GHV boys earn State Tourney trip

GHV players hold up their state qualifier banner following the Cards 47-43 win over Osage.

Rick Ermer photo

            GHV’s near-perfect basketball season will continue thanks to the Cardinals’ 47 – 43 win over Osage on Saturday. The Cards found themselves in familiar territory in a rematch of last year’s Class 2A substate game against the Green Devils. A two-point loss to Osage during the first week of this season was the only blemish on GHV’s record on the year and the Cards desperately wanted to avenge that buzzer-beating heartbreaker. This year’s substate contest appeared to be almost identical to a year ago, but a late change in location moved the game from Mason City to Clear Lake. The different surroundings may have allowed the Cards to put last season’s loss out of their minds and GHV turned the tables on their rivals from the TIC East Division.

            The Cardinals’ path to the substate game was realistically a little more difficult than anticipated. After last week’s district semi-final blow out over Eagle Grove the Cards faced Clarion-Goldfield in Tuesday’s district final at Forest City. Clarion entered the game with an unimpressive record of 12 – 11 but the Cowboys were hoping to pull off their second straight upset of the tournament series. There were some tense minutes for Cardinal fans during the first half of Tuesday’s game where an upset did not seem out of the question.

            Both teams got off to a slow start with GHV edging to a 16 – 9 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Cards appeared to put the game away in the early minutes of the second period, expanding their lead to 22 – 9 but the momentum quickly made a 180 degree turn. A combination of missed shots and missed free throws during the final four minutes of the half allowed the Cowboys to actually find themselves leading 25 – 24 with 30 seconds on the clock. Ryan Meyers’ three-pointer just before intermission gave GHV a 27 – 25 lead at the break.

Read the complete story in the March 1 Leader.