It was a scene very similar to the Substate finals last year for the Dallas Center-Grimes boys’ basketball team as they played in the Substate finals again this year. The court was at Johnston High School, just like last year. The game was against a team in blue and white, just like last year, and the Mustangs saw a double-digit lead disappear in the fourth quarter, just like last year.
The team last year was Bondurant-Farrar and the team they played on Monday night was Perry. This year, the Mustangs held on, made plays at the end of the game and won 73-70 in overtime to advance to the State Tournament, which begins next week.
"Same court as last year, big lead and a very, very, very gritty team with a lot of heart," DC-G coach Joel Rankin said. "I can’t say enough about Perry. They just wouldn’t go away and, yeah, it reminded me a little bit (of last year)."
The DC-G fans rushed the court after Perry’s Shammond Ivory’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds of overtime fell short and the Mustangs were presented with the State Qualifier banner.
The Mustangs got out to a quick 17-5 lead in the first quarter but the Bluejays clawed their way back in throughout the game then outscored the Mustangs 22-15 in the fourth quarter to knot it up at 60-60 and send it to overtime where the Mustangs outscored them 13-10 to win the game.
Trey Washington, a sophomore, led the way for the Mustangs with 21 points, including seven during that first-quarter surge that saw the Mustangs start with an 8-0 run before Perry got on the board. Anthony Jacobsen and Doug Heritage had 14 points apiece and Austin Rix had 12 points.
Perry hit eight 3-pointers in the game against the Mustangs just four days after Bondurant-Farrar made 11 against them in the District finals in Ankeny.
"I think we were ready for it, but I think their game was a little bit faster than we expected it was," said Washington. "Towards the end of the game we adjusted to it and it got a little better."
The Mustangs have earned the No. 4 seed in the State Tournament this year and will play in the first round against the No. 5 seed, LeMars on Tuesday, March 10. The game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines tips off at 2 p.m.