North Mahaska and Montezuma had another one of their instant classic basketball battles Tuesday. The host Warhawks had to rally in the fourth quarter to upend Montezuma 49-46. The victory ties NM with Keota for second place. Lynnville-Sully won the conference title with a 15-1 conference record while North Mahaska and Keota finish 14-2.
Just like the contest between the girls ahead of the boys it was back and forth with NM holding a 14-13 lead after one and 26-22 at halftime. By the end of the third the Warhawks led 41-28 to start the fourth for a 13-point lead.
Montezuma senior Owen Cook and freshman Brady Boulton hit a trio of 3-pointers to cut the lead to six. North Mahaska senior Lane Harmon scored a lane runner with just over five minutes to play. Monte answered with a basket and two threes to take a 46-45 lead with two minutes to play.
North Mahaska, who has struggled from the foul line went 4-for-6 in the final 1:40 and was able to keep the Braves from scoring for the victory.
North Mahaska’s defense held Monte to just four 2-point goals. Montezuma went to the foul line twice hitting both. Those came in the first half. The Braves shot 28.6 percent from the floor but was 30 percent from the arc hitting 12-of-40.
North Mahaska dominated the boards with 47 including 13 offensive boards. Montezuma grabbed 29 with only three offensive.
Three Warhawks reached double figures in scoring with Braden Steel recording another double-double. He had 11 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Harmon and Ethan Huffman each scored 10, Nolan Andersen added eight and Nash Smith was held to six. Harmon was credited with eight rebounds.
Montezuma’s hot shooters had three in double figures and one with nine. Gavin Strong led the Braves with 13 points and five rebounds. Masin Shearer and Cook each scored 11.
“We knew they could come back on us because they are a good shooting team,” said North Mahaska coach Seth Streebin. “We were able to hit those free throws at the end. I thought we rebounded really well tonight even when we couldn’t get our shots to fall. We have big game Monday with Eddyville (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont). That will be a big test for us.”
Following NM’s game with EBF on Monday, they travel to Twin Cedars on Tuesday to take on the Sabers to end the regular season. Montezuma travels to EBF Friday.