16 Iowa Conference championships
PELLA—Central College sizzled from 3-point range but Buena Vista owned the foul line, dealing the Dutch an 84-80 Iowa Conference men’s basketball setback Monday night.
Erasing an 11-point second-half Buena Vista lead, Central grabbed a 57-53 advantage at the 12:27 mark with back-to-back 3-pointers from guard KJ Cool (senior, Chillicothe, Mo., Newtown Harris R-3 HS). The Dutch held a 75-74 edge with 1:26 left but the Beavers regained command by knocking down eight consecutive free throws and forcing two Central turnovers. Buena Vista hit 20-of-27 free throws for the game.
“We did a good job battling to get back in the ball game, but Buena Vista hurt us with its transition offense,” coach Craig Douma said. “They got to the foul line and made shots.”
The Dutch (9-7 overall, 2-4 conference) shot a season-high 69.2 percent from downtown, draining 5-of-6 in the second half, and finished at 59.6 percent from the field despite going 3-for-10 at the foul line. Buena Vista (12-5 overall, 4-2 conference) shot 49.3 percent and held a 34-33 edge on the boards. Central committed 18 turnovers to the Beavers’ nine.
“We need to take care of the ball and capitalize at the free-throw line,” Douma said.
Center Jacob Winkler (senior, Lancaster, Mo., Schuyler R-1 HS) and forward Matt Greenfield (junior, Huxley, Ballard HS) each had 18 points and six rebounds. Guard Nick Marinkovich (senior, Clarendon Hills, Ill., Hinsdale Central HS) had 17 points, hitting a season-best 5-of-7 shots from long range.
“Buena Vista didn’t have an answer for Winkler tonight,” Douma said. “And Nick continued to shoot the ball well.”
Guard Branden Stubbs (junior, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) had 11 points, nine assists and four steals. Cool finished with six points and five assists.
Central faces Simpson College Wednesday in an 8 p.m. contest at Indianola. The Storm slipped to 5-12 overall with a 1-5 league mark after a 79-65 loss to Coe College Monday night.