The saying “it’s hard to beat a team twice” was in full force Tuesday night in Grimes as the District 12 top-seeded Van Meter boys basketball team fell in postseason play to Woodward-Granger 51-38.
It was a rematch of a regular-season contest in which the Bulldogs pulled out a slim 54-45 victory. This time around, the Bulldogs had trouble finding and maintaining a lead and thus suffered their first loss of the season. The contest was tightly contested from the word go and Van Meter could not find more than a two-point edge throughout the first quarter which ended in a slight 9-8 advantage.
It was tough for any Bulldog shooter to get any rhythm and that included leading scorer Anthony Potthoff. The senior came into the game averaging around eight points per first quarter but Tuesday night he lay blank on the scoreboard through the first 12 minutes of play. The first time Potthoff found the back of the net came with just over seven minutes left before the half. Overall, the Bulldogs were held to just seven shot attempts in the second quarter which led to a season-low six second-quarter points.
In fact, both the second and third quarters saw season-lows in point production. That helped a seven-point halftime deficit grow to ten points which marked one of the largest deficits the Bulldogs have faced all season long. The big theme behind the third and fourth quarters was that the Bulldogs just couldn’t find a way to break into Woodward-Granger’s nine-point lead. That came despite shooting 50 percent from the floor in the last two quarters.
The loss marks the only loss of the season but it kicks the Bulldogs out of state tournament contention for the first time in four years. Leading the way in scoring for the Bulldogs was Parker Fryar with 12 points followed by Anthony Potthoff and his season-low seven points. The defeat officially brings the season to a close for the Bulldogs who will cap off 2019-20 with a 21-1 record.