Sports

Coble carries WACO

GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman

WACO's Nik Coble rises above the competition for two of his 15 points.
GTNS photo by Doug Brenneman WACO's Nik Coble rises above the competition for two of his 15 points.
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KALONA — Elite players step up their game in the postseason.

WACO’s Nik Coble definitely came to play Thursday against Lone Tree. He nearly recorded a triple-double in an Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 1A District 8 quarterfinal basketball game.

Coble produced 15 points, 21 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks in the Warriors’ 48-42 victory.

“We had kids step up,” WACO coach Paul Kissell said. “He is a clutch player for us.”

WACO had a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter with Coble getting six points. He started accumulating assists in the second quarter when Dalton Diers hit three consecutive 3-pointers in less that 50 seconds to give WACO a 26-12 lead.

“Dalton has worked all summer on shooting,” Kissell said. “He seemed to be our most relaxed player out there.” Diers would finish with 14 points.

By halftime, the Warriors had stretched their advantage to 32-17.

Lone Tree decided to start launching their own volley of 3-pointers, canning five in the first 4 minutes of the second half to get within 36-33. By the time the third period was over, WACO led 38-35.

Diers buried a trey to start the fourth stanza, but two more triples from Lone Tree got the Lions within 43-42 with 3 minutes remaining.

“A lot of that run had to do with their defense, but I think we started to wear out,” Kissell said.

Coble hit a basket to give WACO some breathing room at 45-42 and Gabe Reichenbach went 3 of 4 at the line in the last 40 seconds to get the win.

“The pressure was put on us and we responded just well enough to win us,” Kissell said. “Gabe helped close it out.”

He finished with seven points. Elijah McGohan had eight and Drew Kissell had four.

WACO, which now has a record of 15-4, will play Tuesday at a site to be determined against Pekin (15-3), a 74-52 winner over Holy Trinity. The winner of that game will play the winner of Notre Dame (15-5) and fifth-ranked New London (18-1) at Burlington Thursday.