Cedar Rapids Xavier doesn't allow a field goal in 1st half, routs Waverly-Shell Rock, 54-27

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CEDAR RAPIDS — That was a first. At least for Matt Mims.

Likely for everyone else, too.

“I don’t think so,” the Cedar Rapids Xavier guard said, after his club battered Waverly-Shell Rock, 54-27, Saturday afternoon at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

Mims was asked if he’s ever been involved in a basketball game where the opponent didn’t have a field goal for an entire half. That’s what happened to WSR here.

Zero makes on only six attempts, thanks to 17 turnovers. All three Go-Hawks points came via free throws.

Xavier led at the break, 24-3. Yowzers.

“As a team, this whole week, we really focused on defense,” Mims said. “We knew we could do a lot of things better. I thought our team defense was incredible. I thought that was what really gave us energy throughout the game. That’s what sparked everything.”

Xavier (2-0) got into grills and denied anything Waverly-Shell Rock (0-2) wanted to do. Play defense like this, and the Saints will be marching toward their third-straight Class 3A state championship.

“Really happy with the guys’ urgency today,” said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann. “They’re buying in so far on the defensive end. If we can be consistent and really make people earn their baskets, that will bode well for us here as we get into the conference season.”

This was a second win in a row to start the season over an opponent that also made the state tournament a year ago. Mims outscored WSR by himself, splashing seven 3-pointers in a 30-point game.

And he didn’t play much of the fourth quarter because of the spread. The South Dakota State signee is an outstanding player.

“I thought Matt was great,” Luehrsmann said. “He was just looking to be aggressive at all times, whether it was making a play for his teammate or making a play for himself. When we get him in space, and other guys step up and make plays, it makes him awfully hard to contain.”

Jackson Joens, Xavier’s other three-year starter, suffered through foul troubles and finished with just five points. He wasn’t needed.

“I don’t know if our defense was that great, or if they were just a little off,” Luehrsmann said. “I know they’ve got some guys that are banged up and coming back from football. It takes time when you’ve got multi-sport guys. We went through that last year early. They’ll be a great team at the end of the year. (Coach) Nate (Steege) will do a good job of bringing them along.”

AT C.R. XAVIER

WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK (27): Jacob Bahe 1-1 1-1 3, Luke Velky 1-6 0-0 3, Jordan Downing 0-0 0-0 0, Braden Holmquist 1-1 0-0 2, Jack Seward 2-4 0-0 5, Mosai Newsom 0-2 0-0 0, Josh Halverson 0-2 0-0 0, Trey Angel 0-2 1-2 1, Jordan Gayer 0-0 0-0 0, Jedd Paulsen 0-0 3-4 3, Ethan Reichert 0-3 1-2 1, Brandon Hinders 0-1 0-0 0, Carson Kallenberger 1-2 6-9 8, William Dix 0-0 1-2 1, Brandon Zeien 0-1 0-0 0, Kurby Vowels 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 6-25 13-20 27.

C.R. XAVIER (54): Jackson Joens 2-4 0-0 5, Aaron Bartels 3-4 0-0 6, Quinn Schulte 2-6 0-1 5, Matt Mims 10-16 3-6 30, Gabe Lux 0-3 0-0 0, Matt Ropp 0-3 1-2 1, Kyle Moeder 0-2 0-0 0, Matt Jordebrek 1-5 0-2 2, Davis Wagner 0-0 2-2 2, Josh Volk 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Keating 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Scott 1-2 1-2 4, Jacob Hines 0-0 0-0 0, Bryson Bastian 0-0 0-0 0, Kevin Nelson 0-1 0-0 0. 19-46 7-15 54.

Halftime — Xavier 24, Waverly-Shell Rock 3. 3-point goals — Waverly-Shell Rock 2-10 (Velky 1-2, Seward 1-2, Halverson 0-2, Angel 0-1, Reichert 0-2, Zeien 0-1), Xavier 9-18 (Joens 1-2, Mims 7-10, Lux 0-2, Ropp 0-2, Scott 1-2). Rebounds — Waverly-Shell Rock 14 (Bahe, Halverson 2), Xavier 35 (Mims 7). Total fouls — Waverly-Shell Rock 16, Xavier 24. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Waverly-Shell Rock 24, Xavier 19.

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

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