UNDERWOOD, Iowa — If the Missouri Valley seniors remember their school's last postseason boys basketball victory, then they have very good memories. They were in the third grade.
The Big Reds are having their first winning season in nine years, and they registered their first district win since Feb. 19, 2007, with a 71-47 Class 2-A first-round win over Clarinda on Monday at Underwood High School.
In his first season playing for his father, rookie coach Jeff Miller, senior Justin Miller led Missouri Valley with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
"It's been a lot of fun, playing out here with my brothers," the younger Miller said. "We just go out here, play loose and play fast."
Missouri Valley (14-7) advances to Thursday's 8 p.m. district semifinal at state No. 4 and western Iowa No. 1 Treynor (19-2). Clarinda closed at 0-22.
Noah Allmon, a 6-foot-1 senior, finished with 19 points — 12 more than his average — to go with three steals for Missouri Valley. He scored 16 in the first half when the Big Reds pulled away to a 35-20 halftime lead.
Seth Svejda, another senior, ended with 16 points for the Big Reds.
UNDERWOOD 59, RED OAK 55
Even when Red Oak was making its charges, Underwood always had an answer with Tyler Conn at the controls.
The 5-10 senior poured in 26 points — more than 18 over his average — as the Eagles advanced in their Class 2-A district.
"Tyler was awesome tonight," Underwood interim coach Jeff Privia said. "He really ran the offense well."
Conn's 3-pointer staked Underwood to a 51-39 lead with 6:30 left in the game, but Red Oak made a final push.
Weston Rolenc's 3-pointer cut it to 57-55 with 1.5 seconds left, but Colin Opstvedt iced it with a pair of free throws with 0.7 to go.
Jesse Jensen added 15 points for Underwood. Jesse Taylor led Red Oak with 22 points.