Ottumwa -- Indian Hills chalked up its 5th Region XI clean sweep in five years on Saturday night in taking apart visiting Iowa Western, 86-63, in the postseason title game. The win makes it five consecutive region regular-season and postseason championships for the Warriors (32-0), who now set their sights on the District 11 contest against North Dakota State College of Science at the Hellyer Center on Thursday night.
It will be the 5th year in a row that IHCC's reward for its Region XI postseason tourney victory is a date with NDSCS, the champs of Region 13. Thursday's winner gets an automatic spot in the NJCAA national tournament field. A win by Indian Hills would go a long way toward securing the top seed in this month's tourney.
Against the Reivers, the Warriors were precision-like in their first-half execution, making 60 percent of their field-goal attempts, draining 7-of-13 3-point tries and steadily building on an early 10-2 lead. The first of two 3-pointers for Tomas Woldetensae after he came into the game gave the hosts a quick double-digit lead at 15-4, but the Warriors were far from finished. They overwhelmed the Reivers inside and out. Shane Gatling's three made the score 30-9 with not quite half of the period elapsed and the bulge grew to 29 by halftime.
James Jean-Marie scored on back-to-back jumpers to close out the half and the game was all but decided by then with the Warriors on top, 51-22. Iowa Western was limited to 28 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes and connected on just 1-of-13 3-pointers. Even after a 45 percent second half they still managed only 36 percent for the game.
The Indian Hills offense included a number of highlight-reel worthy dunks including a tomahawk slam by Rob Montgomery to begin the second half, one by Jamel Allen on a perfectly-placed fastbreak alley-oop feed from Gatling, and, later, back-to-back flushes by Antonio "Booman" Williams and Ivan Aurrecoechea.
Williams put together a solid stat line: 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He was one of only two Warriors -- Gatling with 10 was the other -- in double figures, but nine different players tallied at least seven points.
IHCC got a measure of revenge on the glass against the Reivers, who had outrebounded the Warriors in both regular-season meetings, the only team all year to beat Indian Hills on the boards. This time around, the Warriors crushed IWCC, 42-23.
Iowa Western falls to 25-7 with three of the losses administered by Indian Hills.
INDIAN HILLS 86, IOWA WESTERN 83
Ivan Aurrecoechea 3 1-2 7, Jamel Allen 3 0-0 7, Antonio Williams 7 0-0 16, Tomas Woldetensae 2 3-4 9, Shane Gatling 3 2-2 10, Connor Murrell 3 0-0 8, Devontae Lane 3 2-2 8, Corey Manigault 1 3-4 5, Rob Montgomery 3 1-2 7, James Jean-Marie 4 1-1 9, Javier Valeiras 0 0-0 0 Team 32 13-17 86
Patrick Dembley 5 5-5 17, Jevon Smith 2 2-2 6, Isaiah Wade 5 2-7 12, Decardo Day 4 2-2 12, Shadeed Shabazz 4 0-0 9, Shaun Doss 0 1-2 1, Emmanuel Ugboh 0 4-6 4, Tony Chukwuemeke 1 0-0 2 Team 21 16-24 63
Halftime score: Indian Hills 51, Iowa Western 22; Three-point field goals: IHCC 9 (Williams 2, Woldetensae 2, Gatling 2, Murrell 2, Allen 1), IWCC 5 (Dembley 2, Day 2, Shabazz 1)