The Le Mars boys basketball team moved on in the substate postseason with a 54-47 home win over Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Monday night.
The Bulldogs have a long history with Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the playoffs. The Warriors had been to state five consecutive years before being eliminated last night. The Warriors had ended the Bulldogs season in each of the last two seasons. Head Coach Dave Irwin says last night’s contest was no different than any other games with the Warriors in the playoffs.
The game was separated by two different playstyles in the two halves. The first half saw Le Mars lead 19-14 at the break. The second half saw Le Mars outscore the Warriors 35-33 to pull out the win. Coach Irwin says that the differences between the two halves boiled down to which team dictated the tempo.
In the second half, Le Mars got a huge offensive performance from David Leusink. Leusink scored 19 points in the game with 11 coming in the second half. The key to Leusink’s success was his shooting from range. He went 5-6 from the three-point arch to fuel his offensive production. Coach Irwin says he came up big especially in his adjustment to how the Warriors have guarded him.
The Bulldogs now take a 13-9 record into the substate semifinal on Thursday night where the Bulldogs match up with fourth-ranked Humboldt. Coach Irwin says there are things his team needs to do better to have success in the tournament.
The Bulldogs also got 16 points from Caleb Dreckman in the win. The win was also Dave Irwin’s 300th win as the head coach of the Le Mars boys basketball program.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton misses the state tournament for the first time since 2016 ending the year with a 9-13 record.