DES MOINES, IOWA (KCAU) – A trio of Siouxland teams entered Semifinal Thursday of the IHSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament in Des Moines with hopes of a trip to the title game. Top-seeded Central Lyon and three-seed Western Christian came away with hard fought wins to secure an all-Siouxland Class 2A State Championship game, while six-seed Bishop Heelan saw an incredible season come to a close in the Class 3A State semis.

The top-ranked Lions took on four-seed Pella Christian in a rematch of last season’s State semifinal.

The Eagles came out soaring but Central Lyon had a consistent answer, leading by one after the first quarter. Pella Christian rattled off a big second quarter, using the three ball to take a 26-21 lead into halftime.

The Lions stayed true to their mission out of the locker room. Big plays from Reece Vander Zee, who had a team-high 19 points, would help the Lions pick up steam heading into the fourth quarter, ultimately giving them back the lead.

Pella Christian though made things interesting in the final 30 seconds, cutting the deficit to one point with a chance to pull off the upset on a last-second buzzer beater that was offline, allowing Central Lyon to escape with the 56-55 win for back-to-back trips to the 2A title game.

“Good teams find a way to win and we found a way to win tonight,’ Central Lyon junior forward Reece Vander Zee said. “It was a great team win and we’re on to the next round that’s all that matters. It really shows our experience and this team we just know how to go through adversity. We’ve been going through adversity this year and last year. We know what it takes to get to this point and now we just have got to finish it out.”

In the other 2A State semifinal, Western Christian rode a decorated legacy into their matchup with two-seed Roland-Story.

The Wolfpack led by 1 at the end of the first quarter, staying in front with big buckets from Tyler Mantel and Tate VanRegenmorter to go up 34-32 at halftime.

Western Christian maintained that firepower the final two quarters. The Hull crew would outscore the Norsemen 45-29 behind a game-high 23 points from Kaden VanRegenmorter, giving them the 79-61 upset and an all-Siouxland Class 2A title game appearance with Central Lyon.

“I mean not a lot of people thought we’re going to win this game,” Western Christian senior forward Tate VanRegenmorter said. “We came in with the mentality that we’re just going to give it our all and see what happens and it felt great to win this one.”

“We just want one more game,” Western Christian head coach Derek Keizer said. “So yeah, obviously, motivation was a good key for us in practice yesterday. But, I think it’s more of these guys just want to be together for another day and another opportunity to play and compete on the floor.”

Our final game of the day saw Bishop Heelan aiming to carry the momentum from their quarterfinal upset against two-seed Cedar Rapids Xavier.

The Saints would have the biggest answers in the early going, moving up 15-8 after the first quarter. Yet, the Crusaders stayed in it trailing just 6 points into halftime.

Carter Kuehl helped them stay diligent in the second half with a career-high 26 points including four three-pointers. But it was the Saints who stayed in front the rest of the way through, handing Heelan the 72-59 loss to end their terrific season at 19-7. Nevertheless, the team has cherished every step of the journey.

“I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else,” Bishop Heelan senior guard Carter Kuehl said. “I mean, those are lifelong buddies. I love them as basketball players, but I love them more as friends.”

“It was a great experience to have as a team,” Bishop Heelan junior forward Matt Noll said. “I love my seniors and we had a great time up here.”

Central Lyon and Western Christian will meet for the 2A State crown on Friday at 3:00pm.