Boys Basketball

Timely shots help Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys' basketball hold off Washington, 60-54

Boys' basketball: Sophomore Jack Wetzel led the Cougars (3-2, 2-1 MVC) with a season-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers

CEDAR RAPIDS — Just when it seemed as if Cedar Rapids Washington was all the way back, the Kennedy Cougars always had an answer.

Kennedy sophomore forward Jack Wetzel scored a season-high 25 points, while senior guard Derrick Diggins added 17 as the Cougars held off Washington, 60-54, in a Mississippi Valley Conference boys’ basketball game Friday night at Kennedy High School.

“We stayed together as a team, we worked well together,” Wetzel said. “We were able to knock down shots when we needed to.”

Wetzel posted 18 points in the first half, including four of his five 3-pointers, as Kennedy (3-2, 2-1 MVC) led by as many as 18 and appeared poised to blow the game open.

Washington (1-4, 0-3 MVC) opened the second half with a 12-4 burst to get within 36-33, but a 3-pointer from Diggins halted the rally.

“We just try to always keep the intensity high,” Diggins said. “We don’t want teams to go on runs. We want to go on runs at our tempo.”

Another Washington scoring flurry again cut its deficit to three at 43-40 early in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Diggins and Wetzel snuffed out the last-gasp charge.

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“A couple guys hit some big shots,” Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen said. “We shared the ball really well, we got great shots tonight. They switched three different defenses and none of them really surprised us. The kids did a really great job of prepping.”

Washington senior guard Drew Christensen scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half, which included four 3-pointers. Junior forward Michael McCurry added 13 points, including nine in the second half, while senior center Nolan Potter posted 10.

“Wash is good,” McKowen said. “They’re really big and physical and they’ve got kids that can shoot the ball, so they’re tough to guard.”

Kennedy senior center Ethan Sailer reached double figures in scoring for the first time this season with 10 points.

Both teams play Saturday. Kennedy is at Fairfield, while Washington visits Waterloo East.

AT CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 60, Cedar Rapids Washington 54

C.R. WASHINGTON (54): Ross Snitker 2 0-0 4, Drew Christensen 5 0-0 14, Nolan Potter 4 2-2 10, Campbell Mitvalsky 3 0-0 6, Max Campbell 1 3-4 5, Collin Westmoreland 0 0-0 0, Keaton Woods 0 0-0 0, Mick McCurry 3 6-6 13, Joe McKinstry 0 0-0 0, Chandlir Haug 1 0-0 2, Grant Knutson 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 11-14 54.

C.R. KENNEDY (60): Jackson Foley 0 2-2 2, Grant Griffin 0 2-2 2, Derrick Diggins 6 2-2 17, Jack Wetzel 8 4-6 25, Ethan Sailer 6 2-2 14, Zach Drahos 0 0-0 0, Mike Watkins 0 0-2 0, Cole Werling 0 0-0 0, Ben Koester 0 0-0 0, Noah Gloede 0 0-0 0, Totals 20 12-16 60.

C.R. Washington 5 16 14 19—54

C.R. Kennedy 14 18 11 17—60

Halftime — Kennedy, 32-21. Three-point goals — Washington 5 (Christensen 4, McCurry 1), Kennedy 8 (Wetzel 5, Diggins 3). Total fouls — Washington 19, Kennedy 15. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

 

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