CLINTON — The Northeast Rebels were welcomed home Saturday afternoon after their fourth-place showing in the Iowa Class 2A boys state basketball tournament.

The Northeast team was escorted to Northeast High School by a caravan of vehicles loaded with Rebel fans.

Upon arriving at the high school a welcome-home rally took place in the gymnasium. At the rally coach Kevin Enwright addressed the crowd, speaking glowingly about his team’s many accomplishments.

He then turned the microphone over to senior co-captains Travis Mohr and Kyle Peters, who each spoke briefly. Enwright and the team then presented their state trophy to Northeast Athletic Director Gary Lueders.

It was a season to remember for the Rebels, who piled up a school-record 25 wins against just three defeats, only one before the state tournament.

Northeast won its first 13 games of the season before falling to eventual Class 1A state runner-up Bellevue Marquette.

The Rebels bounced back to win their final seven games of the regular season, entering the postseason with a sparkling mark of 20-1.

Northeast opened the postseason with a 63-59 win over North Linn. The Rebels then bested Maquoketa Valley 70-58 before topping Cascade 44-39.

Northeast advanced to the state tournament with an 83-60 romp over Central Elkader, riding Dylan Diedrich’s 35-point performance to Des Moines and the “Elite Eight.”

In their state quarterfinal the fourth-seeded and seventh-ranked Rebels eked out a thrilling 62-61 win over fifth-seeded and sixth-ranked Battle Creek-Ida Grove, thanks in large part to Diedrich’s unforgettable four-point play in the final moments.

The win was Northeast’s first in six state tournament appearances.

In the semifinals the met top-seeded and third-ranked Fort Dodge St. Edmond. Cold shooting sank Northeast as it dropped a 57-35 decision and was sent to the consolation game. St. Edmond finished as the runner-up to Nodaway Valley.

In the consolation contest the Rebels met second-seeded and second-ranked Bondurant-Farrar and again frigid shooting doomed Northeast as it fell 61-46.

Despite the state setbacks the 2005-2006 Northeast Rebels had a season to remember and one to be extremely proud of.