The 2016-2017 basketball season has come to a close with the Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs having ended on a successful note.
The Mustangs traveled to Wells Fargo Arena on Mar. 7 to play in the State Basketball Tournament for the fifth time in the last eight years. The Mustangs were also the district and substate champions.
The Mustangs had one of the top five schedules in the Class 3A with a record of 15-10 and a finished in fourth place of the Little Hawkeye conference with a record of 7-7. The Mustangs also began their season with a perfect 9-0 record. The Mustangs have an 80 percent winning percentage in the last eight years with their record of 146-48.
The Mustangs were ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll all season, and were ranked as high as second in the poll.
The Mustangs had 128 blocked shots this season allowing them to be the sixth leader of not only Class 3A, but all four classes in the state. They also finished the season 21st in assists in Class 3A, tenth in field goals with a percentage of 49.7 and 17th with a total of 201 steals on the season.
“The 2016-17 Mustang Team will be remembered as a team that did not listen to the doubters. Like Jordan Humphreys prophetically tweeted, ‘Don’t sleep on us,’” said Coach Joel Rankin.
Picked to finish at the bottom of a very tough Little Hawkeye conference with only two letter winners returning (one part-time starter from 2015-2016), the 2016-2017 squad, led by four determined seniors got out of the gate with nine straight wins (ten including the Iowa Pride Game victory against Bondurant-Farrar).
The season started with a 26 point win against 4A Southeast Polk. The winning streak involved a two point road win at Norwalk, a great win against a very strong Newton team and a 21 point victory against Grinnell. DC-G led the conference with a 4-0 record early after winter break. Then a three game losing streak that involved a tough week facing senior dominated Pella Christian and Pella had DC-G 9-3 mid-January.
“Pella on the road was a tough loss as we controlled the game most of the way, leading by 13 in the third only to falter in the end,” said Rankin
A highlight of the Mustangs’ season was “The Comeback.” The Mustangs were down 26-8 to Norwalk after playing the worst half of the year. The Mustangs came stampeding back posting a 49-46 win, which led to a sweep of their rival Warriors for the year.
One of the best defensive games came right after as the Mustangs held explosive Newton to just 34 points with one minute left in game. The score was 40-34 with DC-G leading, Newton made some plays along with some DC-G miscues that led Newton to an overtime win. Another win against Grinnell on the road in a back and forth game gave DC-G an impressive 11-3 record.
“The low point, or low end of our horseshoe, this season was a loss at home to Indianola who had only one win on the year. It was a combination of Indianola playing very well and us not bringing the energy we needed to win.”
An impressive comeback at Pella Christian came up short, along with a triple overtime loss to Pella at home. Losses at Oskaloosa and at home against 4A Urbandale put the losing streak at five. The Mustangs had to regroup going into district play.
DC-G received the second seed in District 7 securing home games in the first two rounds. The Mustangs first opponent was Greene County, who had 15 wins going into the game. A great defensive effort by the Mustangs led to a 30 point win. Ballard was next for the Mustangs. Holding their leading scorer to just one point, DC-G came away with the District Championship and faced Raccoon River Conference champion, Boone, in the substate final. A great fourth quarter, and a 53 to 42 victory, propelled the Mustangs to their fifth state tournament appearance in eight years.
DC-G entered the state tournament as the 7th seed. Their West Delaware opponent was undefeated. A rough second quarter in which DC-G was outscored 16-3 had them down 14 at half and 17 after the third quarter. DC-G never quit, scoring 32 fourth quarter points, but couldn’t get closer than five points. The score ended at 66-58 with the Mustangs still searching for that first state win in school history.
“Overall, it was an amazing season. The Little Hawkeye Conference was the best in has ever been. It was a grind. Our team competed every night. They played for each other, had great attitudes and always gave 100 percent. To culminate the season with a trip to the Well was enough to get the coaching staff dancing.”
The following awards were given to the Mustangs following the end of the season:
The 2016-2017 DC-G basketball team broke the record of most three pointers made by a team in a season with their total of 129.
The Mustangs had eight letter winners this season. These included, seniors Jack Duey, Trevor Grove, Brody Kleen and Trent Pride along with juniors Steve Borneman, Tyler Cooney, Jordan Humphreys and Tanner Epple.
Four of the Mustangs’ starters were awarded as Little Hawkeye All-Conference Selections. Those four were Trevor Grove (First Team), Steve Borneman (Sec0nd Team), Brody Kleen (Honorable Mention) and Jordan Humphreys (Honorable Mention). Grove was also an for All District and Third Team All-State selection. Borneman was also chosen for All District.
Academic All-Conference is given to a varsity player with a 3.50 GPA average, the Mustang to win this award was senior Trent Pride. The Mustangs’ varsity cumulative GPA was 3.6865 this season.
The following awards were voted on by the Mustang coaching staff and players:
The All About Team Award was given to Jack Duey as voted on by the coaches.
Most Improved Player award went to Brody Kleen. This award was voted on by the players and is given to the person who has made the most progress over the season. From the very beginning of the season in November to the last game of the season.
Coaches Award was given to Trevor Grove. This award winner is a person who believes, promotes and is a role model of the guiding principles of Dallas Center-Grimes High School. The Coaches Award winner is a leader in the classroom, the athletic arena and throughout the community. The coaches award winner believes teamwork is important and understands the resources and talents of a focused group can make everything possible. He has great character and integrity.
Voted on by the players, Trent Pride won the Mustang Spirit Award. This player is the one who consistently had the most enthusiasm, spirit and encouragement for his teammates. This person can be counted on and trusted to encourage and push his teammates in practice and in games. He continually celebrated his teammates’ successes as though they were above any individual success he could obtain. This player has an important role to the overall moral of the team.
The varsity Sportsmanship Award went to Steve Borneman. The player was humble in victory and classy in defeat. They played the game and didn’t officiate it. There was no excuses given by him after a tough game. They refrained from trash talk and were a class act on and off the court.
Brody Freking Award was given out by the Mustangs coaches, this award was given to Trenton Meggers. This Mustang Basketball player possesses a never quit, always persevere attitude on the court and in life.