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Mendota senior Evan Carroll (center) drives into the lane toward Bureau Valley senior Jordan Monier (No. 5) during the Trojans’ 61-47 victory Wednesday in White Pool play at the Colmone Classic at Hall. Mendota finished 3-0 in the pool to advance to Saturday’s championship game. NewsTribune photos/Anthony Soufflé
Half of the Colmone Classic championship game was set Wednesday when the Mendota boys basketball team beat Bureau Valley 61-47 in its final game of pool play.
The Trojans went 3-0 in the White Pool and will play for the title at 8 p.m. Saturday against an opponent to be determined.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Mendota coach Jan Thompson said about reaching the title game. “It was one of our goals to be in the championship game, and not only be there, but win it. We have our work cut out for us big time.
“I would imagine it’s going to be Fieldcrest in there, but we’ll find out. If it’s Fieldcrest, they’ve competed for it for how many umpteen years now. They play great man-to-man defense. They’re very aggressive. They do what they do and they do it very well, so we’re just going to have to be ready to go and come to play.” Mendota 61, Bureau Valley 47 The Trojans led by 13 points midway thought the second quarter, but allowed BV to go on a 14-2 run to pull within one point at halftime.
“The first half was a little ugly,” Thompson said. “Our guys were a little lacksadaisical in the first half. After a pretty heated discussion from myself and (assistant) coach (Brian) Blumhorst, the guys took it to heart, came out and jumped on them and got up early.”
Mendota allowed the Storm to briefly take the lead early in the quarter before taking control of the game for good with a 12-2 run that put the Trojans up 40-32 with 3:31 left in the third.
The Trojans pushed their advantage to 45-33 by the end of the third and extended their lead to as many as 17 points in the final eight minutes.
“When they took the lead, I wasn’t real, real worried yet,” Thompson said. “I have enough confidence and faith in these guys that I thought, ‘You know what, they’re OK. They’re going to find a shot, they’re going to get something going,’ and sure enough, they did.”
Trae Blumhorst led Mendota (8-2) with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Jon Gehm added 16 points.
Parker Neuhalfen paced the Storm (6-5) with 14 points and six rebounds. Tommy Johnston added 10 points and six rebounds.
“We played one out of four quarters with passion and intensity,” BV coach Jason Marquis said. “The other three quarters I thought there were spurts, but we just didn’t make enough plays to get it done.”
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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