A final 3-point basket propelled the Woodward-Granger Hawks boys’ basketball team into the Class 2A District 15 finals.
A come-from-behind victory was the narrative for the Hawks (14-9) 54-53 win over rivals the Woodward Academy Knights (14-8) at the Feb. 15 semifinals.
In Urbandale at the Des Moines Christian H.S. the Hawks overcame a nine point deficit when they converted their final 3-pointer of the night in the final seconds of Thursday night’s contest.
Hawks’ sophomore Alex Bice led the way with 23 points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting from the floor and 4-for-7 from beyond the arc that included the game winner. He also converted all five of his free throws.
The matchup played out like an epic battle with the two teams trading baskets in the first quarter with the Knights finishing a point better at 9-8.
It continued for the entire second quarter as the Hawks’ attempt to overtake their foe was cut short after the Knights outscored them 16-14.
After halftime the tree point deficit increased to nine when the Knights’ defense kept the Hawks to 10 points while they charged to 16.
The Hawks mounted their comeback in the final eight minutes when their offense chipped away at the lead with 19 points while the defense held steadfast giving up just 12.
With only mere seconds remaining, the Hawks saw their season possibly come to a close in a 53-51 loss until Bice buried his final 3-pointer, clinching the victory and a date with the Lions of Des Moines Christian on Feb. 20 in Urbandale.
W-G’s Noah Hoyt scored 22 points and tied sophomore Bryce Achenbach for most rebounds with five. Achenbach led the squad in assists with three while senior J.P. Nixon recorded five steals.
“We have a young team that has played in several close games this year. It is fun to see them grow and come through during tourney time,” head coach Brent Achenbach said.