Council Bluffs, IA -- Both #20 Iowa Western and Northwest Kansas Tech entered the championship game of the Iowa Western Men's Basketball Classic with 10 wins on the relatively young season; something had to give and in the end Iowa Western prevailed over the visiting Mavericks 84-73.
Iowa Western closed the first half with a 17-7 run sparked by second chance offensive rebound put backs by Adalberto Diaz, Isaiah Wade, and Jevon Smith to lead 44-31 heading to the locker room. In the opening moments of the second half the Reivers would extend their lead to 17 points. The game remained a 14 to 12 point advantage for the home team throughout the second frame until late in the half when the NJCAA D1 program from Goodland, KS began to make a charge. After two possessions where the Mavericks had possession of the ball with a chance to take the lead; the Reivers' defense was up to the task and after a Patrick Dembley three pointer and Shadeed Shabazz made all three of his free throws after being fouled from behind the arch, ultimately Northwest was never able to claim the lead in the second half as Iowa Western pushed the lead out once again in the game's final few minutes.
In a game that saw Northwestern Tech collect 5 technical fouls, the Reivers outscored the Mavericks 40-22 from the foul line, including Wade's 10/12, Dembley's 10/13, and Smith's 8/10 shooting from the charity stripe. Iowa Western also owned a decisive 21 to 6 point advantage on points off turnovers as the Reivers took good care of the basketball, only turned the ball over 9 times in the contest.
With the win, the Reivers won their classic going 2-0 on the weekend and moving to 11-1 on the season. Northwest Kansas Tech (10-3) and State Fair (9-3) finished the weekend in Council Bluffs 1-1, while Sunrise Christian Academy, who lost in the 5:00pm consolation game by 3 to State Fair, went 0-2 for the classic.