Second-quarter stretch proves costly to Wolves

Ben Wegner finished with nine points, but IKM-Manning wasn’t able to overcome an early double-digit deficit as West Hancock earned a 67-51 victory.

DES MOINES — IKM-Manning had settled nicely into its first Iowa boys state basketball game in six years.

The Wolves shot 50 percent from the field in the opening period, and the lead changed hands seven times.

But then, in a five-possession span, fifth-seeded IKM-Manning made three turnovers and missed all three of its 3-point attempts. Fourth-seeded West Hancock pounced, ripping off 13 straight points to take a 31-20 lead. The Eagles never looked back in a 67-51 Class 1-A quarterfinal victory Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.

“It was back and forth in the first quarter, into the second quarter,” IKM-Manning coach Keith Wagner said. “Then I thought there was a time in the second quarter where it kind of got away from us. We shot the ball quick, and they got out in transition and got easy baskets.”

In its third state appearance, fifth-rated West Hancock (24-2) won its first state game and will meet unrated, eighth-seeded Council Bluffs St. Albert (16-9) in Thursday’s 10:30 a.m. semifinal.

For the Eagles, six players hit 3-pointers in a 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) effort beyond the arc.

“They all have the green light to shoot whenever they want, except for Colton (Ruter, who has no 3-point attempts on the season), and he knows that,” West Hancock coach Brian Peterson said. “We’ve just got to keep shooting. That’s our game.”

IKM-Manning, making its second state appearance since joining forces eight years ago, ends its season at 22-3. During the Wolves’ rough stretch early in the second quarter, West Hancock got two 3-pointers from Dylan Eckels and another from Ben Eisenman, along with layups from Connor Sonius and Eckels after steals.

The Eagles carried a 34-24 edge in the intermission.

“It all starts on the defensive end, and we won this year because of our defense, not because of our offense,” said Peterson, whose club lost in the quarterfinals to Danville last year.

West Hancock blitzed IKM-Manning 12-2 to start the second half, stretching its lead to 46-26 with 4:41 left in the third.

“We always talk about the first three minutes of the second half being big,” Wagner said. “They obviously won those three minutes.”

Kyle Wagner, the coach’s son, led IKM-Manning with 15 points and seven rebounds, while senior Jared Vollstedt added 13 points, five steals and four rebounds.

Sonius matched his average for West Hancock with 20 points and Nate Paulus had 15, five below his normal output. Eckels scored 14 of his 16 in the first half.

Despite the loss, Vollstedt said the Wolves will relish the season and the return to state.

“We’ve had that chip on our shoulder since the Treynor (substate loss) last year,” he said. “This is what we wanted this year. We started the Sunday after that loss to Treynor, and we’ve just worked hard ever since that day, all summer. The hard work paid off, and it was a great experience to get down here.”

IKM-Manning (22-3)..............16 8 9 18—51

West Hancock (24-2)..........18 16 21 12—67

IKMM: Jon Brandt 3-5 0-0 6, Ben Wegner 3-7 3-4 9, Jared Vollstedt 5-14 0-0 13, Austin Dahlgren 0-2 1-2 1, Kyle Wagner 7-21 0-0 15, Trevor Cast 1-2 0-0 3, Jared Johnson 2-6 0-0 4, Ridge Muhlbauer 0-2 0-0 0, Noah Harlow 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Gross 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Mollus 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Greazel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 4-6 51.

WH: Connor Sonius 7-10 3-4 20, Nate Paulus 3-10 8-10 15, Colton Ruter 1-1 2-2 4, Seth Weiland 2-6 0-0 6, Dylan Eckels 5-9 4-4 16, Nick Hunt 0-1 0-0 0, Chase Eisenman 0-0 0-0 0, Gavin Becker 0-0 0-0 0, MaCoy Yeakel 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas Weiland 1-1 0-0 3, Ben Eisenman 1-2 0-0 3, Glen Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Hartwig 0-2 0-0 0, Garrett Fosdick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-42 17-20 67.

3-point goals: IKMM 5-17 (Vollstedt 3-6, Cast 1-2, Wagner 1-7, Johnson 0-2), WH 10-21 (Sonius 3-6, S. Weiland 2-4, Eckels 2-5, L. Weiland 1-1, B. Eisenman 1-1, Paulus 1-3, Hartwig 0-1). Total fouls: IKMM 15, WH 12. Fouled out: Wegner. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: IKMM 31 (Wagner 7), WH 31 (S. Weiland 8). Assists: IKMM 7 (Vollstedt 3), WH 13 (Paulus 5). Steals: IKMM 9 (Vollstedt 5), WH 10 (Paulus, Eckels 3). Turnovers: IKMM 14, WH 16.

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