Jacob Herold skirts past a Dunkerton defender during last week’s District 5 semifinal game. (Photo by Ashley Walz)
Jacob Herold skirts past a Dunkerton defender during last week’s District 5 semifinal game. (Photo by Ashley Walz)

It was a close finish for the South Winn boys’ basketball team (13-8), which fell to Dunkerton (20-4) in the Class 1A District 5 semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 19. The Warriors bowed out of the postseason, 60-58.

“Our guys played extremely hard all game. We executed our game plan well, shot the ball well and played good defense,” explained Coach Blake Moen. “This was one of those games that if one bucket goes in here or there, maybe the outcome would have been different. It is a tough way for us to end the season, but knowing how we played against a good team on their home floor, and bringing back the majority of our players next year, gives us great confidence as we go into the off-season.”

South Winn’s Jacob Herold easily handled the pressure the Dunkerton defense put on the point guard, giving the Warriors the confidence to grab the steals and get the easy baskets in transition in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the Red and White gripping a 14-13 lead. A scrappy SW team kept the pressure on Dunkerton in the second quarter, maintaining a 31-27 advantage at halftime. 

Returning to the hardwood, South Winn went ice cold in the third. That allowed the Raiders to score 16 points and claim a 43-37 lead with a quarter of play remaining. Under pressure to get the ball in the basket, the two squads combined for 38 points in the fourth period, leaving the Warriors just short of tying the game to force overtime, ending their quest for a state title.

Providing a solid effort was sophomore Collin Wiltgen with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jaron Todd chipped in 13 points and five rebounds, while Jacob Herold provided 10 points and three assists. Adding six points and two rebounds was Trey Kriener.

Thursday, Dunkerton squared off with Wapsie Valley in the district final, defeating another Warrior team, 61-50 to advance to the Class 1A Substate 3 game versus Prince of Peace Prep (Clinton) which was played Saturday with Dunkerton losing a close 63-60 battle.

Final thoughts

“I am sad to see the season come to an end. We have a great group of kids and I was honored to have been able to coach them and our senior Paul Hageman. I would like to thank him on giving everything he had to South Winn basketball the last four years. He has set us up for success in the future years to come,” noted Coach Moen. “Thank you to all parents, our managers and filmers, cheerleaders and community members for supporting, helping and cheering us on all season. I am already looking forward to getting next season started and the future of Warrior Basketball.”

The Warriors will return a host of experience including juniors Jaron Todd, Noah Tieskoetter, Tony Hanson, Carter Wenthold, Abe Schmitt; sophomores Jacob Herold, Collin Wiltgen, Cael Kuboushek and freshman Trey Kriener.