Humboldt back at state

AMES – The Humboldt boys basketball team turned their season around once the second season began.

The Wildcats (16-7 overall) had three straight losses heading into tournament play, but they caught fire in the substate round and advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.

Humboldt knocked off eighth-ranked Carroll (18-5) 70-62 here on Monday night.

The Wildcats will now face top-seeded and No. 3 Harlan (22-2) on Tuesday, March 11, at 3:30 p.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena.

Against the Tigers, Humboldt saw four players reach double figures. Junior Jaxon Heinz led the way with 20 points, while classmates Austin Zylstra and Brady Ross had 15 each. Sophomore Thomas Orness chipped in 11.

The Wildcats led at the end of every quarter and took an eight point lead into the final eight minutes.

Humboldt built a 59-44 advantage with 5:12 remaining. The Tigers trimmed the deficit to 59-55 with 3:20 remaining, but the Wildcats were able to hold Carroll off and advance.

Humboldt made eight triples, including three pivotal treys from Orness.

Wildcat head coach Jake Mohling, reaches the state tournament in his first season as head coach at the varsity level.