Wartburg Falls To Central in IIAC Championship Game
The Wartburg Knights fell to the Central Dutch in the Iowa Conference Men's Basketball Championship Game on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
Central jumped out to quick 8-2 lead as the title game got underway. That's when Wartburg tightened their defense. That upset the rhythm that the Dutch had established in the early going, and a series of ball shot selections allowed Wartburg to inch back into the game.
After closing the gap to an 8-5 Central lead, the Knights' shooters went cold. Central seized the opportunity and built an 18-8 lead with 8:32 left in the first half.
Nick Webber (Peosta/Western Dubuque) stepped up for the home team and scored back to back buckets. That sparked some life into the Knights game. Jordan Cannon (Bolingbrook, IL) drained a three-pointer to pull the Knights within seven points with 2:30 left in the half.
The two teams exchanged a few buckets, and with 0:33 left in the first half, Jaran Sabus (Urbandale/Urbandale) nailed a three-point basket to pull the Knights to within four points.
Thanks to a foul with 1.6 seconds left in the first half, Central closed out the first twenty-minute frame with the 38-32 halftime lead.
The second half start just like the first, but it quickly became a much faster paced game. That allowed the Knights to close within 3 points with roughly six minutes left in the game.
Central adjusted their game plan and moved to an outside game. A series of three point basket pushed the Dutch back out to a 12 point lead with three minutes left in the game.
Webber tried to carry the team as the minutes quicklky slip away, but there was never a spark to ignite the flame. The Knights just could not get the ball to fall into the hoop.
In the end, Central scored the Iowa Conference Men's Basketball Championship with 92-80 win. The comes with an automatic bid in to the NCAA Division 3 Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.
Webber and Cannon led the Knights offense each contributing 18 points. Nate Woeste (Atkins/Benton Community) added 16 points, and Sabus had 14 points.