While people all across the state of Iowa were caucusing, the Waukee boys basketball team was on the road in Marshalltown for a makeup game Monday, Feb. 3.
For the second straight game, the Warriors bounced back from their two-game skid and put on both an offensive and defensive showcase. This time around the highlights were set more on the defensive end of the game. The Warriors came into the game as one of the better defenses in Class 4A but Monday they made their bid for the top defense in the class by holding Marshalltown to just eleven points across the final three quarters.
Meanwhile, the offense kept rolling and from that balanced attack, the Warriors now rest with the second-largest point differential (+21.1 points) in Class 4A.
The only quarter that really gave the Warriors fits was the opening quarter where Marshalltown, a team that averages eight points per opening quarter, produced 12 points to keep a tight contest with Waukee, 15-12 to wrap up the first quarter. From there on out, however, it would be suffocating defense to lead the way to victory. Following the opening frame, Waukee tacked on 13 more points to head into the halftime break up 28-15. It ended up being the 25-point third quarter that really put the game away for Waukee as they entered the fourth quarter with a 53-17 lead and walked away with their 12th overall victory of the 2019-20 campaign.
It was another big night for junior star Payton Sandfort who dropped 21 points on Marshalltown and did so quite efficiently. Sandfort shot 75 percent with his two-point field goals while connecting on 50 percent of his shots from beyond the three-point arc. He also hauled in a team-high seven rebounds for the night to go along with four assists. Behind Sandfort was fellow junior Tucker DeVries who connected on 11 points for the contest. DeVries also hauled in five rebounds, picked up five assists, and led the team with three steals on the night.
As usual, the Warriors had the help of a strong bench that produced 13 combined points.
The victory marks the second straight win for the Warriors since their two-game losing skid. They’ve officially bumped their record up to 12-2 on the season with two more games left to go within this week. The next game up brings the Warriors back to Waukee Fieldhouse where they will battle it out with non-CIML-Iowa foe Des Moines Hoover. Since 2009 Hoover holds the All-time record edge having won six out of the last ten battles between these two teams. Waukee however, has taken the last two outings by a combined 109-80. The person to key on for the Warrior defense would be Hoover’s Chase Henderson. The freshman will enter the game averaging 15 points per game, shooting 39 percent from three-point range.
The game will take Tuesday, Feb. 4 as game two of a double-header with the girls game kicking things off at 6:15 followed by the boys match-up at 7:45 p.m.