It wasn’t an easy game and the Belmond-Klemme Broncos knew that going in, but they found a way to continually stay with one of the four best boys basketball teams in the Iowa Class 1A. The Dunkerton Raiders took an early lead and never relinquished it as the Broncos tried to figure out how to get around the 6 foot 11 inch Kory Kuenstling who is the teams leading scorer with 558 points on the season.
Late in the second quarter, the Broncos made a run of it and came within eight points, but the Raiders took advantage of a pair of quick turnovers. Trevor Jacobsen of the Raiders was able to capitalize with two straight three pointers and the Raiders ended up ahead 30-17 by halftime.
As the second half opened, the Raiders picked up where they left off with Jacobsen converting a field goal and Kuenstling added a pair of shots before the Broncos found the bucket on the other end. Christianson sunk a shot just outside the paint to get the scoring started for the Broncos. The teams exchanged buckets the better part of the third quarter before the it came to an end. In the waning minutes, the Broncos mounted a charge at the Raiders and got the game back to within eight again.
The fourth quarter was lively and the Broncos tried to seize momentum. However, Kuenstling in the middle and Jacobsen hitting effectively from the outside seemed to halt the Broncos, who couldn’t capitalize on offensive rebounds and second chances. As the final minute ticked off the clock, the Broncos had a chance as they got to within six, but Court Christianson fouled putting Jacobsen on the line. He converted and the Broncos stepped up the chances on the Raiders end. After hitting with :30 seconds left on the clock, the Broncos tried to steal the ball only to foul Jacobsen again. As before, he converted the attempts and the Raiders called time out with five seconds left. They did not even return to the floor as the Broncos inbounded and scored. It was too little, too late and the Broncos fell 53-49.
Now the Broncos turn their attention to the Eagles of Keoto. The Eagles were no match for the West Lyon Wildcats who easily cruised to the title match on Friday night with a 61-40 victory. The Broncos will try to down the Eagles beginning at 10am on KIOW. Orin Harris has the call for the third place battle.