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Comets come up short in regional semifinals

STATE CENTER – The North Polk boys’ basketball team gave a great effort versus a powerful West Marshall squad in Class 2A District semifinal play Saturday in State Center, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done as the Comets fell by a 68-59 score.

North Polk played West Marshall nearly even in the first half, only trailing 34-31 at the break. In the third quarter the Trojans distanced themselves from the Comets a bit as they took a seven-point lead into the final period.

The fourth quarter saw North Polk pick up the pace on offense with 18 points. But West Marshall was one step ahead with 20 points in the period to pull away as North Polk finished the season at 10-13.

North Polk shot 47 percent from the field, but made only 6 of 19 3-pointers and 7 of 13 free throws. The Comets held West Marshall to 2 of 9 shooting from 3-point range, but the Trojans shot 52 percent overall from the field and converted 12 of 19 free throws.

North Polk did a great job taking care of the ball, finishing with only seven turnovers, but the Comets only forced five West Marshall miscues. Both teams had 24 rebounds.

Russell Greene closed out his career with a great individual outing for North Polk. The athletic forward had 22 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field and he also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out three assists.

Blake Brauer tacked on 16 points for North Polk. He was the team’s ace from long range – making 4 of 8 3-pointers on the night.

Ryley Sandberg also played well for the Comets. The senior put up 13 points and added four rebounds and four assists.

Duncan Ferch had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists and Matt Van Metre put up 20 points and seven rebounds to lead West Marshall. Reggie Gradwell tacked on 11 points for the Trojans, who improved to 18-4.

West Marshall 68, North Polk 59

NP 17 14 10 18 – 59

WM 20 14 14 20 – 68

North Polk (59) – Patrick Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Dillon McBee 0-2 0-0 0, Ryley Sandberg 5-10 2-2 13, Grant Rampton 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Hillebo 1-4 0-0 3, Jonah Clausen 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Dark 0-1 0-0 0, Russell Greene 10-14 2-4 22, Brett Haun 0-2 0-0 0, Reed Smith 1-2 1-4 3, Berke Osborne 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Brauer 5-9 2-2 16, Chris Flynn 0-0 0-0 0, Max Karpinski 1-4 0-1 2. Totals: 23-48 7-13 59. 3-point field goals (6): Brauer 4, Sandberg, Hillebo. Rebounds (24): Greene 8. Assists (13): Sandberg 4. Steals (3): Sandberg, Haun, Smith. Blocks: None.

West Marshall (68) – Nick Juel 1-3 0-0 3, Elijah Streeter 1-4 2-5 4, Duncan Ferch 9-15 3-3 21, Trenton Keislar 3-5 1-2 7, Sam Sheer 1-3 0-0 2, Reggie Gradwell 4-9 2-2 11, Matt Van Metre 8-13 4-7 20, Cody Freland 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-52 12-19 68. 3-point field goals (2): Juel, Gradwell. Rebounds (24): Van Metre 7. Assists (14): Ferch 6. Steals (5): Streeter 3. Blocks (1): Ferch.

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