Two points short.
The Forest City basketball team ended its season in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night, as the Indians lost to Aplington-Parkersburg, 57-55, in the Class 2A, Substate 3 semifinals.
The Indians put up a tremendous fight against the No. 8 ranked Falcons. At the end of the first quarter, Forest City held an 11-10 lead over the Falcons, but A-P scored 13 in the second half to take a 23-20 halftime advantage.
The Falcons came out of halftime on a 9-3 run to go up by six points, 32-23, but Forest City roared back with a 10-3 run of its own to take a 36-35 lead to end the third.
In the final frame, the Falcons outscored the Indians, 22-20, but the game ended on a 3-pointer from Forest City star senior Noah Miller. Though the three was good, it wasn’t enough to erase A-P’s lead, and the Indians ended their season two games short of a trip to the state tournament.
Indians’ junior Carter Bruckhoff scored a team-high 17 points, while Miller ended his high school career with an 11-point performance. Though the team came up short, the players agreed that it was only right that Miller take the final shot. Earlier this season, Miller became only the seventh player in program history to score 1000 career points.
“It was one of those where you are like ‘Yeah, that’s Noah,” Bruckhoff said. “You wanted him to take that last shot. Love the man, love the kid.”
For Aplington-Parkersburg, junior Jayden Mackie finished the night with 15 points.
After the game, Forest City head coach Dan Rosacker said that he was proud of his team’s effort against the favored Falcons.
“I’m extremely proud of these guys,” Rosacker said. “I told them, somebody wasn’t going to win that game. I won’t say somebody lost it, we just didn’t win it. AP made enough plays to win it, they’re a great team. They presented a lot of problems for us. We emptied the tank. These guys played extremely hard, and gave me everything they could.”
With the loss, Forest City ends its season with a 14-10 overall record.
Aplington-Parkersburg will play on Saturday in the Class 2A, Substate 3 championship game, against Denver. The winner will go to the state basketball tournament in Des Moines.
Shane Lantz covers sports for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Shane.Lantz@GlobeGazette.com, or by phone at 641-421-0526. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneMLantz.