HS Boys State Basketball Tournament: Anamosa Debuts With First W

By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:

The postseason ride rolls on for the Anamosa Boys Basketball program in the midst of their history making season. The 6th-seeded Blue Raiders used a fast start scorching the nets early and often with a 13-2 early lead over the 3-seed Des Moines Christian in a class 2A quarterfinal Tuesday morning in Des Moines. A 20-4 first quarter lead let the Blue Raiders settle in nicely in their first experience in a setting like Wells Fargo Arena. Anamosa pulled away late again after a roaring comeback by the Lions as they got to within five points, winning 74-60 to improve their record to 21-5. It was their 12th victory in a row and 17th in their 18 contests since the new year. With concerns for some of how the rookie team to the state level would handle the unfamiliar surroundings, the larger playing floor and morning basketball…those doubts were forgotten about early on as the talented collection of players proved they belonged on the stage of the best in the state. Senior sharp-shooter Kyle Schepanski talks about the mindset of the team heading into the unknown environment:

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One factor that helped calm the nerves was the presence of a great student section and  nearly 900 fans dressed in Blue-out fashion. Senior Tyler Zumbach comments on the great support:

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Anamosa 18th-year head coach Kevin Barnes echoes Zumbach’s thoughts:

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Coach Barnes was asked if he could explain the offensive explosion in the beginning of their first ever state tournament game:

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Senior’s Kolin Schulte and Kyle Sayre comment on why the team didn’t get too rattled down the stretch when the Lions cut a lead that was once 17 to just 5 points with under 3 minutes to play in the fourth quarter:

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Coach Barnes described the later stages of the game from his perspective:

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Another emotional step in this journey took place yesterday and Schepanski tried to describe the feeling that is mutual throughout the team including players and members of the program from years gone by:

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Anamosa moves on to class 2A semifinal play on Thursday afternoon at 3:45pm facing the second-seed Western Christian of Hull, right after Cascade meets Pella Christian at 2pm. Coverage of both games can be heard here from KMCH Sports on KMCH and KMCH.com.

In 3A play at the tourney yesterday:

WAHLERT CATHOLIC, DUBUQUE 79, MOC-FLOYD VALLEY 74

CHARITON 64,  SOLON 50

CEDAR RAPIDS Xavier 58, SPIRIT LAKE 47

PELLA 94, PERRY 54

The final set of quarterfinals takes place today with class 4A action:

DOWLING CATHOLIC, WDM (20-3) VS. VALLEY, WEST DES MOINES (20-3)

PLEASANT VALLEY (22-1) VS. DUBUQUE, SENIOR (14-10)

COUNCIL BLUFFS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN (22-1) VS. CEDAR FALLS (19-4)

DES MOINES, HOOVER (21-2) VS. IOWA CITY, WEST (19-4)