Amsbaugh fouled. He will shoot 2
Parcher with a 3 at the horn. Then flexes. That is fitting. 37-30
Amsbaugh jumper. Dike NH responds. 39-32 WF
Parker with 21 now for Dike
Another charge call wipes out a WF basket
This game has turned ragged. Turnover. Turnover. Turnover.
3:36 left. West Fork leads 39-34
We are in a drought for both teams.
2:12 to go. We have a timeout. Still 39-34
No team has scored since the 6:38 mark of the 4th
Halloran fouled. He will shoot a 1 and 1
We have went 5 minutes without a point
1:31 to go. West Fork ball
Halloran fouled. Back to the line
Misses front end again. Dike-NH ball
Parker fouled on the floor. 53.9 left
Amsbaugh layup with 39 left.
By JARED PATTERSON
DES MOINES -- West Fork’s Kyle Parcher pulled up, the clock nearing zero, and pulled the trigger.
This one was from 30 feet and found the bottom of the net to end the third quarter.
Parcher, a senior who averages six points per game, promptly flexed his right bicep with West Fork fans whipped into a frenzy just feet away.
It took a while, but top-seeded West Fork finally flexed its muscle Monday thanks to scrappy defensive effort in a 45-36 victory over Dike-New Hartford to advance to Thursday’s Class 2A state semifinal vs. MFL-Mar Mac at 2 p.m.
“I knew it was a big shot,” Parcher said. “Momentum.”
That pretty much summed up Parcher’s three at the third-quarter buzzer that pushed West Fork’s lead to 37-30.
Parcher pulled out that celebration once before on the road to the Class 2A state tournament. That came vs. Forest City in the district final.
“He likes to think he’s a big guy,” senior Payton Plagge joked.
That was about as flashy as West Fork got Monday. It wasn’t about style points. It was simply about surviving for a West Fork team that moved to 25-0.
The Warhawks’ season-low point total entering Monday was 54 points. The Wolverines held them nine points below that Monday.
But it was a halftime talk between coach Frank Schnoes, who won his first state tournament game Monday, and Parcher that made the difference.
“At halftime, coach pulled me aside and said, ‘I need something out of you,’” Parcher said.
The little pep talk paid big dividends.
Parcher finished with a team-best 11 points and connected on three 3-pointers in the third quarter.
With Dike-New Hartford (17-10) packing the paint defensively, West Fork had to find a way to stretch the defense.
“We have to be more than one-dimensional,” Schones said.
West Fork had to deal with one dynamic dimension for Dike-New Hartford.
It was evident the difference Carson Parker’s presence made soon after the opening tip.
The junior guard who missed the majority of the season due to injury was sensational and it was easy to see why the Wolverines were 7-0 with Parker in the lineup down the stretch.
He scored 14 of Dike-New Hartford’s 21 first-half points on six of eight shooting and scored a game-high 23 points on 10 of 18 shooting. The Wolverines held a 21-20 advantage at the break.
“He reminded me a lot of the (Erich) Erdman kid from Forest City,” Plagge said. “He led the whole team. We knew he was going to get his points. We had to limit the other guys.”
West Fork did just that as the rest of the Wolverines shot a blustery 5 of 24 from the floor.
It was a game that was decided in the half court. West Fork’s four fast-break points were the only points in transition of the contest.
Sam Amsbaugh finished with 10 points and connected on West Fork’s only two baskets of the fourth quarter while Plagge added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter from the 6:38 mark until Parker hit a long two-pointer with 1:09 remaining to trim West Fork’s lead to 39-36.
The Warhawks, though, were tremendous defensively down the stretch.
After shooting 47 percent in the first 16 minutes, the Wolverines shot just 26.1 percent from the floor in the second half.
“We’ll just enjoy this now and get started on (MFL Mar-Mac) tomorrow,” Amsbaugh said.