Published Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:04 am
BASKETBALL
No. 1 High Plains downs Heartland

POLK — Heartland Community was hanging right with Class D-2 No. 1 High Plains through the first eight minutes of play.

The game was tied at 17 heading into the second quarter, but High Plains went to a zone and shut down the Huskies for the next two quarters on its way to a 58-42 victory Tuesday night at High Plains High School.

Logan Fleming led High Plains with 16 points while Logan Engel and Ben Nunnenkamp had 12 each.

But it was really the defense that did the job for the Storm.

Heartland was 8-for-13 shooting in the first quarter, and High Plains coach Cameron Hudson wasn't happy with how his man-to-man defense was performing.

"I didn't like how they were able to get in the lane and then being able to kick out to shooters," Hudson said. "We're pretty quick. Passes over the top (of the zone) we were able to get to and that helped us a lot."

Heartland (9-4) got a 3-pointer by Ty Spickelmier with 45 seconds left in the first quarter for a 17-15 lead. The Huskies didn't score again until Keshawn Camacho put in a short jumper at the 7:15 mark of the third quarter.

"We sat in a zone and they took shots that didn't go in," Hudson said. "And we rebounded every shot. I thought we did a good job rebounding in the second quarter. We executed a few things against their press that I thought kind of got them rattled and took them out of what they wanted to do."

Heartland Community coach Clark Ribble was thrilled with how the first quarter went, but the Huskies — who don't have a senior on their roster — couldn't keep pace with the experienced Storm through the middle part of the game.

"I feel like our man offense was really clicking in the first quarter and got us the lead," Ribble said. "Their coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for switching to the zone and getting us out of our flow."

Heartland was 0-for-9 shooting from the floor in that second quarter, then scored just four points in the third as High Plains built the lead to 43-21.

But the Huskies weren't about to quit. They started hitting a few shots, fouled to stop the clock, and slowly cut into the High Plains' lead.

"We started to attack more in the fourth quarter, getting the ball to the paint and we got to the free-throw line a few times too," Ribble said.

But they weren't going to catch up with the Storm. Heartland out scored High Plains 21-15 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Cole Nickels scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the final quarter for Heartland. Jordan Heinrichs was also in double figures with 11 points.

"Our kids will never quit," Ribble said. "Our kids will play hard to the final buzzer. That's what I told them in the locker room, I said, 'I love our team because we never quit."'

The Storm was playing the final quarter without standout point guard Cole Klingsporn who hit the floor hard in the third quarter and didn't return.

"We got a little tentative which is understandable," Hudson said of the fourth-quarter performance. "And also we missed a couple of free throws that could have helped our cause, but in a game like that time is on your side. You're trying to execute and at the same time you want to take opportunities. It's a fine line I think between being aggressive or not."

Heartland 17 0 4 21—42
High Plains 17 14 12 15—58

HEARTLAND (9-4): Camacho 2-2 0-2 4, Heinrichs 4-10 3-3 11, Nickels 4-11 2-4 12, Kroeker 2-2 2-2 6, Siebert 0-1 0-0 0, Spickelmier 3-8 0-0 7, Bergen 1-4 0-0 2, Brown 0-2 0-0 0. Total 16-40 7-11 42.

HIGH PLAINS (13-0): Nunnenkamp 5-6 2-2 12, Klingsporn 3-8 0-0 6, Fleming 6-12 4-7 16, Engel 2-3 6-8 12, Shenk 3-4 1-3 8, Harless 1-1 0-0 2, Wurtz 0-1 2-4 2, Young 0-1 0-0 0, Martin 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 20-36 16-24 58.

3-point goals — Heartland 3-15 (Nickels 2-5, Spickelmier 1-5, Camacho 0-1, Brown 0-1, Heinrichs 0-2). High Plains 2-6 (Engel 2-2, Young 0-1, Nunnenkamp 0-1, Nunnenkamp 7). Turnovers — Heartland 15, High Plains 18. Total fouls — Heartland 22, High Plains 17. Technicals — None.

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