“Trent Roose and Connor Hehli, our two seniors, were great,” said Phillips. “Trent Roose, this is his fourth year of playing organized basketball. He has just gotten better and better. When he gets his shot on he can really shoot the basketball. In the first half he just couldn’t get it to hit.
“Connor Hehli had a tremendous senior season. He is second in the whole state in blocked shots. I told him, ‘you had a great season. These teams respected you. They had to game plan for you.’ Our other guys usually pick up the slack and they just couldn’t do it tonight.”
Roose helped spark a bit of a comeback for North Mahaska. The Warhawks were down 31 points, but was able to cut it down to the final of 19. The effort drew the praise of their coach. North Mahaska played mainly junior varsity players in the final three minutes.
“I told the guys that that is a great judge of character when you keep battling and you hit the floor and you get back up harder than when you hit that is just a true test of your character,” said Phillips. “Even if you know the outcome may already be decided. You just kept battling. That’s the way it should be.”
Freshmen Brandt Fleener and Milan DeJong were second and third respectively in scoring behind Roose with nine and seven points. Fleener led the team in rebounding with four.
Kolton Greiner led all scorers with 22 points. Lyle and Owen each had 12 points and seven rebounds. Owen finished with six steals.
Keota will play Montezuma at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at BGM.