The Waukee boys’ basketball team looked poised to make a run and qualify for the boys’ state basketball tournament, which is set to begin on March 10, but the Warriors were upset by Urbandale on their home floor, bringing their season to an end on Feb. 28 in the substate semifinals. The Warriors (18-5) fell to the J-Hawks (13-10) by a final score of 48-44.
Warriors junior Michael Jacobson only had five points in the first half, but finished the game with a double-double scoring 19 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Jacobson also had two steals and three blocked shots in the game.
Anthony Nelson, also a junior, was close to a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots. Senior Nate Gehring was relatively quiet in the game scoring six points on a 2-of-4 shooting performance and pulling down five rebounds.
The J-Hawks were led to the upset victory by senior Allen Lazard who shot 4-for-10 and and had a team-high 16 points helped by a 7-of-9 performance at the free-throw line.
The Warriors never seemed to have an edge in the game. They were outscored in the first half 11-9 before tying the game 19-19 at halftime.
The game remained tied at 28-28 after the third quarter. The J-Hawks had a five-point lead with 2:56 to go in the fourth quarter but the Warriors were never quite able to get the edge back.
The Warriors may not be heading for the state tournament this season, but still finished with a strong record, losing only five games.
Waukee was led in scoring by Jacobson who averaged 17.1 points per game this season, shooting 47.9 percent from the field. Jacobson was also the Warriors’ leading rebounder, shot blocker and tied for the team high in steals. He pulled down 223 (155 defensive, 68 offensive) rebounds, had 49 blocks and 25 steals this season while also having 47 assists which is second-best on the team.
Nelson averaged 14.1 points per game, shooting 54.4 percent this season while grabbing 213 rebounds and blocking 40 shots.
Gehring led the Warriors in shooting percentage, shooting 63.5 percent from the field. He even shot 100 percent (1-for1) from 3-point range while scoring 11.3 points per game. Gehring also blocked 45 shots on the season.
Parker Howe had a team-high 49 assists on the season. Michael Winger only averaged 5.9 points per game this season but led the way in 3-point shooting going 33-for-75 from long range.
As a team, the Warriors averaged 62.6 points per game, shooting 47.6 overall this season.
With only five seniors the Warriors are returning 11 players for next season, including Jacobson, the team’s leading scorer.