West Hancock boys basketball storms back in second half to beat Forest City

West Hancock boys basketball storms back in second half to beat Forest City

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West Hancock vs Forest City

West Hancock's Josef Smith elevates over, but fouls, Forest City's Riley Helgeson in a game earlier this season.

The Top of Iowa Conference West Division boys basketball game between West Hancock and Forest City on Friday was a tale of two completely different halves.

Fortunately for the Eagles, they overcame a lackluster performance over the first 16 minutes with arguable their best half of the season in a 63-60 come-from-behind win on Friday.

“I challenged the guys at halftime,” Eagles coach Brian Peterson said. “I told them to give me 16 good minutes of basketball.”

Peterson got exactly what he asked for as West Hancock caught fire from outside in a third quarter that not only saw the Eagles erase a 12-point halftime deficit but take a one-point advantage to the fourth.

West Hancock was 5-for-10 on threes in a quarter that saw them outscore the Indians 23-10.

A 10-3 run in the early stages of the fourth quarter forced Forest City to play catchup, and the Indians were never quite able to overcome the deficit.

Josef Smith led West Hancock with 16 points.

Cayson Barnes finished with 13 for West Hancock while Chase Kronemann had 12 and Brayden Leerar and Tanner Thompson had 10 apiece.

Noah Miller had 19 and Brandon Leber 17 to lead the Indians.

The Eagles, who have won 3 of their last 4 games, now head to the holiday break with a winning record of 4-3.

“We need this break,” Peterson said. “It is going to take us a while to get our basketball legs.”

Forest City is also 4-3, but the loss was the first of the season in conference for Forest City.

“I like this team,” veteran Indians coach Dan Rosacker said. “We just have been battling to get on the same page for 32 minutes.”

West Hancock is off until Jan. 3 when it will play host to Newman Catholic.

Forest City will face Crestwood on Jan. 2.

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