Nevada loses defensive battle at North Polk

Story and photos by Joe Randleman
Nevada loses defensive battle at North Polk

ALLEMAN - Offensive struggles down the stretch proved costly for the Nevada boys’ basketball team in a 43-38 loss to North Polk Friday at Alleman.

After a hot start the Cubs failed to score in double figures in each of the final three quarters, allowing North Polk to rally from a nine-point deficit to drop Nevada to 1-1 both overall and in the Heart of Iowa Conference.

“I think defensively if we hold people in the low 40s we should be winning the game,” Nevada head coach Chris Hinson said. “We’ve got to find a few more ways to score offensively and we’ve got secure some loose balls in that second quarter - I thought that was big to be honest. We’ve got to find ways to execute down

the stretch and execute in various ways. But they did a good job defensively so you’ve got to get them a lot of credit.”

Two Cole Gidel free throws gave Nevada a 33-28 lead in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. But North Polk rallied to take a 35-33 lead on a Brett Haun 3-pointer with 5:28 left.

The game went back and forth from there until the final seconds.

North Polk held a 40-38 lead after Joseph Heintz hit two free throws for Nevada with 1:50 remaining. The Comets went just 2 of 8 at the foul line over the final two minutes to give Nevada multiple chances to even the score or take the lead, but the Cubs couldn’t capitalize.

Anthony Capaldo hit 1 of 2 free throws with 12 seconds left to give North Polk a 41-38 lead. That left Nevada with one last shot to get off a game-tying 3-pointer, but Haun stepped in front of a Cub pass and went in for a layup in the final seconds to ice the game.

Nevada shot just 24 percent from the field in the loss. A big reason was the presence of lengthy Comet freshman Caleb Lomica, who blocked an incredible 10 shots and also had 14 rebounds on the night.

Another reason Nevada struggled was a lack of balance. Only Gidel and Heintz scored more than five points for the Cubs.

“Obviously people are going to pay a lot of attention to Cole, but we have a lot of confidence in a lot of other guys,” Hinson said. “Those guys need to step up and make some plays and that’s what we’re going to work on.”

Gidel ended up with 16 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Heintz hit three 3-pointers and totaled 11 points, three rebounds and two steals.

A.J. Strottman chipped in five points and seven rebounds for Nevada on the night.

North Polk prevailed despite making just 8 of 25 free throws and 3 of 17 3-pointers. The Comets shot at a solid 46-percent clip from the field overall and they outrebounded Nevada, 37-34.

Haun scored a game-high 24 points and he added five rebounds and two steals. Grant Rampton chipped in six points and Capaldo netted four for the Comets, who improved to 1-1, both overall and in the conference.

North Polk 43, Nevada 38

N 17 8 6 7 - 38

NP 11 12 5 15 - 43

Nevada (38) - Cole Gidel 6-18 4-7 16, Tyler Shafer 0-3 0-0 0, Trent Stahl 1-1 0-0 2, A.J. Strottman 1-8 2-6 5, Bennett Thompson 1-5 0-0 2, Macade Matuska 0-1 0-2 0, Luke Merfeld 1-3 0-1 2, Joseph Heintz 3-9 2-2 11, Simon Saunders 0-2 0-0 0, Matt Chitty 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 13-54 8-18 38. 3-point field goals (4): Heintz 3, Strottman. Rebounds (34): Gidel 7, Strottman 7.

Assists (8): Gidel 3. Steals (12): Gidel 4. Blocks (1): Chitty.

North Polk (43) - Dawson Deitch 0-0 0-0 0, Brett Haun 10-20 2-8 24, John Peterson 0-1 0-2 0, Anthony Capaldo 1-2 1-2 4, Max Karpinske 0-2 0-0 0, Caleb Lomica 1-5 4-8 6, Michael Ballard 1-1 1-5 3, Grant Rampton 3-3 0-0 6, Colten Parkins 0-1 0-0 0.

Totals: 16-35 8-25 43. 3-point field goals (3): Haun 2, Capaldo. Rebounds (37): Lomica 14. Assists (9): Peterson 3. Steals (4): Haun 2.

Blocks (11): Lomica 10.

BAXTER - A hot start ignited a decisive 64-32 victory for Nevada over Collins-Maxwell-Baxter to open the season Dec. 1 at Baxter.

Nevada jumped all over a young Raider team in the opening minutes and never let up. Cole Gidel hit three 3-pointers, A.J. Strottman hit a basket and a free throw and Joseph Heintz added another bucket to give Nevada a 14-0 lead. in the first four minutes of play.

The Cub advantage eventually grew to 23-3 after 3-pointers from Bennett Thompson and Gidel early in the second quarter. CMB never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Gidel scored 17 points in the first half and he finished with a game-high 28 points, along with six steals and five rebounds.

“Our only game plan was to run our offense and make shots,” Gidel said. “They got me involved early and I hit a couple shots.”

The Cubs took advantage of a big edge in experience to make life miserable for CMB.

Nevada made 23 of 58 field goals, including seven 3-pointers. The Cubs held CMB to 9 of 43 shooting from the field and they forced 18 turnovers and outrebounded the Raiders, 42-30.

“It’s a lot of fun having experience coming back,” Nevada head coach Chris Hinson said. “I really liked our team last year, but there’s a difference having experience. Our guys have been working hard from last season into the summer; they really prepared these last two weeks and were ready to play and showed it.”

Joseph Heintz had seven points, three assists and two steals and Tyler Shafer scored six points off the bench for Nevada. Strottman had five points and four steals, Matt Chitty put up five points, six rebounds and three blocks and Simon Saunders pulled down eight rebounds.

“I want to give credit to all the guys,” Gidel said. “Everybody’s been working really hard in practice and it’s making each and every one of us better players.”

Brady Kemp had eight points, Hunter Gunderson finished with seven points and eight rebounds and Will Clapper had four points and 10 boards for CMB.

Nevada 64, CMB 32

N 17 15 16 16 - 64

CMB 3 12 8 9 - 32

Nevada (64) - Cole Gidel 11-27 1-2 28, Tyler Shafer 3-3 0-0 6, Trent Stahl 1-1 1-2 3, A.J. Strottman 2-6 1-2 5, Bennett Thompson 1-4 0-0 3, Ross Mitchell 0-1 0-0 0, Macade Matuska 0-1 1-2 1, Jack Higgins 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Merfeld 0-0 4-7 4, Joseph Heintz 3-7 0-1 7, Omunique Wilkerson 0-2 0-0 0, Simon Saunders 1-3 0-0 2, Matt Chitty 1-3 3-4 5. Totals: 23-58 11-22 64. 3-point field goals (7): Gidel 5, Thompson, Heintz. Rebounds (42): Saunders 8. Assists (14): Heintz 3, Chitty 3. Steals (18): Gidel 6. Blocks (4): Chitty 3.

CMB (32) - Hunter McWhirter 2-7 0-0 4, Brady Stover 2-12 0-0 4, Hunter Gunderson 1-5 5-7 7, Brady Kemp 2-5 3-4 8, Will Clapper 1-8 2-4 4, Ian Thomson 0-1 1-2 1, Ben Gunderson 0-0 0-0 0, Travis Lindemoen 0-0 0-0 0, Creighton Caple 1-3 0-1 2, Jack Cheville 0-1 0-1 0, Trevor Thalacker 0-1 2-4 2, Kyle Crady 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 9-43 13-24 32. 3-point field goals (1): Kemp. Rebounds (30): Clapper 10. Assists (5): Stover, H. Gunderson, Kemp, Clapper, Thomson. Steals (4): H. Gunderson 2.