DES MOINES - The center of attention went to the bench, and Ankeny didn't do anything about it.
Sioux City East's 7-foot-1 center Adam Woodbury was saddled with his fourth personal foul with 6:33 left in regulation and his fourth-ranked Black Raiders trailing by five.
But the top-ranked and unbeaten Hawks were satisfield with a stalemate, and now they're playing for the consolation championship at the Iowa High School Boys State Basketball Tournament.
Ankeny's attacking, guard-oriented offense subsided long enough to let Woodbury catch his breath and the Black Raiders became the first to beat the Hawks since last year's semifinals, winning 60-56 in a double-overtime thriller on Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
Woodbury led East with 17 points and 12 rebounds and the team's fourth straight state tournament appearance will finally reach the 4A finals as the Black Raiders face No. 2 Iowa City West (25-0) in tonight's 8:05 p.m. championship game.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Sioux City East’s Adam Woodbury (35) puts back an offensive rebound for two points during the first half of Friday’s Class 4A semifinal game against Ankeny at the Iowa High School Boys State Basketball Tournament in Des Moines. Ankeny’s Ted Friedman, lower left, looks on as the top-ranked Hawks fell 60-56 in double overtime.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
"They were undefeated for a reason, they're a good team but we took our lumps here and there during the season and that only made us better and pushed us forward and it showed out there today," said Woodbury. "We can hang with anybody and we're ready to win this thing."
Sioux City East (21-3) remained unbeaten against in-state competition, avenging last year's 72-55 first-round loss to the Hawks (24-1) by surviving a shaky free-throw shooting performance and one of their brighest stars sitting during the stretch run of the fourth quarter.
Not long after Cory Myers gave Ankeny a 45-40 lead with a slashing layup, Woodbury - a University of Iowa recruit - missed a short jumper and picked up his fourth foul going over the back on the rebound.
Ted Friedman was cited for a lane violation on his ensuing free-throw attempt, and East's Alex Imming converted a three-point play to get the Black Raiders back within two.
With the state's most imposing paint presence still seated firmly next to head coach Ras Vanderloo, Ankeny held on to the ball as Sioux City East sat back in its 2-3 zone. The Hawks milked 2:30 off the clock before turning the ball back over to the Black Raiders, and Woodbury re-entered the fray for the final 3 minutes of the fourth quarter.
"As it was going on we were talking about it on the bench. I thought, in a two-point game with Woodbury on the bench, let that (clock) roll," said Vanderloo. "It wasn't a bad coaching move on their part at all, I would have done the same thing, but it might have played into our favor though in the end."
JC Fuller drove the lane and got the tying basket with 2:46 left, and East held off Ankeny's hard-charging guards the rest of the way.
"I don't know if they played into our hands or not, I just know that we stuck together, played as a team and got the job done tonight," said Fuller, who finished with 14 points and three steals. "(Sitting in the zone) I was confident, but really I was thinking let's get back into man-to-man, let's go get 'em, but we got it done, things went our way and we got the job done."
The Hawks, who allow only 40 points per game, might have missed their chance to finish off the job.
"Anybody in the world can second-guess anything," said head coach John Petersen. "The only thing I would change is that Ankeny would be four points ahead of Sioux City East.
"More than anything Sioux City East deserves credit. They shot the ball very well, they were aggressive going to the hoop, they created a foul-trouble situation for us early in the game. I think they're good, I think Sioux City East deserves the credit."
Ankeny resumed its aggressive ways in the overtime, with Myers scoring the first three points of the first extra period. Dillon Godfrey, East's 6-8 forward, took a pass from Woodbury for a layup to cut into the lead, and Woodbury got the next one to put the Raiders ahead 49-48.
Super-sub Bryan Sumner, who scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half off the bench for Ankeny, drained his third 3-pointer to put the Hawks on top again, but Woodbury put back a Fuller miss with 6.3 seconds left in overtime.
Myers' half-court prayer went unanswered, leaving the score tied for the fifth and final time at 51-all.
Sioux City East scored first in the second overtime stanza and led the rest of the way, even though the Black Raiders shot 7-for-13 from the free-throw line. Ankeny was worse, though, going 3-of-7 at the line and 1-of-7 from the field as Woodbury was there to threaten the Hawks' countless layup opportunities.
"Sometimes the numbers in the game don't show it, but just having a 7-foot-1 guy in the lane is a huge help," said Vanderloo. "Just putting him in the lane alters everything. ... Especially against Ankeny, because their guards are good, they're strong and they know how to play."
Sumner netted three straight free throws with 11 seconds left, but Dunson iced the win with two freebies.
"We believed we could win and it showed out there I think today," said Woodbury. "Being undefeated, that's a pretty good accomplishment (for Ankeny) but come tournament time anything can happen."
The Hawks were led by Sumner's 18 points off the bench. Myers added 13 points and three steals, while Connor Schabel tallied 11 points, nine boards and six steals.
Ankeny meets Linn-Mar (20-5) in today's 1:45 p.m. consolation final, trying to rebound from a 35-percent shooting performance and the most points it has allowed this season.