DES MOINES — Western Christian was missing its second leading scorer and two of its top reserves Thursday afternoon. 

What seemed like an opening for Camanche's boys basketball team turned out to just invigorate its opponent. 

The top-ranked Wolfpack dominated every phase of the Class 2A state semifinal to dismantle the Indians 94-44 at Wells Fargo Arena. 

"They were pretty possessed today," Camanche coach Josh Davis said. "You could see it in their eyes."

Starter Tyson Kooima (14.0 ppg.) and subs Ben Granstra and Carter Broek did not dress for Western Christian following a violation of school policy earlier this week. 

It didn't matter. 

Western Christian (23-2) exploded for 53 first-half points. It made 19 of 29 field goals (65.5 percent) and compiled a 28-6 advantage in the paint. 

"We were all playing with emotion, playing with heart and had a chip on our shoulder," senior Jesse Jansma said after a game-high 27 points. "When we play with a chip on our shoulder, we play really well and it is tough to stop us.

"I think having something to play for really came into play today."

Sixth-ranked Camanche (23-3) hung close for the opening four minutes, trailing 10-9, before Western Christian went on a 17-3 surge. 

Jansma triggered it with back-to-back 3-pointers. 

The lead was a dozen after the opening quarter and swelled to 28 points by intermission. 

"We talked a lot about emotional balance," said Western Christian coach Bill Harmsen, whose squad seeks to defend its state title at 8:05 p.m. Friday against Pella Christian. "We started the game on a real high, and I think we put Camanche on its heels a little bit."

The game became continuous clock (35-point rule) in the third quarter, and the 50-point margin of victory was the largest in a state tournament game since Western Christian clobbered Clarinda by 56 in 1991. 

"Today was the best team we've played outside of Linn-Mar (two summers ago) when (Jordan) Bohannon torched us," Davis said. "Their strength and speed was too much for us."

Camanche, which came into the tournament with the most 3-pointers made in the state, was 4 of 22 from beyond the arc in the first half and 7 of 34 for the game. 

"We were just missing open shots," senior Dakota Soenksen said. "They let us shoot. Shots just weren't falling."

That has been a theme for the Indians in this state tournament. Camanche is 10 of 52 (19.2 percent) from the 3-point line in two games. 

Those misses led to easy runouts for Western Christian, which had 18 fastbreak points to zero for a Camanche team that predicates itself on playing uptempo.

"They were definitely faster than any team that we've played," Davis said. 

Ben Gesink tallied 24 points and Jacob Vis, who entered the starting lineup, finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. The Wolfpack out-rebounded the Indians 43-19. 

Dylan Hundley was the only Camanche player in double figures with 12 points and eight rebounds. Dakota and Cameron Soenksen were a collective 4 of 24 shooting for just 14 points, half their season average. 

Camanche has a chance to finish its season with a win. The Indians play Carroll Kuemper (23-3) in the third-place game at 11:45 a.m. Friday.

"Today was tough, but we'll be ready to bounce back as a team and end the season with a win," Hundley said. 

Davis has little concern about how his team rebounds after such a lopsided defeat. It'll be the final game for six seniors, half of those being starters.

"It won't be hard," Davis said. "They're just a carefree, good-nature bunch of guys that are very, very competitive and don't want to leave what happened on the floor as their lasting memory out here.

"I think they'll be focused. We have a bunch of seniors who are real proud and want to do it the right way."

Western Christian 94, Camanche 44

CAMANCHE (23-3) — Dev Patel 1-6 2-3 5, Dakota Soenksen 2-13 2-3 8, Cameron Soenksen 2-11 0-0 6, Dylan Hundley 3-6 5-8 12, David Gonzalez 1-2 0-0 2, Cade Borrison 0-0 0-0 0, Evan Hall 2-3 0-0 5, Ethan Schaffer 0-0 0-0 0, Tre Austin 1-4 0-0 2, Jaxon White 0-1 0-0 0, Chase Grim 0-0 0-0 0, Carson Seeser 0-1 0-0 0, Caleb Delzell 0-0 0-0 0, Calvin Ottens 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 14-49 9-14 44. 

WESTERN CHRISTIAN (23-2) — Caleb Harmsen 3-9 2-2 9, Ben Gesink 7-11 10-13 24, Jesse Jansma 10-15 2-3 27, Jacob Vis 7-7 1-1 16, Layne Miller 2-3 0-2 4, Harry Steele 1-3 0-0 3, Dawson Feenstra 1-1 0-0 2, Colyn Oostenink 1-3 2-2 4, Clay Van Tol 1-2 0-0 3, Austin Haak 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 34-56 17-23 94.


Western Christian;27;26;24;17;--;94

3-point goals -- Camanche 7-34 (D. Soenksen 2-11, C. Soenksen 2-8, Patel 1-5, Hundley 1-3, Hall 1-2, Austin 0-3, White 0-1, Seeser 0-1); Western Christian 9-20 (Jansma 5-7, Harmsen 1-7, Vis 1-1, Steele 1-1, Van Tol 1-1, Gesink 0-1, Oostenink 0-1, Haak 0-1). Rebounds -- Camanche 19 (Hundley 8); Western Christian 43 (Vis 15, Gesink 9). Assists -- Camanche 11 (D. Soenksen 3, Hundley 3); Western Christian 20 (Gesink 8). Steals -- Camanche 3 (Hundely 2); Western Christian 7 (Harmsen 2, Gesink 2). Blocks -- Camanche 1 (C. Soenksen); Western Christian 0. Turnovers -- Camanche 12, Western Christian 8. Total fouls -- Camanche 14, Western Christian 14. Fouled out -- none.


Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.