Denver upsets undefeated #6 D-NH, 61-55
By Sean Kiefer
Images provided by The Scrappy Trib

After a close loss at Aplington-Parkersburg the previous Friday, the Denver men had a fire behind their playing against Dike-New Hartford on January 14. The Wolverines came into the varsity basketball match-up undefeated, with quality wins over Aplington-Parkersburg and West Fork. In previous years, Dike-New Hartford has come out victorious against Denver, however, that would change.

The game started out with both teams neck-and-neck, the Denver men and crowd’s excitement maintaining a fast, exciting pace. The Cyclones used early momentum to help them in the first quarter, with Kyler Matthias leading the Cyclones early with inside shots. By the end of the first quarter, the Cyclones were up 11-8 and continued the momentum heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter was very tight and both teams kept up with each other. The Cyclones maintained their slim lead until the Wolverines had a momentum-changing 9-0 run led by Dane Fuller and Derek Kinney with their dynamic three-point and inside shot combo. By halftime, the Wolverines were up 29-26 and had the Cyclones re-evaluating in their locker room.

Coming out of halftime, the Wolverines increased their lead into the double digits from AJ Wegener and Parker Kiewiet. The Cyclones’ Kyler Matthias would step up greatly and end the third quarter for the Cyclones with a 7-0 run he scored all by himself.

By the fourth quarter, the teams were tied again and the momentum had swung back in Denver’s favor. The Cyclones would grow and maintain a lead heading into the final minutes with clutch free throws down the stretch from Bryce Phelps.

In the final minutes, the Cyclones were ahead 59-53 and had the advantage, since the Wolverines were forced to foul in order to keep themselves in the game. The Cyclones made all of their free throws and got rebounds off missed shots, leading to their upset win of 61-55.
In a post-game interview with Cyclone men’s varsity basketball Coach Kyle Matthias, he said: “We started making some better basketball decisions tonight and I’m really proud of our guys to come out and bring it.”

Matthias added, “Hats off to Bryce (Phelps) who came in clutch down the stretch with his free throws — that helped us out a lot.”

The Cyclones increased their record to 7-4 and are 3rd in the NICL East Conference, while the Wolverines decreased their record to 10-1, but maintain their 1st place spot in NICL East.
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