Senior Josey Jewell puts up a shot over the Cadet defense. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
The door was open, the chance was there.
Unfortunately for Decorah fans, that opportunity was seized by Crestwood Thursday night in Waukon at the Class 3A boys district final. With just one point separating the two teams late in the game, the Cadets rose up to the challenge and defeated Decorah 49-44.
The Cadets improved to 16-5 and moved on to the Class 3A substate round, where they faced No. 1 Vinton-Shellsburg (23-0) in the substate finals Monday, Feb. 25. Decorah ends the season 14-9 overall.
"Our kids battled to the final buzzer, and although our season didn't end the way we had hoped, there is much to be proud of and take away," said first-year head coach Jonathan Carlson.
Crestwood scored the opening points of the game, but Decorah senior Jacob Drost answered for the Vikes. Crestwood rattled off six straight points before Holt Johansen stopped the run. Johansen scored once more for Decorah as the Vikes trailed 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.
A Drost lay-up got the Vikes going in the second quarter. The Cadets answered with four points. With the score 19-12 with 3:49 to go in the half, the Vikes came storming back. James Ostlie started the run. Lee Rollins sent Viking fans to their feet with a three. A bucket by Patrick Winter tied the game at 19 with 1:42 remaining. Crestwood retook the lead on four free throws. A two by Johansen with 33 seconds left made it a two-point game. The Cadets looked to hold onto the ball for the final chance, but a steal by Drost, followed by a lay-up, made it 23-all at the half.
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