DES MOINES — Central DeWitt made it through the first round, and now Round 2 of the Class 3A portion of the boys basketball state tournament begins tonight.
The Sabers won 69-67 over MOC-Floyd Valley on Tuesday, thanks to 32 points from Kyle Bauer and an 80-foot rainbow from Logan Sheppard. They are hoping there's luck at the end of the rainbow come tonight as the Sabers get ready to face the Waverly-Shell Rock Go-Hawks.
DeWitt and W-SR have the identical win-loss records at 22-3. The Go-Hawks average 63 points a game, and surpassed that mark for the first time this postseason on Tuesday by scoring 67 in their win against Grinnell.
Waverly-Shell Rock lost two of its first three games — losing back-to-back games to Cedar Rapids Xavier and New Hampton — then lost on Jan. 24 to New Hampton again at home by three points.
Both of the Go-Hawks' leading scorers stand above 6 feet. Jake Velky, 6-1, entered the state tournament scoring 18 points a game on 51 percent shooting. The Sabers shouldn't aim to put Velky on the line as the junior is shooting 80 percent.
Velky scored 18 points in the quarterfinal win Tuesday while shooting 8-for-12 at the free-throw line.
Sean Westendorf, 6-3, who wears No. 50, averages 10 points a game on nearly 60 percent shooting on the floor. He put up 17 points in the Grinnell win on 7-of-9 shooting, including hitting a pair of 3-pointers.
The Go-Hawks' tallest player (who gets playing time) is 6-6 Austin Phyfe. He shouldn't be too much of a worry for DeWitt, as Phyfe entered the state tournament scoring six points a game, and scored just four points in 14 minutes Tuesday.
Waverly-Shell Rock coach Nate Steege knows his team will have to slow down the Sabers to become victorious.
"They have a great point guard who can score a bunch of different ways," Steege said. "They've got size inside, they can shoot the 3 well, so it's going to be a good matchup. Both teams are pretty much man-to-man teams, so we're going to line up and play."
Tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena is at 8:15 p.m.