STATE CENTER - Finally dethroned for the first time since joining the NICL West Division, West Marshall stood firm in second place with a 54-18 whipping of Grundy Center on Friday night.
The Trojans (17-3, 12-2) had earned at least a share of the NICL West title in each of its first five seasons in the league, but last week's loss to Gladbrook-Reinbeck (17-2, 13-1) gave the Rebels the upper hand in the home stretch.
In the conference finale, Matt Van Metre scored a season-high 18 points to lead West Marshall. Reggie Gradwell added 14 points, Duncan Ferch had eight points and six rebounds, while Trenton Keislar tallied eight points, six rebounds and five blocked shots.
The Trojans led 32-8 at the half in holding Grundy Center to its fewest points since AGWSR limited the Spartans to 13 on Jan. 16, 2009.
Jordan Stoner finished with a team-leading 10 points for Grundy Center (6-13, 5-9), which sustained its fifth loss in its last six games.
GMG 66, North Tama 59, OT
GARWIN - Austin Vaughn's 3-pointer forced overtime and Bridger Claassen finished with a career-high 25 points as GMG rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat North Tama 66-59 in an Iowa Star Conference showdown.
North Tama (7-12, 5-11) led 45-28 at the midpoint of the third period, but GMG scored the last 10 points of the quarter to climb to within seven. The host Wolverines (11-6, 8-6) outscored North Tama 17-10 in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they eventually prevailed.
Vaughn's 15 points, too, were a career high. Luke Petty ended with nine points, Brock Fisher scored seven, and Claassen captured nine rebounds. He also went 7-for-10 from the free-throw line as GMG won for the fifth time in its last six games.
Paul Kaufmann led North Tama with 21 points, while Logan Zobel tallied 15 and Ben Panfil had 14. It's the Redhawks' sixth loss in their last seven outings.