(Above) James Betz battles for a lose ball with a Carroll Kuemper player. Also pictured for GHV is Connor Burke (2), Ryan Meyers and Nick Joynt. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy
The Garner-Hayfield-Ventura boys took to the big stage on Tuesday, March 7, and faced Carroll Kuemper in the Class 2A State Quarterfinal at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Cardinals, who were the sixth seed in the tournament, with a 24-1 record, fell to Carroll Kuemper, the third seed with a 22-2 record. The Knights toppled the Cardinals, 51-31.
“It’s good to get the boys down here and it’s fun for the community,” said Coach Joe Albertson.
Coming off a successful season, the Cardinals had a lot of weapons in their arsenal.
“We play well as a team. We share the ball, have good defense and we have a bench that can come in if our starters are off and they can get something going,” said Coach Joe Albertson.
Coming into the game, the Cards were looking for their top three scorers in James Betz, Ryan Meyers and Nick Joynt to lead the team.
“All three come into the game with different leadership styles and skills,” said Albertson. “James came into the game on a roll. He was starting to hit from the perimeter. Nick is just a workhorse for us and he is smart with the ball. Ryan is just a solid ballplayer and a good outside shooter.”
The Knights had weapons of their own, with leading scorer Matt Dentlinger, who averages 19.5 points per game, and Parker Badding who averages 11.1. Carroll Kuemper also had some size down low and they’re good at running the floor.
The Knights set the pace right out of the gate by hitting a three, followed by a jumper to take an early 5-0 lead. Betz was first to score for the Cardinals. The first quarter was a defensive battle with Carroll Kuemper picking up three early fouls. The first quarter ended with Connor Burke hitting a big three-point shot. Meyers was sent to the line where he went one-for-one to end the first quarter with the Cards trailing, 9-8.
The game got ugly in the second quarter. GHV could not buy a basket, while the Knights couldn’t seem to miss.
Carroll Kuemper got up 18-8, before Meyers hit a jumper. The shot was the only basket the Cardinals would make in the second quarter, as they were outscored 20-2. GHV also got into some foul trouble, with Betz taking the bench with his third foul. The Knights headed into the half with a large 29-10 lead.
The Cardinals seemed to regroup at half time and started to make some shots. Ryan Meyers pumped in a basket, 29-12. The GHV defense kicked it up too, as they held the Knights scoreless until the 3:03 mark when they connected on a three-point, 32-16. Betz