Warriors come up short in district battle by Lindsay Nelson The Wakonda Warriors went into their district seeded fourth. This turned out to be quite the deception as they went on to defeat the Irene Cardinals, seeded fifth and then dominated in the upset of the number one seed, the Centerville Tornadoes.
The green team went on to perform quite well in the championship game against the Hurley Bulldogs but ended up losing to the Bulldogs 67-59.
The Warriors' first night of action was on March 1. They took on the Irene Cardinals in the first round of the district tournament.
The bleachers were packed to see this rivalry come head to head. Wakonda jumped out to a 19-16 lead after the first quarter and continued on to outscore the Cardinals until the final buzzer. The Warriors ended the Cardinals' season with a 66-51 victory.
Senior Nick Skonhovd led a well balanced game with 16 points, three steals and four assists. Junior Tyler Moser added 15 points and conquered the boards with 13 rebounds. Brandon Parvin added 10 points and Alex Nielsen pulled down 11 boards to add to the Warriors' win.
The next team to stand in the green team's way was the Centerville Tornadoes in the second round of the tournament on March 4. The Warriors knocked them out of the way and out of the district tournament with a final 57-45 score. Skonhovd led his team to a victory with 22 points and six assists. Moser added 12 points and nine rebounds while Nielsen grabbed 10 rebounds.
The final road block for the Warriors was the Hurley Bulldogs. Hurley and Wakonda had met two previous times and had each won once. Hurley had defeated the Warriors in the TVC tournament but the Warriors turned around and beat the Bulldogs in regular season play. It all came down to the district championship game on Friday, March 5.
Hurley ended the first quarter with a 4 point lead, leaving Wakonda nipping at their heels. Then, Wakonda's starting center went down in the second quarter with blood flowing from his eye, chin, and nose. Junior Alex Nielsen had suffered a severe cut to his eyelid and a hard blow to his face in a struggle with a Hurley player over a rebound. While he was being attended to, the Warriors remained four points down at half time.
Finding motivation, the Warriors came out the third quarter and took over the lead, scoring 19 points to Hurley's 13.
The fourth quarter didn't go as planned for the Warriors as they only scored eight points and Hurley netted 18. The final score after a hard fought battle was 67-59 in Hurley's favor. Parvin scored 22 points in the Warriors' loss; 15 points came as he hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter comeback.
Nielsen scored 13, despite very limited play after his injury. Senior Brett Logue grabbed seven rebounds and N. Skonhovd added seven assists.
The Warriors ended their season as runners-up in districts with an overall 14-7 record.