Published Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:10 am
Heelan outlasts Lynx, wins Missouri River title

COUNCIL BLUFFS — Sioux City Heelan clinched its second straight Missouri River Conference championship and extended its streak of consecutive wins in league play to 26 games Friday.

But it had to get by a pesky group from improving Abraham Lincoln to do it.

The Class 4-A No. 1 Crusaders (17-3) forced back-to-back turnovers while up by three points in the final 90 seconds to hold off the Lynx 70-63 to claim an outright conference title at 11-0.

Heelan looks to cap a perfect league slate when it returns to Council Bluffs Tuesday to face winless Thomas Jefferson. Crusader coach Darron Koolstra was just happy to survive Friday.

“That wasn’t easy,” he said. “You’ve got to give A.L. credit. They stepped up and hit shots at crucial times. And it wasn’t just one or two of them, it was all of them.”

After playing to a 37-all deadlock in the first half, Heelan forged ahead in the game with a 9-0 surge early in the third quarter. Tristan Beaulieu’s jumper gave the Crusaders their largest cushion at 48-39.

The lead was still eight late in the third. Then Delany Bolton converted a second-chance basket to end the quarter, which started a 10-1 run that put the Lynx briefly ahead at 57-56.

Heelan reclaimed the lead, but gave it right back on two Bolton free throws. Taylor Volentine then picked up a loose ball in the lane and finished to give Abraham Lincoln a 61-58 advantage with 3:54 remaining.

But the 5-A Lynx, who used a six-player rotation, wore down. The Crusaders reeled off 12 straight points to go from down three to up nine at 70-61. Megan McCarthy scored five of her 14 points during the flurry that allowed Heelan to earn its ninth straight victory.

A.L. (15-7, 9-3) got 21 points from Bolton and 18 points and 15 rebounds from Lauren Meeker while dropping its third straight game and fourth in its last five outings. The Lynx did, however, push the Crusaders after falling 73-47 in their first meeting last month in Sioux City.

“I think, with us just playing six, fatigue just really kicked in,” A.L. coach Chad Schaa said. “They obviously gave everything they had. We just ran out of gas at the wrong time.”

The Lynx stayed in the game despite Heelan’s eight first-half 3-pointers. MaKayla Augustine and Jenna Bork each hit four 3s and combined to go 8 for 9 from the outside before the break.

Augustine finished with 20 points while Bork tallied 15. They had only four total points after the intermission, however. McCarthy and Megan Todd combined for 20 points in the second half.

Koolstra said the hard work of his players during the offseason was the reason the Crusaders were able to sustain their success in a league that features much larger schools.

Heelan has lost only once to an Iowa team this season, but Koolstra said his team is being tested.

“We’ve learned in the last six games that everybody is going to give us their best shot,” he said. “That’s not going to stop anytime soon. We’re Bishop Heelan, and teams get prepared for us.”

Sioux City Heelan (17-3, 11-0) ......................... 11 26 18 15—70

At Abraham Lincoln (15-7, 9-3) ...................... 14 23 12 14—63

SCH: Koolstra 0-5 0-0 0, Hickman 0-1 0-0 0, Bork 4-9 3-4 15, Augustine 8-15 0-2 20, McCarthy 5-7 4-7 14, Todd 1-6 5-6 8, Tr. Beaulieu 3-6 0-0 6, Ta. Beaulieu 1-3 0-1 2, Heaton 1-2 0-0 3, Harris 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-57 12-20 70.

AL: Heithoff 1-6 0-0 2, Bolton 8-15 3-9 21, Meeker 8-18 0-0 18, Volentine 2-6 3-4 7, Leisinger 5-11 0-0 010, Rief 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 26-59 6-13 63.

Three-point goals: SCH 10-27 (Koolstra 0-3, Hickman 0-1, Bork 4-8, Augustine 4-8, Todd 1-4, Tr. Beaulieu 0-1, Ta. Beaulieu 1-1, Harris 0-1), AL 5-9 (Heithoff 0-1, Bolton 2-3, Meeker 2-3, Rief 1-2). Rebounds: SCH 32 (McCarthy 15), AL 42 (Meeker 15). Assists: SCH 15 (Augustine, McCarthy 4), AL 15 (Heithoff 5). Turnovers: SCH 12, AL 15. Total fouls: SCH 10, AL 14. Fouled out: None.

Heelan boys 54, CB Abraham Lincoln 49

COUNCIL BLUFFS — Sioux City Heelan led from the first period on in its 54-49 win over Abraham Lincoln Friday.

The Crusaders, however, didn’t put their 13th victory of the season away until the final minute.

Colton Tracy’s 3-point play with 1:09 left pulled the Lynx within two at 49-47. Keaton Slaughter answered at the other end for Heelan, then Sean Smith misfired inside for A.L.

The Crusaders (13-7) sealed the game with three late free throws. Shane Graves had 19 points and Slaughter added 11 for Heelan, which swept its series with the Lynx this season.

Tracy finished with 20 points for A.L. (5-14) to lead all scorers.

Sioux City Heelan (13-7, 7-4) ..................... 15 8 19 12—54

At Abraham Lincoln (5-14, 3-9) .................. 11 10 14 14—49

SCH: Shane Graves 19, Kyle Heaton 6, Philip Jacobson 8, Keaton Slaughter 11, Bryce Sweeney 1, Trent Solsma 7, Connor Niles 2.

AL: Joe Northrup 2, Sean Smith 3, Connor Gann 7, Colton Tracy 20, Zach Blair 8, Brian Johnson 6, Kyle Crowl 3.

Contact the writer: Tony Boone    |  

Tony Boone is a staff writer for The World-Herald. He primarily covers high school and college sports in western Iowa.

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