Some losses are more costly than others.
The Ankeny boys’ basketball team is hoping that Friday’s defeat to visiting Waukee Northwest won’t be too damaging in the grand scheme of things. However, an injury to star point guard Carson Johnson could be even more detrimental than the 62-49 loss.
Johnson, the leading scorer in Class 4A with an average of 23.6 points, left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering an injury.
“He just really sliced his hand pretty significantly, and I’m not sure on what,” said Ankeny coach Brandt Carlson. “But it doesn’t sound like a very good injury moving forward, so we’ll see what he finds out.”
Johnson was held to a season-low eight points. He also had five assists and two steals before getting injured on a drive to the basket.
“I got cut on my hand, then landed on it which opened it up more,” said Johnson, who had scored a career-high 40 points in the Hawks’ 84-76 victory at Northwest last month. “We couldn’t get the bleeding to stop so I needed to go get it taken care of with stitches right away.”
All of Johnson’s points came in the first half, when the Wolves built a 29-25 lead. The ninth-ranked Hawks trailed by 38-32 midway through the third quarter before Northwest closed out the period with a 13-0 run, capped off by a 3-point goal from Luke Hart at the buzzer.
“That was a surprise. We haven’t had a struggle like that,” Carlson said of his team’s scoring drought. “Obviously, Carson and Lio (Aguirre)’s offensive output was different, and then Carson getting injured didn’t help. But our guys fought until the end. I was proud of the effort.”
Ankeny closed to within 12 points on three occasions in the fourth quarter. Luke Anderson scored eight consecutive points during one stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Rio Aguirre led the Hawks with 15 points, going 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Anderson went 3-of-4 from behind the arc and finished with 11 points, while Cash Schoolen added eight points and four rebounds.
Landon Davis racked up 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks for Northwest, while Grant Tigges had 16 points, 10 boards and six assists. Hart added 14 points and six assists.
Davis and Tigges went a combined 14-of-16 from the field for the Wolves, who shot 64.3 percent overall (27-of-42) and outrebounded Ankeny by a 26-18 margin.
“They played awesome,” Carlson said. “They’re a lot different team than back in December, and that’s a tribute to them. It’s tough when you get punched in the mouth, and we didn’t respond as well as I would have liked. Offensively, it was kind of a tough night for us again, although at the end of the day defensively it wasn’t as bad as I thought. But when you can’t score, it’s tough.”
Northwest improved to 5-7 in the CIML Conference and 9-7 overall, while Ankeny’s records dropped to 7-4 and 10-5. The Hawks fell into a third-place tie with No. 5 Ankeny Centennial.
Ankeny will host another conference game against No. 4 Valley on Tuesday. The Tigers are 9-3 in the league and 11-3 overall.