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Alburnett’s early shooting lifts it past Cascade at Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout
Pirates ride a 20-2 start to a 64-37 win as part of 7-game Saturday event
CEDAR RAPIDS — There has been a bit of speculation about which school, if any, might end up being the 16th member of the River Valley Conference.
There are 15 now, but that means uneven divisions and scheduling headaches. Sixteen would seem to be a perfect, even number.
So let’s throw potential additions out there for fun, beginning with Alburnett.
It’s a school with an enrollment that seems to be growing for various reasons. It is roughly the same size as the majority of schools in the RVC and in the league’s geographic footprint.
And it has good athletics, first and foremost, including boys’ basketball. The Pirates played a near-perfect first quarter Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at Coe College and vanquished Cascade, 64-37.
That’s the second good team from the River Valley Conference that Alburnett has beaten this season by a large margin. Dyersville Beckman was the first.
“We all just wanted it really bad,” said Alburnett junior guard Jordan Caton. “We knew Cascade was a good team defensively and offensively. We knew what we had to do. Come out with a great start and have good shooting like we always do.”
There’s good shooting, then there’s scalding shooting. Alburnett (11-1), ranked seventh in Class 2A, hit its first six shots en route to a 20-2 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
A 12-0 start included all five Pirates starters having points. Cascade (9-4) is traditionally known for a 2-3 zone defense that’s tough as heck for opponents to find shots.
That was not the case here. Alburnett moved the basketball expertly and hit the open shots that generated.
“A lot of us were making a lot of shots,” said Alburnett’s Braydon Osborn. “I think we just kept on having that confidence to keep shooting it and just having fun out there. It was great that we were shooting that well.
“Just finding the open zone. Just relax and take what they give you.”
Caton and Osborn ended with 15 points apiece for Alburnett, which is a longtime member of the Tri-Rivers Conference, of course. Mason Neighbor added 12 and Adam Neighbor 10.
The Pirates didn’t feel they played especially well Friday night in a win over Edgewood-Colesburg, so getting right back at it a few hours later was a boon.
“No, we didn’t play very well defensively. And even offensively we weren’t hitting a lot of shots,” Osborn said. “It felt good just to flush it and move on to this game.”
“We knew we couldn’t play like that again against a team like this,” Caton said.
Cole McDermott had 13 points to lead Cascade. The Cougars had won five in a row coming in here.
Seven games were played Saturday in this annual event. Things kicked off with Durant’s 58-45 win Saturday morning over Mediapolis, then Class 1A No. 6 Dunkerton got past Central City, 57-40.
Another ranked 1A team, No. 10 Bellevue Marquette, was impressive in doubling up Don Bosco, 62-31. Linn-Mar came from behind late to edge Cedar Rapids Prairie, 57-54, in a game between Mississippi Valley Conference teams that actually was considered a non-conference game that doesn’t count in the MVC standings.
Ames beat Class 4A No. 10 Pleasant Valley in a defensive struggle, 33-31. Iowa City Liberty closed out the Shootout with a 77-49 win over Fairfield.
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