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Nevada drops heartbreaker to Gilbert in double OT

Nevada’s Patrick Stephenson wraps a pass around Gilbert’s Jackson Wieland during the second half of the Cubs’ 79-73 double overtime loss to the Tigers Jan. 7 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Patrick Stephenson wraps a pass around Gilbert’s Jackson Wieland during the second half of the Cubs’ 79-73 double overtime loss to the Tigers Jan. 7 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Alex Merfeld powers up a shot against the defense of Gilbert’s Wesley Greder during the Cubs’ double overtime battle with the Tigers Jan. 7. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Alex Merfeld powers up a shot against the defense of Gilbert’s Wesley Greder during the Cubs’ double overtime battle with the Tigers Jan. 7. Photo by Joe Randleman

MONROE – The Nevada boys’ basketball team didn’t have the firepower to keep pace with a top-10 Class 2A team in Prairie City-Monroe Monday.

The Cubs suffered a 65-46 loss at the hands of the No. 5 Mustangs in Monroe. They were outrebounded 33-15 and dominated in the paint by the bigger, more athletic PCM squad, falling to 1-7 overall and in the Heart of Iowa Conference.

Nevada still gave a good effort despite the disadvantages it faced. The Cubs trailed 37-26 at the half, and then PCM put the game away in the third quarter.

Cole Gidel had 10 points, Patrick Stephenson finished with nine points and two assists and Zach Hansen tallied nine points and three steals for Nevada in the loss. Bennett Thompson tacked on eight points off the bench, Riley Huhn had two points and assists apiece, Alex Merfeld recorded four points and four rebounds and T.J. Fey pulled down five boards for the Cubs.

Logan Gilman led PCM with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Zach Uhlenhopp tacked on 18 points, two steals and one block and Dillon Bruxvoort had eight points, 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks for the Mustangs.

PCM 65, Nevada 46

N 15 11 8 12 – 46

PCM 23 14 14 14 – 65

Nevada (46) – Cole Gidel 3 2-2 10, Patrick Stephenson 2 4-4 9, Riley Huhn 1 0-0 2, T.J. Fey 1 0-0 2, Zach Hansen 2 3-4 9, Alex Merfeld 2 0-0 4, Jake Barker 0 0-2 0, Bennett Thompson 3 0-0 8, A.J. Strottman 1 0-2 2. Totals: 15 9-14 46. 3-point field goals (7): Gidel 2, Hansen 2, Thompson 2, Stephenson. Rebounds (15): Fey 5. Assists (6): Stephenson 2, Huhn 2. Steals (10): Hansen 3. Blocks: None.

PCM (65) – Zach Uhlenhopp 7 3-3 18, Troy Vittetoe 0 0-0 0, Trey Lindsay 1 0-0 2, Ricky Reeve 1 0-0 2, Ryan Jennings 3 0-0 8, Devon Woody 1 0-0 2, Dillon Bruxvoort 3 2-3 8, Logan Gilman 7 6-7 21, Maverick McAtee 0 0-0 0, Luke Pendroy 0 0-0 0, Tyler Espenscheid 0 0-0 0, Chase Kuening 0 2-2 2, Connor Warrick 0 0-0 0, Carson King 1 0-0 2, Tyler Townsend 0 0-0 0, Joe DeReus 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 13-15 65. 3-point field goals (4): Jennings 2, Uhlenhopp, Gilman. Rebounds (33): Bruxvoort 13. Assists (14): Bruxvoort 4. Steals (8): Bruxvoort 3. Blocks (6): Bruxvoort 2.

NEVADA – For 29 minutes, Nevada did everything necessary to defeat Gilbert in a Heart of Iowa Conference rivalry game Jan. 7 at the Nevada High School Field House.

The upset-minded Cubs outplayed the Tigers for 3 ½ quarters to take a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. But in the final minutes of regulation, everything unraveled.

Gilbert used an aggressive press and big plays from Wesley Greder and Jared Gescheidler to outscore Nevada 12-2 in the final minutes of the fourth, tieing the game at 59-59 and forcing overtime. One extra session wasn’t enough as the teams went into a second overtime and then turnovers plagued Nevada in a heartbreaking 79-73 loss.

Behind the great play of guards Cole Gidel and Patrick Stephenson Nevada led 39-32 at the half. The Cubs didn’t let the Tigers get closer than six points in the third quarter and after three baskets from Alex Merfeld, a Gidel 3-pointer and a driving basket by Stephenson Nevada held a 57-47 advantage midway through the fourth.

But then Dax Hatfield hit a big 3-pointer for Gilbert and Greder followed with a basket after a Cub turnover. Ryan Blum hit a jumper to pull the Tigers within 57-54.

Stephenson hit two free throws with 2:59 left to briefly halt Gilbert’s momentum. But Blum scored again off a feed from Gescheidler and then after another Cub turnover Greder dunked one home on a break to get Gilbert within 59-58 with 1:04 left.

Greder hit 1 of 2 free throws with 41 seconds remaining to tie the score. Nevada had a turnover and a missed basket from Gidel on its final two possessions of regulation, but the Cubs survived into overtime after Blum and Jackson Wieland both missed the front end of one-and-one foul shooting situations in the final seconds.

“I’ll take the blame in regulation,” Nevada head coach Joel Fey said. “We wanted to take the air out of the ball a little bit and then we got tentative and it was hard to get them back to playing fast. We should’ve just kept them playing fast the whole time. When that was happening I looked up once and they only had four fouls. I thought they were closer to the bonus. So taking the air out of the ball really didn’t do us any good.”

In the first overtime Nevada jumped out to a 64-59 lead as Riley Huhn scored a basket and Gidel converted a traditional three-point play with 2:53 left. A Stephenson drive kept Nevada in the driver’s seat with a 66-61 lead.

But Greder and Gescheidler both came up with big buckets to get Gilbert within one with 1:01 remaining.

After Gidel missed fired on a 3-pointer Blum hit two free throws to briefly give Gilbert a 67-66 lead. But Gidel came right back with a huge 3-pointer to put Nevada up by two with 31 seconds left.

On Gilbert’s next possession Gescheidler came up with a big score to retie the game at 69-69 with 16 seconds to go. Nevada got a good look on its final possession, but a Stephenson jumper was off the mark and the game head into a second overtime.

Two Gidel free throws gave Nevada a 73-72 lead with 2:05 left in the second extra session. But Gescheidler scored with 1:39 to go and then the Cubs turned it over eight seconds later.

Greder followed by converting a timely three-point play inside with 1:03 left to give Gilbert a two-possession lead at 77-73. Nevada turned the ball over again on its next possession and Hatfield scored to ice the game for Gilbert.

“When you’ve got (21) turnovers – and granted you’re playing an extra quarter in there (with the two overtimes) – we threw the ball away in some big spots,” Fey said. “A lot of it is just concentration. We tried to catch the ball with one hand three or four times. Little things like that. But those are things we can fix.”

The turnovers plus a 40-34 rebounding deficit enabled Gilbert to overcome a hot shooting game from Nevada. The Cubs shot 52 percent from the field (28 of 54) and 79 percent from the line (11 of 14) and they made 6 of 14 3-pointers.

Gidel, Stephenson, Merfeld and Huhn were the driving forces behind Nevada’s offensive success.

Gidel had a game-high 23 points after making 8 of 16 field goals, 3 of 5 3-pointers and 4 of 7 free throws. He also dished out six assists and had three steals.

Stephenson was all over the court in finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and two assists. He made 6 of 10 shots, 2 of 4 3-pointers and both of his free-throw attempts.

Merfeld ended up with 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the field. He also had eight rebounds and one block, steal and assist apiece.

Huhn added nine points and he chipped in five rebounds and three assists. Bennett Thompson tacked on five points, A.J. Strottman scored four and T.J. Fey had eight rebounds and six assists for the Cubs as they fell to 1-6 both overall and in the HOIC.

Gilbert improved to 5-5 overall and 4-4 in the HOIC. Greder had 19 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one block, Gescheidler tallied 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and one steal, Wieland and Hatfield netted 12 points apiece and Blum finished with 10 for the Tigers.

Gilbert 79, Nevada 73 (2 OT)

G 13 19 10 17 10 10 – 79

N 17 22 11 9 10 4 – 73

Gilbert (79) – Wesley Greder 7-14 4-5 19, Jackson Wieland 3-12 5-7 12, Dax Hatfield 4-6 2-2 12, Christopher Culek 1-2 1-2 3, Ryan Blum 3-4 3-7 10, Jared Gescheidler 7-17 1-2 17, Adam Baker 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 28-59 16-25 79. 3-point field goals (7): Hatfield 2, Gescheidler 2, Greder, Wieland, Blum. Rebounds (40): Gescheidler 14. Assists (19): Gescheidler 7. Steals (11): Wieland 4. Blocks (4): Gescheidler 3.

Nevada (73) – Cole Gidel 8-16 4-7 23, Patrick Stephenson 6-10 2-2 16, Riley Huhn 4-11 0-0 9, T.J. Fey 0-1 0-0 0, Zach Hansen 1-4 0-0 2, Alex Merfeld 6-7 2-2 14, Jake Barker 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett Thompson 1-3 3-3 5, A.J. Strottman 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 28-54 11-14 73. 3-point field goals (6): Gidel 3, Stephenson 2, Huhn. Rebounds (34): Stephenson 8, Fey 8, Merfeld 8. Steals (6): Gidel 3. Blocks (2): Fey, Merfeld.

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