Iowa boys' state basketball: Van Meter falls to Aplington-Parkersburg in Class 2A quarterfinals
Van Meter ran into a buzz saw in Monday's Class 2A quarterfinals of the state boys' basketball tournament.
That buzz saw's name was Jayden Mackie.
Aplington-Parkersburg's junior point guard erupted for 34 points to lead his team past Van Meter 68-41 to advance to Thursday's semifinals, while the Bulldogs' season ended in the state quarterfinals.
"We were at a loss for what to do with him," Van Meter head coach Jed Alexander said.
Mackie, who has committed to play at Upper Iowa (Division II), scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half, leading the No. 4 Falcons (22-3) to a 32-20 lead entering the break. Then, the first play of the second half? A Mackie 3-pointer. A-P's next possession? A Mackie 3. Mackie scored again on the next possession.
From there, A-P's lead swelled to 42-24, then to 48-28 and 55-33 entering the fourth quarter. The blowout over No. 5 Van Meter (17-7) was underway. The Falcons stretched their lead to 26 points, at 64-38, for their largest lead of the game with 2:34 left. (That, by the way, happened after Mackie converted an and-one at the free-throw line.)
For subscribers:Thoughts, analysis about this week's boys tournament
Aplington-Parkersburg nabbed its new largest lead, which winded up being the final score, 68-41, with Aidan Junker's basket in the final seconds.
Clark Fiala led Van Meter with nine points. Carter Durflinger scored eight and Casey Trudo added six. Mackie led the Falcons with his 34 points. Garrett Hempen scored 14 and Owen Thomas had eight.
The Bulldogs graduate just two seniors, and only one who played regular minutes.
"They've got to use this to fuel them to improve their skills and improve their athletic ability, get stronger in the offseason and improve as a team," Alexander said. "A lot of potential for next year."
As a team, Van Meter shot 34.8% while the Falcons shot 54%.
A-P will play No. 1 Boyden-Hull (25-0) in Thursday's semifinal.
More coverage of the state boys' basketball tournament
- Grand View Christian advances to Class 1A semifinals over St. Mary's
- Roundup of Monday's Class 1A quarterfinals
- How to watch and follow the 2021 Iowa boys' basketball state tournament
Matthew Bain covers recruiting and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.