Cedar Rapids Kennedy, West Delaware drop state tournament consolation games

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DES MOINES — They didn’t win a state championship, but this was a great season for the Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars.

Kennedy lost the Class 4A state tournament consolation game Saturday afternoon to Sioux City East, 58-56. Jack Peterson made a pair of free throws with five seconds left to provide the difference, with a game-winning, running 3-point attempt by Kennedy’s Drake Brewster banking around and out at the buzzer.

The Cougars finished with a 19-7 record and fourth-place finish. Considering their lack of size and lack of a true star player, Coach Jon McKowen got everything he could have out of this team.

“Absolutely,” McKowen agreed. “More so, off the floor. The dedication they had off the floor exceeded everything ... This group got to the weekend here. Another huge step in the right direction for our program. We’ll always look back and think ‘Why didn’t we make a few more shots?’ But I thought our effort, our defense was awesome all weekend. Our energy was good, our attitudes were good. I was so proud of the way this group stayed together through adversity.”

Kennedy has been to the state tournament in three of McKowen’s four seasons at the school. This club was not playing particularly well in January, but turned things around.

The guard court looks solid for next season, as starters Derrick Diggins and Jackson Foley return. Ki Jenkins was a key player off the bench, with freshman Jack Wetzel getting some time after Christmas, too.

A lot of quality seniors graduate, including leading scorer Drake Brewster and leading rebounder Matt Berst. Senior Malik Haynes led Kennedy with 21 points Saturday.

“When you stay a weekend places, we got compliments all over the city here, whether we were out to eat or in the hotel, about the way our kids acted,” McKowen said. “That’s why we win games. High-character kids win close games. They stayed together and trusted the process. That’s what we’re proud with these kids about.”

West Delaware lost the Class 3A consolation game Saturday afternoon, 48-44, to Waverly-Shell Rock. That was a matchup many people felt would come in the championship game, as WD was ranked first and Waverly second.

Waverly-Shell Rock senior center Austin Phyfe concluded his fine prep career with a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds. He made 7 of 11 shots from the field, including going 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

It appears the University of Northern Iowa got a steal when it signed the versatile big man.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Waverly-Shell Rock Coach Nate Steege, when asked if he felt Phyfe was the best player in the state. “I don’t think there’s a guy who dominates a game like he can in all facets. He can shoot it from the perimeter, when he can get to the block, he can do some things there. He even handles the ball well for us in transition. When you see a guy who is 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds who can do that, I think that makes him the most versatile player in the state.”

A bit of a disappointing ending for a West Delaware team that still had a tremendous season. The Hawks finished 25-2, both of their losses coming in Des Moines.

Center Derek Krogmann capped a terrific sophomore season with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. He and guard Tyler Kelley return next season, though WD graduates four-year starters Ryan Trainer and John Nagel, as well as starting guard Kyle Wright.

“These guys battled, they are warriors,” said West Delaware Coach Matt Uthoff. “I couldn’t be more proud of my guys.”

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AT DES MOINES

WEST DELAWARE (44): Ryan Trainer 0-1 2-2 2, Tyler Kelley 1-6 2-2 4, Kyle Wright 0-5 0-0 0, Derek Krogmann 4-9 3-3 11, John Nagel 5-17 8-10 18, John Nagel 5-17 8-10 18, Marshall McCarty 1-1 0-0 3, Troy Monoghan 3-7 0-1 6. Totals 14-46 15-18 25.

WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK (48); John Stensland 3-5 4-4 12, Jackson Little 0-3 0-0 0, Luke Velky 1-3 0-0 2, Jacob Bahe 2-3 0-0 4, Austin Phyfe 7-11 3-4 20, Braden Holmquist 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Seward 0-3 3-4 3, Joey McNally 1-1 1-2 3, Brandon Hinders 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Downing 1-1 0-0 2, Mosai Newsom 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 16-35 11-14 48.

Halftime — Waverly-Shell Rock 28, Waverly-Shell Rock 26. 3-point goals — West Delaware 1-7 (Wright 0-5, McCarty 1-1, Monoghan 0-1), Waverly-Shell Rock 5-15 (Stensland 2-4, Little 0-3, Velky 0-1, Phyfe 3-4, Holmquist 0-1, Seward 0-2). Rebounds — West Delaware 25 (Krogmann 10), Waverly-Shell Rock 27 (Phyfe 15). Total fouls — West Delaware 15, Waverly-Shell Rock 18. Fouled out — None. Assists — West Delaware 4 (Krogmann 2), Waverly-Shell Rock 11 (Little 4). Turnovers — West Delaware 14, Waverly-Shell Rock 22.

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AT DES MOINES

SIOUX CITY EAST (58): Aidan Vanderloo 3-9 6-6 13, Jailen Billings 4-13 0-0 10, Cole Taylor 2-5 0-0 6, Van Rees 8-12 0-0 16, Sam Hildahl 0-0 0-0 0, Brody Berthusen 0-0 0-0 0, Jaleque Dunson 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Peterson 4-6 2-2 13, Steve Siebersma 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-46 8-8 58.

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (56): Malik Haynes 6-14 5-6 21, Drake Brewster 2-9 4-6 8, Matt Berst 1-4 1-2 3, Derrick Diggins 3-8 2-2 10, Jackson Foley 4-8 0-0 12, Nick Duehr 1-4 0-0 2, Isaiah Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Ki Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Wetzel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 12-16 56.

Halftime — Sioux City East 29, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 20. 3-point goals — Sioux City East 8-19 (Vanderloo 1-5, Billings 2-5, Taylor 2-5, Peterson 3-4), Cedar Rapids Kennedy 10-31 (Haynes 4-11, Brewster 0-3, Diggins 2-6, Foley 4-8, Duehr 0-3). Rebounds — Sioux City East 30 (Hildahl 8), Cedar Rapids Kennedy 28 (Berst 8). Total fouls — Sioux City East 14, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 13. Fouled out — Rees. Assists — Sioux City East 14 (Billings 4), Cedar Rapids Kennedy 12 (Foley 3). Turnovers — Sioux City East 11, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 7.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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