

So after falling short of Des Moines for the first time in five years a season ago, the Go-Hawks were dead set on starting a new streak this season, something they accomplished with relative ease Monday night.

Austin Phyfe and Luke Velky both scored 16 points, Phyfe pulled down 14 rebounds, and W-SR took down Forest City 71-55 in a Class 3A substate final at Aplington-Parkersburg High School.

“Our first basketball meeting of the year, (getting back to state) was one of our main goals,” said Phyfe, who personally outrebounded Forest City 9-8 in the first half. “Missing last season really stuck with us all summer and we knew we had to get back.”

Helping the cause Monday was a stifling defense, that held Forest City scoreless for more than six minutes to open the game.

Up 15 at the half, the Go-hawks came out flat in the third quarter, as Sam Snyder, who finished with 13 points, helped the Indians get within 34-26.

But after second-leading scorer Chris Jermeland had to sit with four first-half fouls, Snyder, the team’s top scorer, joined him on the bench after picking up his fourth.

With Snyder out, Waverly-Shell Rock took control, closing the third quarter on a 12-4 run and pushing its lead as high as 21 in the fourth.

“I was really happy how we answered their run,” Coach Nate Steege said. “When they got it down to eight, we could have gone into panic mode and gotten tight. But we just kept playing our game.”

The game plan included a healthy dose of Phyfe. Snyder was tasked with guarding the 6-foot-10 center and was unable to keep him off the block, eventually fouling out.

“Our coaches do a great job of letting me know how many fouls someone’s got,” Phyfe said. “It lets me know I can try to attack the guy and try to get him another (foul).”

Monday was another impressive win in an impressive season for the Go-hawks, who are now 22-1.

Though he considers his team a serious threat next week, Steege says it would be a big mistake to give a prediction of how it will fare at this point, choosing instead to go with the familiar one-game-at-a-time mantra.

“The only thing we’re going to worry about is the first game,” he said. “Every team at the state tournament is a good team, no question about it. We’ve got to only worry about that first game, because if you don’t take care of that, the rest doesn’t matter.”

W-SR 71, Forest City 55

FOREST CITY (19-5) — Avery Busta 1 1-2 4, Ben Midtgaard 1 0-0 3, Ryan Theel 6, 2-3 16, Chris Jermeland 2 0-0 4, Sam Snyder 6 1-4 13, Tanner Greenwood 0 0-0 0, Grady Hovenga 3 0-0 8, Micah Lambert 1 0-0 3, Jason Mielke 0 0-2 0, Zach Miller 0 0-0 0, Colton Shipman 0 1-2 1, Luke Johnson 1 0-0 3, Spenser Larson 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 5-13 55.

WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK (22-1) — John Stensland 4 2-2 12, Jackson Little 0 0-1 0, Luke Velky 6 3-3 16, Jacob Bahe 3 3-8 9, Austin Phyfe 6 4-6 16, Braden Holmquist 1 6-8 8, Jack Seward 0 0-0 0, Joey McNally 0 0-0 0, Brandon Hinders 0 0-0 0, Jordan Downing 1 0-1 2, Mosai Newsom 4 0-0 8, Brandon Zein 0 0-0 0, Jed Paulsen 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 18-30 71.

Forest City 4 11 15 25 — 55

Waverly-S.R. 12 18 16 25 — 71

3-point goals—Forest City 8 (Hovenga 2, Theel 1, Busta 1, Midtgaard 1, Lambert 1, Johnson 1), Waverly-Shell Rock 3 (Stensland 2, Velky 1). Total fouls—Forest City 24, Waverly-Shell Rock 14. Fouled out—Snyder.


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