Warriors shock No. 10 Wapsie Valley

By Becky Walz,

Since surviving a close first-round battle, the South Winn boys’ basketball team is looking to make more noise in the postseason after upsetting No. 10 Wapsie Valley Thursday. The Red and White Warriors put together a big fourth quarter to defeat WV, 61-53, in Fairbank.

The victory puts South Winn (16-6) in the Class 1A District 6 finals against Ed-Co (17-5), who defeated Turkey Valley in the semifinals. The contest is set for Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Elkader at 7 p.m.

South Winn’s offense was slow to come alive as WV roared out to a 16-7 first quarter advantage. By halftime the jets had ignited, and the SW Warriors had closed the gap to 25-22 in favor of Wapsie Valley, as Jacob Herold sprinkled in seven of SW’s 15 points. Wapsie Valley pulled ahead by as many as five in the third quarter; however, the combination of Herold and Collin Wiltgen pulled SW back into the game 32-31 with 3:19 remaining. The Red and White were still scratching at the door trailing, 37-35, with eight minutes left to play.

Wiltgen pushed South Winn to the lead with a pair of treys and a deuce, 43-37, to start the final period. Also getting in on the opening 12-0 run were Herold and Trey Kriener as SW closed out the game with a 26-point fourth frame.

“This was an incredible and tremendous team win by our guys. I am so proud of them! It took every one of us to get this win and we stuck together and fought for one another,” said Coach Blake Moen. “The difference to me was we never lost the belief that we can win, and the guys showed great perseverance until we went on our fourth quarter run. Our seniors led the way by stepping up huge, closed the game late with free throws and defense, and everyone did their part to beat a very good Wapsie Valley team.”

Herold had the hot hand all night with 29 points, four rebounds and five steals. Adding 15 points was Wiltgen to go with four boards and three steals. Cael Kuboushek provided six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Trey Kriener was on the board with five points, four assists and three blocks. Putting in four points and grabbing a team-high five rebounds was sophomore Keagen Streeter, while Carson Wenthold had two points.

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