Tuesday’s makeup boys basketball game between English Valleys and North Mahaska was a battle of runs. In the end it was North Mahaska holding off the Bears for a 74-66 South Iowa Cedar League victory.
North Mahaska made the first run going up 12-0 in the first 4 minutes only to see EV rally back with a 13-3 run to close the score to 15-13 after one period. The teams traded baskets until NM went on another run outscoring EV 12-3 in the final 2:35 to take a 38-27 edge into intermission.
No major runs occurred in the third period as NM outscored the Bears 19-17 setting up the final frame. The host Warhawks edged their way out to a seemingly solid 15-point lead with 5:20 to play. However, the Bears came roaring back taking advantage of missed free throws by NM and getting inside jumpers to fall.
North Mahaska was just 7-of-15 including missing their final four shots from the charity stripe including misses on the front end of one-and-one opportunities. English Valleys spread out the scoring but ran out of time.
“I thought we played pretty well against a really good team,” said English Valleys coach Caleb Lewis. “We let them get runs on us and we would answer but ran out of time. We can’t allow ourselves get down that far.”
North Mahaska’s Seth Streebin was pleased with the win but felt the free throw misses hurt.
“We made runs tonight but then eased up and allowed them back into the game,” Streebin said. “When you miss the front end of a one-and-one that should count as two misses because you don’t get to shoot it. That hurt us.”
Both teams were hot from the 3-point arc. Each team drilled one with 1 second on the clock. EV senior Hayden Irmen hit his to end the first quarter and North Mahaska senior Addie Bollman dropped his to end the first half. The teams combined for 17-of-45 from the arc.
Bollman hit six treys to finish with 22 points. English Valleys’ junior Kaden Hall went inside to score 22 for the Bears. Nash Smith and Braden Steel finished in double figures for the Warhawks with 19 and 10 respectively.
Irmen finished with 14, Brayden Mikesell had 12 and Cole Stephenson had 11 for the Bears. Hall the Bears rebounding with 11 followed by Irmen with six and Beau Flander with five. North Mahaska held the overall rebounding edge 37-28. Smith led NM rebounding with nine and Dylan Klinker grabbed seven. Steel was credited with five.
Both teams begin Class 1A district play on Monday, Feb. 15. English Valleys hosts Belle Plaine while North Mahaska will host Melcher-Dallas. Both games begin at 7 p.m. The EV-BP winner will advance to face the winner of Alburnett and HLV on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. The North Mahaska winner will play at Keota on Feb. 18 against the Keota-Twin Cedars winner.