Poor finish hurts Nevada in loss to PCM

Story and photos y Joe Randleman
Poor finish hurts Nevada in loss to PCM

NEVADA — For three quarters Nevada had Prairie City-Monroe on the ropes, but the Cubs couldn’t finish the deal in a 61-51 loss to the Mustangs Tuesday at the Nevada High School Field House.

After trailing by five at the half, Nevada used a strong defensive stretch in the third quarter to take a 36-33 lead early in the fourth period. The Cubs upped their offensive game over the final eight minutes to try and build on their lead, but they couldn’t keep up with the hot shooting of PCM’s Logan Gilman.

Gilman netted an incredible 18 of his 23 points during the fourth quarter. His amazing shooting display helped PCM put up a whopping 30 points in the fourth quarter to surge ahead for the victory.

“He’s really good and we knew that going in,” Nevada head coach Chris Hinson said. “His shots were contested shots; he’s just a good player and he’s going to make those sometimes.”

Gilman broke a 36-36 tie with a three-point play and he later hit four free throws and a basket inside to give PCM a 45-42 lead. With 2:40 left, Gilman made a 3-pointer to put PCM up six, but Bennett Thompson answered with a 3-ball of his own to keep the Cubs close.

Gilman then drilled another 3-pointer with 2:02 left. After Nevada failed to score on its next possession, Gilman drained yet another shot from long range to put the final nail in the coffin as PCM led 57-48 with just 1:18 remaining.

“We had the lead in the second half; they just made plays down the stretch and we didn’t,” Hinson said. “We’re frustrated. That happens sometimes.”

Austin Brown also proved to be a thorn in Nevada’s side. Averaging just 2.4 points per game, Brown netted 18 against Nevada.

“He had five 3s all year and he hit four tonight,” Hinson said. “Those are the things that we can’t let happen to us.”

PCM did a good job against leading Cub scorer Cole Gidel. Gidel averaged 22.0 points entering the game, but he was limited to eight by the Mustangs.

“Cole is a great player,” Hinson said. “He has the green light to shoot all the time and normally he would’ve made a couple more shots. That’s just the way it bounced tonight, but we’re going to come back and shoot just as much next time.”

Several players did step up to keep Nevada close for most of the game. Luke Merfeld had 10 points and eight rebounds, Tyler Shafer delivered 11 points and four rebounds, Joseph Heintz tallied nine points and two assists and Thompson recorded seven points and two assists.

“We did a lot of positive things,” Hinson said. “Consistency is a word we’ve talked about this year. We did a ton of great things, but we didn’t play consistent enough to win. We’ve got to put 32 minutes together - 30 is not enough at the varsity level.”

The loss put Nevada at 4-4 overall and 3-4 in the Heart of Iowa Conference. PCM improved to 7-2 and 5-1 respectively.

pcm 61, nevada 51

PCM 12 12 7 30 - 61

N 9 10 15 17 - 51

PCM (61) - Elijah Sperfslage 0 0-0 0, Luke Greiner 3 0-2 6, Mark Bruxvoort 4 0-0 10, Sheldon Speers 0 0-0 0, Austin Brown 6 2-3 18, Joshua Rexroat 0 0-0 0, Logan Gilman 7 5-5 23, Andrew VanRyswyk 1 1-2 4, Tyler Foster 0 0-0 0. 21 8-12 61. 3-point field goals (11): Brown 4, Gilman 4, Bruxvoort 2, VanRyswyk.

Nevada (51) - Cole Gidel 3 1-2 8, Tyler Shafer 4 1-2 11, Trent Stahl 0 0-0 0, A.J. Strottman 2 0-3 4, Bennett Thompson 2 2-2 7, Luke Merfeld 2-2 10, Joseph Heintz 4 0-0 9, Matt Chitty 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 6-15 51. 3-point field goals (5): Shafer 2, Gidel, Thompson, Heintz. Rebounds (31): Merfeld 8. Assists (9): Strottman 2, Thompson 2, Heintz 2.