One of the South Tama assistant coaches, Justin Gates, stated what was on everyone's mind afterwards, "That's the best team we've seen by far this season."
The Iowa Falls-Aldon Cadets played like maybe the best team anybody will see this year.
South Tama never led Feb. 20 at Iowa Falls in the first round of state district play. The Trojans were on the short end of an 83-20 shellacking.
Getting two of his nine points at Iowa Falls-Aldon is South Tama's Sam Kuhter. The Trojans were eliminated by the Cadets in first round district play, 83-20.
In spite of the score, this was not a game where the Trojans lay down and let the Cadets go. Iowa Falls is just that good. Maybe the 3A's best, if tonight was any indication.
"There is very little you can say when you play a team that is this good," said head coach Lonnie Hammond in post-game comments. "They're a very, very good basketball team and I think we played hard."
Because of the mercy rule, the second half was played entirely under a continuous clock. It took about one-and-a-half hours to drive up. The game -- including player introductions, national anthem, halftime, handshakes afterward and a walk to the showers -- took 56 minutes.
In that nearly one hour, Iowa Falls put on a clinic.
The Cadets start by featuring four boys who tower 6' 4" or more. Throw in some three-point shooters who can dribble, pass and shoot, as well as play great defense and rebound, and you have a pretty good Iowa Falls team.
Iowa Falls had just four turnovers for the game. Three of them came in the fourth quarter after the Cadets had cleared the bench. It was a polished performance by an excellent team.
Sam Kuhter had nine points in the game, followed by Jose Fonseca with seven. Iowa Falls had 12 players in the scoring column, including four in double figures. Casey Schlatter led all scorers with 20 for the Cadets.
"That's what we aspire to be," said Hammond. "The team that is going to beat them is obviously going to have to be a very good basketball team."
Second shots for the Trojans were nearly non-existent. Getting an offensive rebound among the trees only happened twice for STC. It was one shot and done for the Trojans.
The Trojans had the misfortune of running into a very good team that had a great night. The "perfect storm" South Tama would have needed for an upset simply was not in the same hemisphere tonight.
But the lop-sided outcome was not due to the Trojan's effort, as Hammond noted.
"I'm proud of how our kids showed up. 'm proud that they didn't back down. But this was simply a better basketball team."
South Tama ends the season at 1-21, 1-13 in the NICL.
Scoring - Kuhter 9, Fonseca 7, Davenport 2, Evans 2
Rebounds - Fonseca 3, Kuhter 3, Bidwell 2, Hopper 2, Evans 1, Nelson1
Assists - Davenport 2, Cecak 1
Steals - Fonseca 1
Blocks - Fonseca 2