Boys State Basketball: Vorwald Plays Huge, MFL/Mar-Mac Edges North Cedar
By Jeff Johnson and John Campbell, Reporters
This game was televised live on KCRG 9.2, as every game of the boys state basketball tournament will be.
DES MOINES, Iowa - In the closing minute of a tied state tournament game, Jordan Vorwald would likely be the last guy you'd figure would take a crucial shot for the MFL/Mar-Mac Bulldogs. Or one of the last guys.
The senior guard averages a shade under six points, not exactly smoking hot offensive numbers and last among MFL/M-M starters. But the kid's got moxie and some obvious clutch tendencies about him.
His driving go-ahead layup with 1:14 to go was followed by four huge free throws as his club overcame North Cedar, 67-64, in an enjoyable Class 2A quarterfinal Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
"I just saw the lane open up," Vorwald said. "I knew we needed the (basket). If we got the layup there, that was good. If we got the foul, that was good, too. I just took it, went hard and got the best out of it."
Vorwald was his team's victory in a methaphoric nutshell. Leading scorer C.J. Mason was plagued with foul trouble and scored just four points, but it was guys like Vorwald and Mason's younger brother, Cody, who made up for that and then some.
Cody Mason finished with a game-high 26 points and was personally responsible for getting North Cedar star Marshall Shedeck in foul trouble as well. Shedeck was still able to post a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double.
"It sucks," Shedeck said. "This is my last ever high-school basketball game. To let down so many (people) is an awful feeling."
"In our substate game (against second-ranked Cascade), C.J. wasn't hitting shots, so we knew how to play without him," Cody Mason said. "We all just stepped up."
There were nine ties and 12 lead changes in a game featuring evenly matched teams that love going up tempo and spreading you out in the half court.
"We're kind of mirror images of each other," MFL/Mar-Mac Coach Eric Dettbarn said.
North Cedar (21-4), which had a 14-game win streak stopped, scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for a 52-47 edge, but Cody Mason hit a pair of free throws with 2:31 left to put MFL/Mar-Mac (22-3) on top, 58-57. An exchange of free throws (two for NC, one for MFL) led to a 59-59 tie and Vorwald's heroics.
After his make, Jordan Hay drove baseline for North Cedar a few second later but didn't get the roll on his shot. Vorwald rebounded and made two free throws for a 63-59 Bulldogs lead.
"They got to the rim, their shot went in and ours didn't," lamented NC Coach Scott Jackson.
The Knights still had a chance for a tie after Carter Snitker made one of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left. After a timeout, Hay took an inbounds pass, drove the floor and appeared to pass up an open 3-pointer out top, dishing to the corner instead to Grant Pruess, who was well defended by MFL's Noah Schultz and whose shot glanced off the side of the backboard at the horn.
"I should have taken the last shot," said Hay, who had 17 points. "It's tough to deal with."
MFL/Mar-Mac will play top-seeded and top-ranked West Fork (25-0) in a 2A semifinal Thursday afternoon at 2.