Boy’s basketball advances to state with 87-79 win against Des Moines North

Nathan Newcomb ’19, Camden Vander Zwaag ’18, Bo Sandquist ’18, Boston Grimes ’18, and Peyton Williams ’19 hold up their state qualifier banner after the substate final against Des Moines North Feb. 27. These five scored all of Johnston’s points in the 87-79 win

Evan Newcomb, Staff Writer

The boy’s basketball team might have just played the best game of their lives in the substate final against fourth-ranked Des Moines North Polar Bears Feb. 27 in a tightly contested overtime game which they won 87-79 bringing their win streak to 10 and improving their record to 20-3. With this win, Johnston qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2009. The game was a back and forth thriller with neither team being able to pull away from the other. Johnston got out to a quick start with a big steal and bucket by Peyton Williams ’19 to give the team a 15-10 lead after the first quarter. Des Moines North started out the second quarter quick getting a few quick buckets and giving them a two-point lead but then Boston Grimes ’18 started taking control of this game scoring seven straight points during a nine to two run to giving Johnston a five-point lead late in the second quarter more on Grimes later and they went into halftime with a 35-31 lead.

The third quarter was more of the same back and forth basketball with Johnston keeping a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter was where this game was made, Johnston looked like they were starting to pull away when Bo Sandquist ’18 hit a big three to his team a 60-52 early in the fourth quarter. Des Moines North kept fighting though clawing back and tying the game up at 69-69. After a missed free throw by Des Moines North, Johnston got the ball back with 14 seconds left on the ensuing inbounds pass Tyreek Locure ’19 stole the ball and scored a layup giving Des Moines North a 71-69 lead. Locure finished the game with 35 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals. Grimes was fouled on the next inbounds pass and had two clutch free throws to make however Grimes had missed his two previous free throws, but he wasn’t about to be stopped coolly sinking both and bringing the game to overtime. In overtime, Grimes was looking to be a hero again shooting a three and airballing however he didn’t stop shooting nailing his next two threes to give Johnston a 77-71 lead. Johnston went on to win the game with clutch free throws from Camden Vander Zwaag ’18 putting the game out of reach for Des Moines North.

Grimes was the hero on the night playing possibly the best game of his life scoring 35 points on six of nine three-point shooting adding seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Williams also had a big night scoring 18 points with 20 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Vander Zwaag added 14 points 10-11 from the free throw line with eight rebounds and four assists. Nathan Newcomb ’19 had 13 points and 12 rebounds while Sandquist added seven more points. Johnston goes on to compete in the state tournament ranked as the fifth seed in the bracket they go up against fourth-ranked Waukee at 8:15 pm Mar. 6 at Wells Fargo Arena.