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NOT ENOUGH

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Iowa Central’s Jeremiah Hurst shoots around Northeast during the Tritons Great Western Shootout on Friday. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net

The Iowa Central men have shown Chad Helle that they can answer the call this year.

However, what Helle is still looking for is that final drive from his team to come out on top.

After falling behind by as many as 22 here Friday night, the Tritons once again rallied before coming up short vs. Northeast, 91-88.

The game concluded the first of two days of four games of the Great Western Shootout inside Hodges Fieldhouse.

Julian Barr scored 20 points and Jeremiah Hurst added 17 for Iowa Central (2-6 overall), which tied the game at 88-all with just 20 seconds left when Barr knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the night.

“We get to that hump and we just can’t get over it,” Helle said. “It happened when we played at Northeast. It happened against Iowa Western. We fight and scratch and claw to get back into a game, but we can’t make that final push.

“But that is what you get when you are playing freshmen. These kids have to learn how to win games. That’s the hardest part of college basketball.”

Emmette Page, who scored a game-high 30 points, was fouled with just two seconds left on a 3-point attempt. He made two of three and Asher Scavella grabbed the loose ball, sinking one of his two shots from the line.

Page hit five of Northeast’s 12 triples and also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Daniel Akuei scored 13, Ben Moxness had 11 and Scavella grabbed 11 boards.

“It comes down to the little things,” Helle said. “Two inbounds passes that we didn’t execute. A technical foul on our bench. A play here and a play there. That is the difference at this level between winning and losing.”

Hurst scored 15 of his points over the final 20 minutes and Barr accounted for 11 as Iowa Central outscored Northeast, 52-42 during that time.

Ayris Abdelnassar and Andrew Gibb each scored 12 for the Tritons, with Abdelnassar grabbing six rebounds and six assists. Hurst also had eight rebounds.

In the earlier game, third-ranked North Iowa Area topped Central-Columbus, 111-82. Trey Sampson had a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Deundra Roberson scored 24 for the Trojans.

Nathan Frost had 19 and both Tre’vion Crawford and Dwight Glover had 15 each for Central-Columbus.

NIACC faces Northeast at 2 p.m. and Iowa Central meets Central-Columbus at 6 p.m.

NORTHEAST 91, IOWA CENTRAL 88

Iowa Central — Ayris Abdelnassar 5-12 2-2 12, Andrew Gibb 4-7 3-3 12, Javonte Keck 3-4 1-2 8, Marquis Henry 2-7 0-0 5, D’Monte Gaw 3-6 2-3 8, Simon Brathwaite 2-2 2-2 6, Jeremiah Hurst 8-8 2-2 17, Nathan Martinek 0-0 0-0 0, Julian Barr 6-10 4-4 20. Totals: 33-56 15-18 88.

Northeast — Emmette Page 8-19 9-11 30, Zack James 4-5 1-1 10, Michael Anderson 1-1 2-2 4, Daniel Akuei 4-8 3-4 13, Asher Scavella 3-9 2-5 8, Merrix Denn 1-2 0-0 3, Oyiti Amum 2-8 2-2 8, Deont’ta Tinker 2-4 0-0 4, Ben Moxness 3-9 4-4 11, Abdul Wurie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-65 23-29 91.

Halftime score: Northeast led 49-36. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 7-19 (Gibb, Keck, Henry, Barr 4), Northeast 12-32 (Page 5, James, Akuei 2, Denn, Amum 2, Moxness). Total rebounds: Iowa Central 32, Northeast 33. Assists: Iowa Central 9, Northeast 10, Turnovers: Iowa Central 21, Northeast 16. Blocked shots: Iowa Central 3, Northeast 1. Steals: Iowa Central 2, Northeast 7.