Ottumwa -- Indian Hills overcame a sluggish start to defeat Marshalltown CC, 76-58, in a Region XI semifinal at the Hellyer Center Wednesday night. The win moves the Warriors into the postseason title game against Southeastern CC at home on Saturday night.
It was the third time this season IHCC knocked off Marshalltown. After 39- and 34-point beatings by Indian Hills earlier, however, this one was a much tougher contest. The game was tied three times and there were five lead changes over the first 10 1/2 minutes. The Warriors didn't go ahead for good until a couple of Chris Payton free throws put them up, 18-16, at the 9:25 mark. The foul shots sparked an 11-2 run that included a three and two free throws by Tyon Grant-Foster and a bucket by Drake Jeffries. Jeffries led IHCC with 20 points on that two-point field goal and six 3-pointers and Grant-Foster added 18. He drilled four 3s.
An Eric Amandio basket in the lane looked like it was going to allow MCC to trail by only five points at intermission, until Jeffries just beat the first-half buzzer with a long three to make it 35-27 at the break. The margin was still five after Amandio hit another three early in the second half. Jeffries connected on a 3-pointer to ignite a quick 10-2 burst and the Warriors were finally able to relax, a little, after eventually building the gap to 25 at 66-41 following a three by Grant-Foster.
Held to 37 percent shooting in the first period, the Warriors warmed up to make 14-of-20 attempts in the second frame to finish at 50 percent for the night. They nailed 11 threes with Jeffries and Grant-Foster combining for 10.
Payton added 13 points to the IHCC total and Malique Jacobs had 11. Jaylin Scott's 16 and 15 by Amandio led MCC, which ended the season with a 6-26 record.
Indian Hills and Southeastern split their two regular-season matchups, each winning on their home court. The loss at SCC in mid-January is the only defeat for the Warriors in their last 23 games. They have won 11 straight since dropping a 73-69 decision in West Burlington and will go into the Saturday test with a 28-3 overall record, looking to add the postseason championship to the regular-season one they already own.
INDIAN HILLS 76, MARSHALLTOWN 58
Chris Payton 3 7-10 13, Maurice Calloo 2 0-0 5, Tyrese Nickelson 0 0-0 0, Loseni Kamara 0 0-0 0, Malique Jacobs 5 1-2 11, Tyon Grant-Foster 6 2-4 18, Drake Jeffries 7 0-1 20, JD Muila 2 1-2 5, Theo Bourgeois 0 4-4 4 Team 25 15-23 76
Jaylin Scott 5 3-3 16, Caleb Jacobs 0 4-4 4, Eric Amandio 6 0-0 15, Craig Philip 2 1-3 5, JyDonn Griffith 2 0-0 4, Derrick Paige 3 0-0 8, Jacob Smith 0 0-0 0, Quavon Blackwood 2 1-1 6, Roger Guardiola 0 0-0 0, Myles Broadie 0 0-0 0, Chayce Leslie 0 0-0 0 Team 20 9-11 58
Halftime score: Indian Hills 35, Marshalltown 27; Three-point field goals: IHCC 11 (Jeffries 6, Grant-Foster 4, Calloo 1), MCC 9 (Scott 3, Amandio 3, Paige 2, Blackwood 1)