February 03, 2023

Spartans rally in second half

The Southwestern offense came to life early in the second half as the Spartans picked up a 60-47 conference home victory over Iowa Central Saturday.

The Spartans improved to 4-3 in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference play, and 7-12 overall. Iowa Central fell to 9-10 overall and 3-5 in the ICCAC. Former SWCC head coach Blake Peterson is an assistant coach for Triton head coach Chad Helle.

“Tough win,” Southwestern coach Reggie Kindle said. “Iowa Central is well-coached. We didn’t make shots in the first half, but I told the guys at halftime to stay composed. They guys are gritty. We guarded well enough to keep the game within reach.”

While the Spartans bolted to an 11-2 early lead on the strength of 3-pointers by Quincy Evans Patrick Worrell and Joel Villanueva, the sharp shooting tailed off as starting center Devin Tomlinson sat significant minutes after committing two early fouls. Iowa Central held a 27-19 halftime lead.

“We’re a different team without Devin,” Kindle said of the Spartan’s scoring and rebounding leader this season, “but we survived.”

It wasn’t an immediate turnaround in the second half. Iowa Central still held a 10-point lead at 33-23 with 16:28 to play. But, four minutes later it was even at 36-36. Worrell and Brance Baker of Creston each hit 3-pointers during the 13-3 run.

When Khayden Hooks scored on a spinning drive in the lane to give the Spartans its first lead of the half (38-36), Iowa Central never led again. By the 6:59 mark the margin was double figures at 49-38.

Baker hit his second 3-pointer of the game to make it a nine-point game with 56 seconds left (56-47), and a technical foul on Iowa Central after a foul call against the Tritons led to four straight free throws by Tomlinson and Worrell.

“We hit some shots down the stretch,” Kindle said. “We hang our hats on the defensive end. We tell them to put your hard hat on and go to work.”

The Spartans started a busy week Monday in a 72-63 loss at Northeast Community College before hosting Metropolitan Community College at 6 p.m. Wednesday and North Iowa Area Community College at 1 p.m. Saturday.

SOUTHWESTERN (60) — Totals — (FG FT PTS) 22 6-8 60. Khayden Hooks 5 0-0 11, Drake Davison 5 0-0 10, Patrick Worrell 2 2-2 8, Brance Baker 3 2-2 11 Devin Tomlinson 3 2-2 8, Corbin Dozier 2 0-0 6, Quincy Evans 1 0-2 3, Joel Villanueva 1 0-0 3. FG shooting — 22-50 (44 percent). 3-point goals — 10-33 (Baker 3, Worrell 2, Dozier 2, Villanueva 1, Evans 1, Hooks 1). Rebounds — 29 (Tomlinson 10, Baker 7, Worrell 5). Assists — 13 (Worrell 5). Steals — 5 (Baker 2). Blocked shots — 1 (Davison 1). Turnovers — 6. Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — None.

IOWA CENTRAL (47) — Totals — (FG FT PTS) 21 10-15 87. Darius Henderson 1 8-8 10, Deuce Blake 4 3-3 12, Miles Fant 5 1-3 11, Kevin Taylor 2 0-0 6, Jamari Magee 1 2-2 4, Isaac Besh 1 1-2 4. FG shooting — 14-47 (29.8 percent). 3-point goals — 4-17 (Taylor 2, Blake 1, Besh 1). Rebounds — 31 (Taylor 7, Henderson 7). Assists — 3. Steals — 4 (Henderson 2). Blocked shots — 2. Turnovers — 8. Team fouls — 10. Fouled out — None.

Larry Peterson

LARRY PETERSON

Former senior feature writer at Creston News Advertiser and columnist. Previous positions include sports editor for many years and assistant editor. Also a middle school basketball coach in Creston.