Your Prep Sports
MAQUOKETA – Both coaches got exactly what they expected in the Class 2A, Substate 4 title game on Saturday.
Fans got their money’s worth, Jeff Bowie got bucket after bucket and everyone got an extra four minutes of action.
In the end it was Dyersville Beckman that got a trip to the state tournament.
Beckman hit all 10 of its free throw attempts in overtime to edge West Branch 56-52 in a substate thriller at Maquoketa High School.
“I knew that our games are like this,” Dyersville Beckman coach Michael Molony said. “The biggest win I thought at halftime was Jason (Kern) only had three timeouts and I had five. We just gut them out, we find ways to do it, we get stops when we need to and we get scores when we need to.”
A game between evenly matched teams lived up to its billing from the beginning.
Neither team led by more than four points during the opening 35 minutes and both teams had a chance to win in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
An instant classic ended in heartbreak for West Branch as the Blazers made 10 straight free throws in the final 2:22 to escape.
“It was an unbelievable game,” West Branch coach Jason Kern said. “I’m so proud of our guys, I’m happy to be their coach, unfortunately time out ran out on the scoreboard and we didn’t have enough points but I still don’t think they are losers tonight, these kids are winners in every aspect of life.”
Sophomore Padraig Gallagher hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 2:22 of overtime as Dyersville Beckman (16-7) advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2007.
Gallagher took one shot and had no points sitting the final 13 minutes of the first half with two fouls.
The leading scorer for Beckman scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including 11 from the foul line.
Gallagher scored 16 of the final 22 points for Beckman over the final 10 minutes of the game.
“At the beginning of the year he wouldn’t have gone and done that,” Molony said. “I was on the sideline screaming, ‘Paddy we need you, we need you, you have to start attacking there is no way these guys can guard you’ he did a great job of attacking and he was determined to score or drop it off.”
West Branch used a steady diet of senior post players Jeff Bowie and Simon Palmer to build a slight second-half lead.
Bowie had nine of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and gave West Branch its biggest lead at 38-34 with a conventional 3-point lay with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.
Gallagher hit his only 3-pointer of the game on the ensuing Blazer possession to start a 9-2 Beckman run.
“We’d get up by four and I’d start to think we were going to pull away and then they would hit a shot,” Bowie said. “It was back and forth all game and we just weren’t able to get it done.”
Both teams had a chance to take a lead late in regulation.
Beckman junior Logan Goedken missed the front end of a one-and-one with eight seconds left and Gallagher was called for travelling following an offensive rebound with 4.5 seconds left.
West Branch had a shot for the win but Peyton Miller’s corner jumper was long.
“That’s plenty of time, 4.5 seconds is an eternity,” Kern said. “We almost had it, I thought we were getting the game winner and I thought his shot was going to go in there.”
Palmer hit a pair of free throws with 2:43 left in overtime to put West Branch up two but Gallagher made four straight from the stripe to give the Blazers the lead for good.
A Palmer 3-pointer with 23 seconds left cut the lead to 52-50 but Gallagher hit four more free throws and Goedken made two with 7.4 seconds left to lock up the win.
“It was back and forth a lot, we had a lot of good post feeds to me the whole game and I was able to make it happen inside,” Bowie said. “We hit shots when they hit shots to keep it close but at the end how many free throws they shot really let them pull away.”
Palmer finished with 16 points and six rebounds in his final prep game combing with Bowie for 38 of the Bears’ 52 points.
West Branch shot 56 percent from the field but had 19 turnovers, including three in overtime.
“We knew there were going to limited possessions and we were going to have to be disciplined defensively because they run their offense very well,” Kern said. “We knew we had to take care of the ball and get valued possession on offense.”
Jack Gehling had 15 points and Goedken had eight for Dyersville Beckman which won its first substate final in three tries under Molony.
“Nothing has phased us the last three weeks of the season and that’s what it takes to play into March and we haven’t done that in a long time,” Molony said. “This is the most poised group we’ve had and the most determined group we’ve had.”
Dyersville Beckman 15 7 8 14 12 – 56
West Branch 14 7 12 11 8 – 52
Dyersville Beckman (56) – Logan Goedken 3-9 2-3 8, Logan Burchard 2-3 0-0 6, Padraig Gallagher 4-9 11-12 20, Jake Hermsen 2-6 3-4 7, Jack Gehling 5-7 4-4 15, Totals 16-34 20-23 56.
West Branch (52) – Peyton Miller 2-5 0-0 4, Holden Arnaman 1-2 0-0 3, Brady Knoop 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas Gould 1-3 0-0 2, Gavin Hierseman 2-4 0-0 5, Jeff Bowie 8-12 6-9 22, Simon Palmer 6-9 2-2 16, Totals 20-36 8-11 52.
3-point field goals – WB 4-9 (Miller 0-2, Arnaman 1-2, Knoop 0-1, Hierseman 1-2, Palmer 2-2), DB 4-13 (Goedken 0-5, Burchard 2-3, Gallagher 1-3, Hermsen 0-1, Gehling 1-1). Rebounds – WB 17 (Palmer 6), DB 22 (Hermsen 7). Turnovers – WB 18, DB 14. Total fouls – WB 19, DB 15. Fouled out – WB (Gould, Hierseman). Technical fouls – None.