NFV outlasts MFL MarMac in district final

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Senior Wyatt Powell netted 13 points in MFL MarMac’s district final loss to North Fayette Valley on Feb. 20. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Brock Hackett puts up a three against the TigerHawks. He scored five points off the bench.

Bryce Diehl defends an NFV player in last week's district final.

Carver Blietz-Bentien elevates to the basket. He scored 11 points in the Bulldog loss.

Carter Lightfoot contributed seven points in last week's Class 2A district final.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


North Fayette Valley outlasted MFL MarMac 46-42 in a Class 2A boys basketball district final on Feb. 20. 


The game was the third—and deciding—match-up between the Upper Iowa Conference teams, who split during the regular season. The TigerHawks edged the Bulldogs 56-55 in December, while the Bulldogs won a Jan. 23 contest 49-41.


The first quarter of the district final set the stage for another defensive battle, as neither team hit double digits. Although NFV entered the second quarter up 9-7, MFL MarMac claimed a slight 19-18 advantage by the break.


The TigerHawks then opened the third quarter on an 11-0 run, to take a double-digit lead, but the Bulldogs rallied to come within four points, at 31-27, at the end of the period. The teams battled back and forth in the closing minutes, with MFL MarMac going up 38-36 on a Carver Blietz-Bentien three-pointer with just under 2:30 remaining. With around a minute left, the Bulldogs hit another shot from behind the arc—this time from Wyatt Powell—to lead 41-40, but NFV fought back. 


The TigerHawks were clinging to a 43-41 advantage with 12 seconds remaining when they hit one of two free throws to grow the lead to three points. Although the Bulldogs knocked down a free throw of their own on the next trip up the court, it wasn’t enough to catch NFV, who iced the game with a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds.


Despite hitting two more three-pointers than the TigerHawks, MFL MarMac shot an uncharacteristically low 27.1 percent from the field—largely deterred by 15 NFV blocks.


The TigerHawks overcame 23 turnovers by knocking down 47.2 percent of their shots and out-rebounding the Bulldogs 44-24.


NFV’s Cael Richter had a rare triple-double, leading all scorers with 23 points, including 12 in the final period. He was responsible for 10 TigerHawk blocks and 23 rebounds. 


With 13 points, Powell was the Bulldogs’ top scorer. His stat line also included four steals, three rebounds and three assists. Blietz-Bentien added 11 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block, while Carter Lightfoot contributed seven points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist. Brock Hackett had five points, three rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block off the bench.


The loss dropped MFL MarMac to 19-4 overall this season. The team was 13-3 in conference play, tying with NFV for second place behind Kee. 

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