BOONE — Perry saw a seven-point lead in the second quarter turn into an eight-point deficit in the third quarter and was unable to recover, falling to host Boone, 64-60, in their Class 3A District 3 Final Thursday.
Perry (12-10) started strongly and led, 15-12, after eight minutes of play. The Bluejays opened a 27-20 lead in the second period, but the second of two first-half 3-pointers from Trevor Van Pelt cut the Toreador deficit to 27-23 at the half.
Van Pelt had 11 points in the game, but his nine in the first half — all of which came at key moments as Perry appeared to be slipping away — helped keep Boone (18-5) within striking range at the break.
Senior Kyle Nevitt scored 12 first half points and Rashon Ivory 10, helping to make up for the absence of power forward Janier Puente, who spent all but a few minutes of the first two quarters on the bench with two fouls.
Puente was immediately double or triple-teamed each time he touched the ball, but that helped create open spaces for Nevitt and Ivory, who did not disappoint.
Boone guard Tanner Schminke and 6-7 forward John Herrick came alive in the third quarter, leading a 19-8 run that lifted the hosts into a 42-35 lead when the frame ended.
Perry managed to slightly trim their deficit to five on three occasions, and remained in range of victory, down 57-52, with two minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the Jays, Toreador guard Ethan Lewis tormented them down the stretch, as he had in Boone’s 50-49 win at Perry Feb. 7. Lewis sank two 3-pointers and was 7-of-8 at the foul line in the fourth quarter for all 13 of his points.
Boone finished the game 18-of-25 at the foul line. Perry had hit just 20-of-42 at the stripe in two regular season losses to the Toreadors, but the Bluejays sank 15-of-20 Thursday.
Perry moved the score to 60-56 with less than a minute to play, but could not overcome the final gap, missing three strongly contested 3-point shots in the final minute as the season slipped away.
Schminke had 14 points for Boone, with Lewis adding 13, Herrick 12, Van Pelt 11 and Justin Apsengren eight, with four points from Gabe Krafcisin and two from Lane Losh completing the scoring for the hosts.
Boone advances to Monday’s Substate 2 Final in Johnston. They will face DC-G, a 67-55 winner over visiting Ballard Thursday. Monday’s game will start at 7 p.m.
Ivory led all scorers with 20 points for Perry, with Nevitt adding 19. Connor Nielsen and Puente provided nine points apiece, with three points from Brandon Kenyon accounting for the Bluejay offense. Drew Levan and Reece Dunlap also played, but did not score.
The loss ends the prep cage careers of five Perry seniors: Nevitt, Puente, Grant Eklund, Dane McCarty and Noah Wilkening. Perry was a combined 55-39 during their four years, winning the Raccoon River Conference in 2016 and reaching the state quarterfinals.