The Region XI top-seeded Iowa Lake men didn't have their best stuff in the second half against Clinton. But after building a 22-point lead in the first half, the Lakers did enough in the second half to hold off a furious rally by the Cougars in a 71-56 first-round tournament victory on Wednesday.
Ben Shellim had the hot hand in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers to help the Lakers to the win.
"The first 5-7 minutes we played at a high level and we had a good stretch at the end of the first half," said Iowa Lakes coach Troy Larson. "Otherwise we just coasted."
Ben Shellim (10) had the hot hand for Iowa Lakes in the second half of a Region XI first-round contest against Clinton. The 6-1 guard from Melbourne, Australie was 7-of-10 from 3-point range and finished with 26 points.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Iowa Lakes (24-6 overall) will host Iowa Central (18-13) at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Tritons defeated Southwestern in overtime, 61-60, to advance. Iowa Central and Iowa Lakes split their regular season meetings with Iowa Lakes winning 76-57 in Estherville on Jan. 23 while the Tritons won 63-61 in overtime on Feb. 23.
On Wednesday, Deondre Parks and Colton Neff both did most of the scoring in a 15-0 run that broke a 5-5 tie with Clinton and gave the Lakers a 20-5 lead. Parks had 3-pointers on each end of the run.
Clinton fought back to cut the lead to eight, 22-14, when Shellim caught fire. He hit a couple 3-pointers that started a 17-3 run to end the half. Parks finished the run off with a shot at the buzzer as Iowa Lakes led 39-17.
The Cougars weren't going down without a fight.
The visitors opened up the second quarter with an 11-0 run to cut the lead in half.
"It was frustrating because we weren't wining the 1-on-1 battles we didn't get back in transition," said Larson.
Shellim finally hit a 3-pointer to break the drought, but the visitors got as close as nine at 44-35.
But Shellim hit three more 3-pointers over a six-minute span to push the lead back to 17 and 47-40 with 9:10 remaining.
The visitors never got as close as 12 points the rest of the way as the Lakers closed out the game.
Shellim finished with a game-high 26 points while shooting 7-of-10 from 3-point range. Parks finished with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
Neff finished with 12 points and five rebounds while Diamontae McKinley had four points.
Josh Schaben finished with three points and seven rebounds. Tate Harmon had three points and Mark Miedema had two.
Parks and Kevin Larson each had three assists and McKinley had three steals.
Region XI Men's Tournament Basketball first-round scores
n Iowa Lakes 71, Clinton 56
n Iowa Central 61, Southwestern, 60, OT
n Ellsworth 59, DMACC 57
n Kirkwood 89, NIACC 83, OT