Andrew Magner drives toward the lane as the V-S defender hangs tough. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Andrew Magner drives toward the lane as the V-S defender hangs tough. (Photo by Becky Walz)

Winning its eighth game in a row and 14 of its last 15, the Decorah boys’ basketball team advanced to the Class 3A substate quarterfinal. In the battle of the Vikings at Center Point Monday night, Decorah showcased several strengths — rebounding, crisp passes and three pointers — to defeat Vinton-Shellsburg 67-43. 

With the win, the Decorah (18-4) will battle Center Point-Urbana (16-6) today, Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at Center Point. The Stormin Pointers advanced by defeating Independence, 59-29, Monday night.

The winner of Thursday’s district semifinal will go on to the substate final Monday, March 2, at 7 p.n. at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids at 6 p.m. Teams still competing in Substate 3 are Marion (18-4) and Waverly-Shell Rock (12-9).

“CPU will present some defensive challenges, as they are ranked No. 1 in defensive average in Class 3A — they are long and play extremely well together,” said Coach Jonathan Carlson. “We will have our hands full, but our boys will be ready for the challenge.”

The breakdown

“The boys came out and really shared the ball well. If we continue to rebound, defend and run like we know how to, we like our chances versus anyone,” said Coach Carlson. 

Five first-quarter treys, including three by Matthew Franzen, pushed the Decorah to a 25-13 advantage. Five seconds into frame two, V-S earned an old-fashioned three with a shot and foul to get back to a single digit deficit. By halftime, Decorah had built a 41-22 advantage.

In the second half, the Red and Blue continued to pound both the offensive and defensive boards, while finding the open many on the floor, outscoring Vinton-Shellsburg, to go up 58-38 with eight minutes to play.

Game solidly in hand, Decorah rolled to the 67-43 win to keep the season alive.

Big numbers

Coming through with a team high 16 points, which included four treys was Matthew Franzen. Providing 11 points was Charlie Robinson. Patrick Bockman knocked down nine points, while Logan Halverson and Andrew Magner each had eight.