DES MOINES — The top-ranked SCMT boys basketball team had been in a similar position.
In its substate final, the Spartans trailed Colo-Nesco by seven points in the fourth quarter and rallied for a victory.
On Monday in their final game as SCMT, the Spartans’ rally came up short as they dropped a 43-40 decision to unranked Boyden-Hull in the opening round of the Class 1A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
“We were hoping to get them,” SCMT senior Ryan Stock said. “We’d done this before. We were just hoping that we had enough to come back, but I guess we fell a little short of our goals.”
Boyden-Hull, which plays George-Little Rock in Thursday morning’s semifinals, outscored SCMT 17-8 in the third quarter to take a 39-33 lead into the final eight minutes.
“That third quarter we got people moving,” Boyden-Hull coach Bill Francis said. “We run a motion offense all the time, but I thought we were standing around too much in the first half.
“We just never got in a rhythm. That third quarter we got some cutters going and got some easy looks.”
SCMT chipped away at the Boyden-Hull lead and trimmed the deficit to 41-40 with 3:54 remaining in the contest on a basket by Zach O’Connor.
The Spartans (23-1) had four possessions (five shots) to take the lead in the final minutes but could not convert.
“We had a lot of good shots,” SCMT coach Jordan Nelson said. “We had our chances. On that second to last possession, (Peter) Koenigsberg had a shot, Logan (Pals) had a shot.
“Both just hit the front of the rim and we couldn’t put them in. The shot was there. It just didn’t go in.”
Jordan Mouw connected on two free throws with four seconds remaining to give Boyden-Hull a 43-40 lead.
SCMT’s Zach O’Connor missed a 3-point attempt as time expired sending Boyden-Hull into the final four.
Nelson, who has a career record of 69-28, gave credit to Boyden-Hull, especially for its third-quarter flurry.
“They cut real well from the weak side to the strong side,” he said. “They were cutting in front of our guys and we kind of fell asleep here and there.
“They got probably five or six quick baskets and made us switch to a zone, which was something we really didn’t want to do.”
The 1-3-1 Spartan zone, however, forced several Boyden-Hull turnovers in the fourth quarter allowing the Spartans to get back into the contest.
“We took awhile to adjust to it,” said Francis, whose team had 25 turnovers. “I thought we tried to rush it. When we had a lead we had to be more patient there and get good shots.
“I think we were kind of anxious to attack because we were kind of on a roll. We turned it over there three or four times.”
In the final minutes of the contest, Francis said the Comet defense was geared to stop Stock, who led the Spartans with 16 points, but scored his last basket with 4:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We were sagging back in,” Francis said. “He made some big shots to get them back in it.
“If we were going to go down, it wasn’t going to be because of him. We were going to do everything we could to keep it out of his hands. When you have a player like that, you know he’s going to step up in key situations. So we didn’t even want him to touch it.”
The 40 points by the Spartans was a season low by 11 points. The previous low was 51 in the Spartans’ substate final victory over Colo-Nesco.
“They played good defense,” Nelson said. “We rushed a lot of things. We got up by seven in the second quarter and rushed a bunch of shots. You can’t take anything away from Boyden-Hull. They’re a darned good ball team.”
Monday’s contest was the final one in the prep careers of the Spartans’ Stock, O’Connor, Peter Koenigsberg, Zachary Symens, Luke Erickson and Brad Dixon.
“I wish we could have done more,” Stock said, “but it was a fun season and a great way to close SCMT.”
Boyden-Hull 43, SCMT 40
Boyden-Hull 11 11 17 4 — 43
SCMT 14 11 8 7 — 40
BOYDEN-HULL — Josh VanderMaten 3-8 1-2 7, Eric Uittenbogaard 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Mouw 3-8 6-7 12, Adam Schafer 1-1 2-2 5, Derrick Moss 7-8 2-4 16, Seth Sandbulte 2-3 0-0 4, Jake Kerr 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 16-30 11-15 43.
SCMT — Logan Pals 2-9 0-0 4, Ryan Stock 6-14 3-3 16, Peter Koenigsberg 0-5 1-2 1, Zach O’Connor 3-10 0-0 6, Zachary Symens 2-6 1-1 5, Alex Brayton 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Erickson 2-4 2-2 6, Brad Dixon 0-0 0-0 0, Seth Tuttle 1-1 0-0 2. Totals — 16-50 6-7 40.
3-point goals — Boyden-Hull (0-6); VanderMaten 0-1, Uittenbogaard 0-1, Mouw 0-4. SCMT (2-14): Pals 0-2, Stock 1-4, Koenigsberg 0-3, O’Connor 0-4, Symens 1-1. Rebounds — Boyden-Hull (Mouw 7); SCMT (Stock 6). Assists — Boyden-Hull (VanderMaten 3), SCMT (Koenigsberg 3). Steals — Boyden-Hull (VanderMaten 2, Schafer 2), SCMT (Pals 6). Total fouls — Boyden-Hull 12, SCMT 14. Turnovers — Boyden-Hull 25, SCMT 10.