FOREST CITY | The Newman Catholic boys basketball team had an amazing run to earn the top seed in the East Division of the Top of Iowa Conference, but Forest City, the top seed in the West Division, was a different kind of team.
The Knights’ success all season has been based on athleticism, but the Indians could put an imposing and deep front line on the court.
Defensively, Forest City put together a solid first half that saw the Indians hold Newman to under 20 percent shooting from the floor, and the Indians clamed a 63-43 win.
“Defensively, we were locked into our game plan,” Forest City coach Dan Rosacker said. “We stayed disciplined.”
The Indians’ defensive effort was particularly effective in limiting Newman’s outside shooting game as Forest City held Newman to just 1-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc.
The size advantage also showed up on the offensive end where Samuel Snyder, Ryan Theel, Micah Lambert and Chris Jermeland — who range in size from 6-foot-3 to 6-6 — combined for 51 points.
To Newman’s credit, despite trailing by 16 at intermission, the Knights tried to mount a comeback in the third quarter, but a pair of Theel 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter helped Forest City extend its lead to 22 and effectively ended the game.
Theel finished with 18 to lead all scorers.
Snyder totaled 15 and Lambert 13.
Josh Fitzgerald, Brady Gatton and Jared Bock each had 11 points to pace the Knights.
“We came out slow,” Newman coach Jerry Gatton said. “Plus that is a good team.”
Forest City (19-2) advances Class 2A tournament play, but despite the gawdy record, the Indians will be one of the more unknown quantities.
“I know coaches are aware of who we are,” Rosacker said. “We are going to do our thing and stay disciplined.”
Newman (15-5) returns to action on Friday when it plays host to Lake Mills in its regular season finale.