After a week from competitive action, the Waukee High School boys basketball team was back in action Friday, taking on second-round postseason action inside Waukee Fieldhouse.
The Warriors were battling against Des Moines Lincoln, a team that posted up 86 points in the opening round of postseason play. Despite a scary first half of action, Waukee corrected the course and ended up cruising to a 54-31 victory. It was one of those wins that didn’t come pretty, but it came just the same. The Warriors produced a season-low in first-quarter scoring with just five points along with a season-worst 18 first-half points.
“We just ran into a good team who had played recently while we hadn’t played in a week,” said Waukee head coach Justin Ohl. “We played good defense which helped us out through the first half.”
No Warrior held a double-digit scoring performance throughout the first half of play but things did turn around in quite dramatic fashion across the second half. From being down 10-5 in the first quarter and holding a mere one-point lead at the half, Waukee turned on the jets across the third and fourth quarters. Overall, Waukee had three individuals end their nights with 14 points or more with the majority of which came in the second half. Waukee poured in 14 third-quarter points and a whopping 22 fourth-quarter points.
While the second-half offense was impressive, it was the defense for Waukee across all four quarters that impressed coach Ohl the most.
“When we were slow offensively our defense kept us in the game early,” Ohl began. “We played really well on the defensive end.”
Overall the Warriors held the visiting Railsplitters to three single-digit scoring quarters while posting three straight-double digit marks offensively. On an individual note, Pryce Sandfort earned his first opportunity to pace the team in scoring, notching 16 for the contest. That was followed up with a pair of 14-point performances from both Tucker DeVries and Payton Sandfort.
As a team, Waukee shot 48 percent from the floor and owned the glass with 32 total rebounds on the night. The Warriors ended up totaling 16 assists in the contest. The victory also marks the ninth straight win for the Warriors over the Railsplitters and brings the all-time mark to 13-3 since 2007 in favor of Waukee.
Next up for the Warriors will be the substate final against conference rival West Des Moines Valley. The battle will take place Tuesday, Mar. 3. The contest will take place from Meadows Gym in Grimes beginning at 7 p.m.