Ankeny shoots down Cedar Falls

Ankeny shoots down Cedar Falls

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DES MOINES – The remarkable run of the Cedar Falls Tigers finally came to an end.

The red-hot shooting of the Ankeny Hawks was simply too much for Cedar Falls to overcome in the Class 4A boys’ state basketball semifinals.

Sixth-seeded Ankeny drained six treys in the opening quarter en route to a 71-57 win over No. 2 Cedar Falls on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

Two-time defending state champion Cedar Falls fell behind by 20 points in the opening half and could never recover. The Tigers fought back to within six points in the second and third quarters before falling short.

Cedar Falls had its 11-game winning streak snapped in finishing another superb season with a 22-3 record.

“Ankeny had some guys step up and make a ton of threes,” Cedar Falls coach Ryan Schultz said. “I was very, very proud of how we battled back. We made a run in the first half and made another run in the second half. But they kept hitting shots.”

Ankeny (20-5) advances to face No. 4 Waukee (23-2) in tonight’s state championship game at 8:35 p.m.

The Hawks hit 12 3-pointers in the first three quarters in building a 55-38 lead Thursday.

Ankeny slowed down the tempo in the final quarter as the Tigers tried valiantly to rally. Cedar Falls chipped away and actually pulled within 64-57 with a minute left, but could draw no closer.

Hawks point guard Braxton Bayless, who erupted for 41 points in a quarterfinal win over No. 3 Iowa City West, had plenty of help Thursday. Ankeny’s Jordan Kumm and Jaxon Smith turned in sizzling shooting displays with the Tigers focused on stopping Bayless.

Kumm, averaging under nine points per game, collected 18 points Thursday. He drained six treys. Smith contributed 17 points and had four 3-pointers.

“Cedar Falls has a great team and this was a huge win for our program,” Bayless said. “This was a good test for us, and they really battled hard, but we think we’re the best team in the state. Jordan and Jaxon really stepped up for us, and when that happens, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Bayless, son of former Iowa State guard Ron Bayless, was held to 11 points before fouling out. He averages just under 24 points per game.

“I thought we did a nice job on Bayless,” Schultz said. “But they’re talented enough, if they get other guys going on the edge like they did tonight, they’re going to be tough to beat.”

The Hawks have won six straight games.

Sophomore point guard Trey Campbell led the Tigers with 16 points.

“Trey was outstanding,” Schultz said. “I thought it was his best performance of the year at both ends. That’s the most confident he’s looked all year offensively. And he was tremendous defensively.”

Cedar Falls came out strong to start the second half and pulled within 35-29 on a 3-pointer by Josh Ollendieck, but Ankeny countered with a 16-3 run to put the game out of reach. Smith hit three 3-pointers during that decisive stretch.

Ollendieck, a senior who is headed to Truman State next year, finished with 11 points.

“We definitely had our chances, but every time we battled back to within six or seven points, they would hit some big shots,” he said. “We fought hard, but give them credit for making the plays.”

Ollendieck was part of the strong Cedar Falls run the past three seasons.

“It was absolutely awesome to be able to play at Wells Fargo Arena three times and win state twice,” he said. “It’s been a blessing to be a part of this program. A lot of kids don’t get this opportunity. I definitely don’t take it for granted. It’s been great.”

The Hawks connected for seven 3-pointers in the game’s first 10 minutes to take a commanding 30-10 lead. The Tigers fought back with a 14-0 run, including six points by Chase Courbat, to draw within six.

But the Hawks countered with a Bayless basket and a 3-pointer by Kumm just before the buzzer to lead 35-24 at the break.

Ankeny hit eight treys in the first half, including five by Kumm. The Hawks were 12-of-22 from long distance in the game while Cedar Falls was 5-of-14.

“Our main goal was to stop Bayless, but his teammates came to play,” Campbell said. “We fought hard, but just came up short. It’s been pretty incredible what our program has done the last three years. I just wish we could’ve kept it going.”

The Tigers reached the final four at state for the third straight season.

“I couldn’t be more thankful to our seniors,” Schultz said. “I told them what they’ve done is historic and set the bar at the highest level possible. I’m very proud of our last three years. I’m very proud of this year’s group – I don’t think a lot of people thought we would get this far. To regroup after losing four starters, I’m just very proud of my guys.”

Ankeny 71, Cedar Falls 57

Ankeny Min FG-A FT-A Reb A PF TP

Smith 32 5-11 3-4 3 3 0 17

Bayless 28 4-8 2-3 5 4 5 11

Kumm 32 6-9 0-0 3 3 3 18

Manus 26 4-5 1-2 5 0 2 9

Otten 28 2-6 5-7 1 2 1 9

Crandell 10 1-2 5-6 6 0 3 7

Simonsen 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 2

Totals 160 22-41 15 21 25 12 14 71

Cedar Falls Min. FG-A FT-A Reb. A PF TB

Ollendieck 30 4-14 1-1 4 2 3 11

Campbell 26 6-9 4-7 4 2 3 16

Wolf 30 3-7 2-2 6 2 3 9

Sernett 14 1-2 0-0 1 1 1 2

Courbat 24 4-8 0-0 8 1 2 8

Heth 15 1-2 2-2 1 2 4 5

Loecher 7 1-1 0-0 1 1 1 2

Janssen 9 1-2 1-2 0 0 1 4

Knutson 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0

Team 0

Totals 160 21-46 10-14 25 11 19 57

Ankeny 27 8 20 16 — 71

Cedar Falls 9 15 14 19 — 57

3-point goals – Ankeny 12-22 (Smith 4-7, Bayless 2-3, Kumm 6-9, Otten 0-3). Cedar Falls 5-14 (Ollendieck 2-7, Campbell 0-2, Wolf 1-2, Heth 1-2, Janssen 1-1) Steals – Ankeny 4 (Kumm 2). Cedar Falls 6 (Wolf 3). Turnovers – Ankeny (11 (Bayless 5). Cedar Falls 12 (Campbell 4).


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