DES MOINES — The Wapsie Valley family has a state title.
The Warriors boys basketball team won the Class 1A championship, 65-53, over Bishop Garrigan-Algona on Friday in a mostly empty Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
"It's incredible," Wapsie Valley head coach Marty McKowen said after the win. "I love coaching for all these years and to be able to have that happen."
The win was 596th win of McKowen's 37-year career. It's his first state title.
Despite the limited amount of fans allowed in because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the atmosphere was "really, really cool in there," McKowen said.
"It was an electric atmosphere in there with 100 people on our side, it really was," he said.
Wapsie Valley senior Kiks Rosengarten led the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds, followed by sophomore Blayde Bellis with 16 points and seven rebounds.
"It still doesn't feel real," Rosengarten said in a postgame interview with statewide media hanging on his every word.
"It's very overwhelming and very exciting," he said.
Sophomore Gunner Meyer scored 13, all coming in the second half, propelling the Warriors to victory.
Juniors Kobe Risse poured in 10 and Tyler Ott scored 5.
The Warriors held Bishop Garrigan's leading scorer junior Angelo Winkel, to 15 points. He had been averaging 18.9 points per game this season. Senior Cade Winkel, their second-best scorer at 16 points per game, managed only 3 against the Wapsie Valley defense.
The only other Golden Bear to get into double figures was senior Marcus Plathe with 16.
The Golden Bears led the Warriors 29-26 at the half. Rosengarten had scored 12 points by then, followed by Blayde Bellis with 7, Kobe Risse with 4 and Tyler Ott with 3.
Sophomore Gunner Meyer, who led Wapsie Valley in scoring in its first two State Tournament games, was shut out in the first half, but sank a 3-pointer in the third quarter after Bishop Garrigan expanded its lead to 5 points.
Meyer then immediately added a layup and another three to give the Warriors a 36-34 lead. By the end of the third, Wapsie Valley led 42-38, with Meyer scoring 10 points in the quarter.
He opened the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer and Wapsie Valley led the rest of the way.
Wapsie Valley’s last state tournament title appearance was in 2003, when McKowen’s son, Brooks McKowen, was playing under him. The younger McKowen, who now is the head men's basketball coach at Upper Iowa University, was the star with 36 points in that game. Sioux Center (26-1) defeated the Warriors (27-1) by a score of 74-60 for the Class 2A championship.
SCORING BY QUARTER
Wapsie Valley 16 10 16 23 — 65
Bishop Garrigan 12 17 9 15 — 53