Keaton Bonderson poured in 40 points leading Le Mars-Gehlan to a 79-77 win over Newell-Fonda in a 1A district final played Tuesday night at Cherokee.
The Jays built a nine point lead late in the first quarter only to have the Mustangs race back to take a 36-32 lead at the half as they finished the 2nd quarter on a 8-0 run.
During one stretch in the 3rd quarter Bonderson would score eleven straight points for the Jays and they took a 53-48 lead into the 4th quarter. They expanded that lead to 65-56 with 4:21 to go which led to aNewell-Fondatimeout. Carter Sievers would then make a 3-point play, followed by a Bonderson basket and it was a 67-59 Jays lead. Sievers would bury two 3-pointers with a Jays basket in between and it was 69-65. Ryan Greenfield would then get a steal and a layup to cut it to 69-67. Bonderson would answer again to make it a four point lead, Mason Dicks would then score his first basket of the game to make it 71-69 with two minutes to go. Dicks and Sievers would both hit big three’s down the stretch but it was Bonderson who found himself at the free throw line with his team ahead 78-77 with 18.6left in the game. He would miss the front end of the one-and-one and after two Mustang timeouts Newell-Fonda would attempt to inbound the ball with 4.9 seconds left but they turned the ball over and the Jays would make one of two free throws with 1.6 seconds left and the Mustangs weren’t able to get a shot off in time for the win.
After Bonderson’s 40, Keaton Logan and Drake DeRocher each had 14, and Connor Kraft scored 11 points.
Sievers led Newell-Fonda with 32 and Caden Meyer scored 24. The Mustangs lost despite scoring 29 4th quarter points on 12-for-16 shooting. Gehlan made 9-of-11 shots and scored 26 points in the 4th quarter and shot 55-percent for the game while the Mustangs shot 53-percent.
Gehlan, now 20-5, will play Remsen-Saint Mary’s Saturday night in a sub-state final. The Mustangs finish the year with a 18-5 record and graduate Sievers, Meyer, Dicks, Greenfield, Caden Vanden Bosch, and Austin Walsh.