CEDAR RAPIDS — Everyone wanted in.
Not everyone, but enough schools were interested in being part of the upcoming Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout boys’ basketball event at the U.S. Cellular Center that a second date was added. Truth be told, there could have been more than that.
“Our main focus is this year, but we’ve definitely talked about moving forward, and what we’re going to do next year. There have been some ideas thrown around,” said Shootout organizer Tyler Cleveland. “If we wanted to, we probably could have done a third one this year. There were still people asking about it, even after we made that second date.”
The Shootout originally was set for Saturday, Jan. 20, but that turned out to be just the second leg. Because of demand from schools, Cleveland booked the Cellular Center for Saturday, Jan. 13, as well.
There are six games that day, seven on the 20th, featuring local schools like Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Linn-Mar and Marion, and schools well out of the area (Perry and Sioux City East). Highly regarded Iowa Hawkeyes recruit Joe Wieskamp and his Muscatine team will play on the 13th.
Girls’ basketball always has had its Rivalry Saturday in town, and now boys’ basketball finally has its own local tournament. It is a big one.
“I think everyone has welcomed it with open arms,” Cleveland said. “Our expectations for it are pretty high, with the quality of teams and games that we have. That’s a huge plus. The matchups are going to be great, we’ve got some of the bigger names. The coaches are excited. It’s something different that hasn’t been done in Cedar Rapids for awhile.”
Cleveland said he first discussed setting up an event with Cedar Rapids Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. Cleveland runs the Iowa Mavericks AAU program, and his day job is working for BSN Sports, selling uniforms and apparel to Iowa schools, so he had built-in connections and decided to run with the idea.
Tickets are $10 for each date, with fans able to leave the arena and come back without being charged twice. Tipton and Northeast start things on the 13th, followed by, in order, North Linn and Maquoketa Valley (noon), Benton Community and Center Point-Urbana (1:45 p.m.), Iowa City High and Muscatine (3:30 p.m.), Xavier and Perry (5:15 p.m.) and Jefferson and Marion (7 p.m.).
Xavier and Solon tip things off on the 20th at 8:30 a.m., followed by Cascade and Osage (10:15 a.m.), Mount Pleasant and Charles City (noon), Waverly-Shell Rock and West Delaware (1:45 p.m.), Linn-Mar and Western Dubuque (3:30 p.m.), Kennedy and Sioux City East (5:15 p.m.) and Prairie and Iowa City West (7 p.m.).
That is seven teams currently ranked by The Gazette in their respective classes.
AROUND THE HOOP
— West Branch junior guard Beau Cornwell scored his 1,000th-career point in his team’s win Tuesday night against Durant. Cornwell is averaging 24 per game this season for the Bears (5-5). He leads the state in shots attempted (207), with South Winneshiek’s Levi Lukes second (181).
— Iowa Hawkeyes signee Joe Wieskamp leads the state with a 35.5 scoring average and is second in rebounds at 15.3. The 6-foot-6 Muscatine senior is shooting 59.9 percent from the field, the rest of his team a combined 33 percent. Wieskamp has scored 284 points this season, the rest of his team a combined 214. The Muskies have a 6-2 record.
— Guard Tyreke Locure poured in 56 points for Des Moines North in a win just prior to the holiday break over St. Joseph (Mo.) Lafayette. That’s the best single-game performance in Iowa this season. Locure’s 31.3 scoring average ranks fourth in the state, behind Wieskamp, Newton’s Garrett Sturtz (33.4) and Clear Lake’s Zach Lester (32.0). Waterloo West’s Carondis Harris-Anderson is fifth at 27.3 per game.
— Tri-County’s Cameron Krumm has the best rebounding game of the season thus far in the state, a whopping 28 in a mid-December win over English Valleys.
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