Roll blue: D-NH boys slam Madrid to head to state

The Dike-New Hartford boys basketball team and student section meet on the court at Gilbert High School after the Wolverines' 81-53 win over Madrid in a Class 2A substate final. (Jake Ryder photo)

GILBERT – Colton Harberts remembers watching last year's substate final from the bleachers.

 

The Dike-New Hartford boys basketball team had been knocked out by Aplington-Parkersburg in a 32-point loss in the district final the Wednesday before. The Falcons won that night in Charles City to qualify for the state tournament.

 

"We wanted that to be us this year," Harberts said. "It focused us a lot."

 

Once the Wolverines got on the floor for a substate final on Saturday afternoon in Gilbert High School, D-NH left no doubt, a dominant 81-53 victory over Madrid that sends the Wolverines back to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the first time since 2016.

 

D-NH (21-1), winners of 17 straight, will not know its quarterfinal opponent until Tuesday at the earliest, pending the completion of other substate final games that were postponed.

 

The Wolverines hit nine 3-pointers with seven of them scored in the first half, with D-NH leading the Tigers 46-24. Cade Fuller and Dane Fuller scored two treys each as both shared the scoring lead with 17 points. Colton Harberts, a head taller than most on Madrid's roster, was the big paint contributor with 16 points and added a three-ball of his own.

 

Madrid, a smaller team that had attempted the second-most 3-pointers in Class 2A with an average of 26 attempts per game, couldn't keep pace with the Wolverines' hot shooting.

 

"We tried defending the three as best we could, switched on screens and just got a hand up," Cade Fuller said. "Once we got to about 20 points [lead] you could feel the pressure let off and it got better as the game went on, and a lot of guys made big shots for us.

 

"There's no better feeling accomplishing something we've wanted since we were little kids."

 

For the full story, see this week's (Feb. 28) Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here.