Bishop Heelan and Western Christian boys continue on to state semifinals at IHSAA state basketball tournament

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:12 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - Two more Siouxland teams are jumping into action on the biggest stage at the Iowa boys state basketball tournament. Both teams have a history of success and are back hoping to make a deep run.

The #6 Bishop Heelan Crusaders return to state for the first time in 11 years facing #3 Marion in the quarterfinals.

Carter Kuehl started things off for Heelan launching the tough jumper for the first Heelan points of the day. Later on in the third quarter, the Crusaders went airborne to Mall Noll as he rose up and slammed it down for the play that’s just become a Crusader signature these days.

The Marion Wolves would keep finding an answer as they kept things close. The lead changed seven total times in this one.

But the Crusaders would roll in the fourth as Matt Noll hit the euro step and picked up three the old fashion way. He finished with a team-high 25 points, also getting the double-double with 13 rebounds. The Crusaders take the win 68-59 to keep advancing in the tournament.

“You know we earned our right to be here. We’re as good as anyone else that’s down here. And we need to just go play our game, not let the moment swallow us up. And I felt like we did a good job of that in the second half especially,” said Matt Hahn, Bishop Heelan head coach.

“The past, all of the playoffs, start of the sub-state, the thing that’s been written on the whiteboard is ‘no regrets.’ So just go out there and give it all you got,” said Carter Kuehl, Bishop Heelan senior.

The Crusaders will now face Cedar Rapids Xavier in the 3A semifinals on Thursday, March 9 at 3:45 p.m.

In the Class 2A quarterfinal, #3 Western Christian faced off with #6 Monticello. The Wolfpack have shown dominance in class 2A at state with 10 total state championships and are looking to continue to make their mark.

The Wolfpack would start heating up early as Kaden Van Regenmorter kicked it out to Karsten Moret who launches a monster three for the 7-5 lead.

Western Christian would dominate the second half outscoring Marion 37-16. Senior Chandler Pollema finished with a team-high 17 points, and four total players scored double digits. The Wolfpack keep their season alive advancing on to the semifinals after taking the win 69-44.

“You know you’re going to play a really good opponent, and we just told our guys to thrive in the moment and just see what happens and take every opportunity to do what you can as best as you can, and they did that tonight,” said Derek Keizer, Western Christian head coach.

“Yeah it’s a lot of momentum. We get excited for others when they hit shots, and its just exciting to see others hit shots and do what they belong there to do,” said Chandler Pollema, Western Christian senior.

The Wolfpack have earned themselves a semifinal battle with #2 Roland Story on Thursday, one step closer to a championship.