ALLEMAN - It was more dramatic than the Nevada boys’ basketball team wanted, but the Cubs got the job done in their Heart of Iowa Conference opener versus North Polk Friday in Alleman.


Nevada built a 21-point lead, only to see North Polk mount a huge fourth quarter rally. The Comets got within four in the final minute, but Nevada hung on for a 63-56 victory.


“We stayed composed, played hard and somehow got the win,” Nevada senior forward Om’Unique Wilkerson said. “I’m proud of my guys and the way we fought tonight.”


Behind dominant inside play Nevada’s lead peaked at 49-28 in the third quarter. The Cubs still were up 18 at 55-37 following two Luke Merfeld free throws with 6:37 to go in the fourth.


But two 3-pointers from Cole Bouchard and a Cameron Markert putback for North Polk closed the gap to 10. With 3:19 to go, the Comets got within 57-50 when Colten Parkins scored and drew a foul.


Nevada was also whistled for a technical foul on the play. But the Cubs caught a huge break when Parkins missed the free throw, Bouchard missed both technical shots and the Comets were unable to convert on an offensive rebound.


North Polk still refused to go away. The Comets made a defensive stop and got two free throws from Parkins to get within five.


Nevada eventually pushed its lead to 60-52 after Jack Higgins hit 2 of 4 free throws and Wilkerson made 1 of 2 from the line. But Parkins hit a free throw, then drained a 3-pointer after a Comet offensive rebound to close within 60-56 with 40 seconds to go.


Trent Stahl hit two timely foul shots 10 seconds later and then Higgins came up with the defensive play of the game to seal the deal. With 18 seconds left, Clark Hood drove the lane for North Polk, but Higgins was there to knock the ball away and it went off Hood, giving Nevada possession.


“I saw him driving and I just tried go up for the block and not foul him,” Higgins said. “Just get it out of bounds and waste some more (clock).”


That sewed up the game as Nevada improved to 1-1 on the season. The Cubs struggled shooting from outside — making only 3 of 20 3-pointers — but they held the Comets to 32 percent shooting overall and totaled nine steals and seven blocks.


With North Polk missing shot-blocking center Caleb Lomica due to injury, Higgins and Merfeld were dominant inside for Nevada.


Higgins totaled 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Merfeld just missed a double-double in recording 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and two steals.


“In practice we worked a lot on getting it inside and being aggressive,” Higgins said. “That just translates into the game. They lost their starting big, so we tried to take advantage of that.”


Wilkerson turned in a strong all-around performance with 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists and one steal.


“It’s all my team,” Wilkerson said. “I do everything for them. They make open shots, I make open shots. I give them the ball. We’re a big family.”


Tyler Sansgaard hit all three Cub 3-pointers and totaled nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Stahl ended up with six points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.


Parkins scored a game-high 23 points and added eight rebounds and one block for North Polk. Markert finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals and Bouchard added nine points.


Nevada 63, North Polk 56


N 18 12 21 12 - 63


NP 8 10 17 21 - 56


Nevada (63) - Kyle Bauman 0-1 2-2 2, Trent Stahl 3-13 0-0 6, Devin See 1-3 0-2 2, Kody Kruschwitz 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Higgins 5-8 2-5 12, Tyler Sansgaard 3-12 0-0 9, Luke Merfeld 5-9 5-7 15, Jakob Strottman 0-1 0-2 0, Om’Unique Wilkerson 5-12 5-7 15, Ayden Rhodes 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Cahill 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 23-63 14-25 63. 3-point field goals (3): Sansgaard 3. Rebounds (39): Higgins 11. Assists (18): Wilkerson 6. Steals (9): Stahl 2, See 2, Sansgaard 2, Merfeld 2. Blocks (7): Merfeld 4. Fouls: 23.


North Polk (56) - Cole Bouchard 2-8 3-7 9, Austin McArthur 0-0 0-0 0, Clark Hood 0-5 0-0 0, Colten Parkins 8-15 6-9 23, Quinten Sommers 0-4 0-0 0, Cameron Markert 2-6 10-12 14, Quinton McArthur 0-3 0-0 0, Sam Carstensen 2-6 1-1 5, Mark Cox 2-3 0-0 5. Totals: 16-50 20-29 56. 3-point field goals (4): Bouchard 2, Parkins, Cox. Rebounds (39): Markert 10. Assists (10): Markert 4. Steals (2): Markert 2. Blocks (1): Parkins, Markert. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Markert, Cox.


DES MOINES - A rough start to each half doomed Nevada in a 72-56 loss to Grand View Christian in the Cubs’ season opener Nov. 28 at Des Moines.


Nevada was outscored by a combined margin of 43-20 in the first and third quarters. The Cubs outplayed the defending Class 1A champions in the other two quarters, but couldn’t make up near enough ground.


Nevada was hurt by turnover problems as GVC finished with 20 steals. GVC also shot at strong 50-percent clip from the field and made seven 3-pointers compared to the Cubs’ 42-percent shooting effort and three 3-pointers.


A strong rebounding effort by Nevada kept the game from getting out of hand. The Cubs outrebounded the Thunder, 42-32, and held a 10-8 edge on the offensive glass.


Om’Unique Wilkerson had 19 points, nine rebounds and two assists for Nevada. Luke Merfeld came up with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals and Tyler Sansgaard canned all three Cub 3-pointers and totaled nine points and six rebounds.


Jakob Strottman also netted nine points and he added five rebounds and one assist, steal and block apiece for Nevada.


Grant DeMeulenaere went off for 31 points, seven assists and four steals to lead GVC. Mach Nyaw added 15 points, three assists and three steals and Sam Glenn eight points, nine rebounds, seven steals, three assists and one block.


Grand View Christian 72, Nevada 56


N 8 22 12 14 - 56


GVC 22 21 21 8 - 72


Nevada (56) - Jacob Sanders 0-1 0-0 0, Trent Stahl 0-6 1-2 1, Devin See 1-1 0-0 2, Kody Kruschwitz 2-2 0-0 4, Jack Higgins 0-4 0-0 0, Tyler Sansgaard 3-10 0-0 9, Luke Merfeld 3-8 4-6 10, Jakob Strottman 3-3 3-8 9, Om’Unique Wilkerson 9-16 1-2 19, Ayden Rhodes 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Cahill 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 22-53 9-18 56. 3-point field goals (3): Sansgaard 3. Rebounds (42): Wilkerson 9. Assists (13): Higgins 4. Steals (9): Stahl 2, Merfeld 2, Rhodes 2. Blocks (1): Strottman. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Wilkerson.


GVC (72) - Sam Glenn 4-9 0-0 8, Mach Nyaw 7-11 0-0 15, Andrew Long 0-3 2-4 2, Andrew Gatto 0-2 0-2 0, Grant DeMeulenaere 12-18 2-3 31, Gage Fry 0-0 0-0 0, Arturo Montes 3-10 0-0 7, Bryce Crabb 4-7 1-3 9, Stephen Bruce 0-0 0-0 0, James Glenn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-60 5-12 72. 3-point field goals (7): DeMeulenaere 5, Nyaw, Montes. Rebounds (32): Glenn 9. Assists (17): DeMeulenaere 7. Steals (20): Glenn 7. Blocks (3): Glenn, Long, Crabb. Fouls: 18.