Twelve first half turnovers put the PCM boys basketball team in a hole it was never able to fully climb out of, and despite a gutsy effort down the stretch, the Mustangs saw their postseason ended at the hands of Fort Dodge St. Edmond 53-52 Tuesday afternoon in the Class 2A State Quarterfinals.
“We made a lot of mistakes, especially early, with the ball; and gave them [St. Edmond] some pretty easy baskets, which you hate to see. That was the main reason for the deficit we had,” said PCM head coach Fred Lorensen. “We hung in there, though, and just kept battling. We talk about that a lot that sometimes things don’t start well and you’ve just got to keep playing the game. It was looking early like they might embarrass us out there, but I think by the time it was over, they [St. Edmond] knew they’d been in a game.”
PCM trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half before cutting the deficit to 9 by halftime. The second half saw a determined Mustangs squad battle to within one point in the game’s final seconds, but time ran out on the PCM rally as the Gaels defense preserved the win. St. Edmond was led by 25 points from Nick Clark, while Jordan Van Roekel powered the PCM offense with 21 points and also pulled down 7 rebounds.
“He’s just had a great second half of the year for us, whether Scott [Bruxvoort] was playing or not; and had a great second half today. He scored our first 13 points of the fourth quarter,” said Lorensen. “He’s a warrior. He just keeps playing and getting after it, and a lot of those kids we’re going to hate to see leave us here.”
Sean O’Connor also performed well in his final contest for the Mustangs, knocking down all three 3-pointers he took and finishing with 14 points. Hampered by the injury to his right ankle, Scott Bruxvoort still mustered up 7 hard-fought points to go alongside 7 rebounds. The season ends for the Mustangs at 22-3 overall and as champions in the Heart of Iowa Conference, where they were 17-1.