Future looks bright for Warhawks

West Fork players, coaches, managers and cheerleaders pose with the Class 1A state fourth-place trophy after the consolation game on Thursday, March 12 in Des Moines. (Kristi Nixon/Hampton Chronicle)

DES MOINES -- West Fork made a furious rally to come within three, but fell short in the Class 1A state consolation final, 78-72, against Montezuma on Thursday, March 12 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Kayden Ames had a big offensive burst in the second half to score 22 points after just six in the first half against the Braves (25-3).

He was one of seven players returning for the Warhawks (24-4) in 2020-21 and said that he'll start working toward next season 'tomorrow.'

"I thought we came out and competed real hard," West Fork coach Frank Schnoes said. "I thought both teams played hard for a consolation game. I played a few more kids than I normally do, now looking back, I think I should have played those guys a little bit more in the playoffs..

"Proud of how we came back and got it down to a one-possession game there near the end. To their credit, they made their free throws down the stretch. Unfortunately, the free throws 27 (made) to five (made) is a glaring difference. We actually out-shot them from beyond the three-point line and they are known as a three-point shooting team. A little disappointed that they went to the line a little bit more than we did. We out-rebounded them, apparently. Basically, the game was lost on the free throw line. They didn't miss many; give them credit for that."

The full story appears in the March 19 print editions of the Sheffield Press and Pioneer Enterprise.