Oskaloosa’s boys’ basketball team defeated Norwalk 48-44 Friday (3/8) for the Class 3A State Championship. Senior Cole Henry finished his high school career with 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Indians to their first ever boys state basketball title. Henry tells the No Coast Network what made the difference.
“I think offensive rebounds. I had ten offensive rebounds, that helped. We weren’t hitting our shots, which we normally do. Last time when we beat Norwalk, we hit shots and tonight we weren’t, so we had to go somewhere else and we had to deviate. I’m so happy, man. It’s an amazing run.”
Senior guard Rian Yates also talked about the win.
“The game plan from the start was to play inside-out. Shots didn’t fall tonight, so we relied on the post a little more than normal. Which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. We knew shots weren’t falling, so we were forced to feed Cole and Xay (Xavier Foster). They took advantage; they dominated.”
For any team to win a championship, it takes contributions from everyone. Oskaloosa Coach Ryan Parker praised the defensive work of junior Iszak Schultz as well as two free throws Schultz made with ten seconds to play that sealed the championship.
“Iszak was great tonight, he knocked down two clutch free throws to help us win a state title. Tyler Miller was excellent on Bowen Born, as well. Xay was engaged all night. Rian handled the ball extremely well. We were engaged for 32 minutes.”
Xavier Foster added 12 points, 9 rebounds and three blocked shots. Oskaloosa ends the year with a 19-5 record and the 3A state basketball championship.
The Indians’ Cole Henry and Xavier Foster were both named to the Class 3A All-State Tournament team. And following Friday’s game, it was announced that Henry and Foster were unanimous first team picks on the Little Hawkeye Conference all-conference boys’ basketball team. Rian Yates made the second team, with the Indians’ Austin Hafner and Noah Van Veldhuizen getting honorable mention. And speaking of awards, Henry, Foster and Yates all made the All-Substate team, with Oskaloosa Coach Ryan Parker named Substate Coach of the Year.