116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Jesse Sellers never seems to change expression
Even when Sellers and his Cedar Rapids Washington teammates were looking up at a 35-21 deficit in the third quarter of Friday's night's Class 4A boys' basketball substate semifinal with Waterloo West, the sophomore guard looked composed.
And when the Warriors mounted a winning rally, Sellers was in the middle of the action. He nailed three 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter, the final one putting Washington ahead 50-48 with 20 seconds remaining. Traijan Sain then hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal a 54-51 win at the Washington gym.
The win moves Wash (14-7) into Tuesday night's substate final against top-ranked and unbeaten Cedar Falls at Waterloo East. West closes its season at 10-8.
Sellers is one of three sophomores and a freshman in the Warriors starting five. He got some playing time last season on the varsity and said he was prepared to take big shots in the fourth quarter.
'(The coaches) always tell me to be ready to shoot,” he said. 'I work on my game a lot and I love playing with the guys on this team. We have a great chemistry and they just put a whole bunch of faith in me.”
For the first 20 minutes, West controlled the game. The Wahawks used a deliberate pace and the strong post play of Amar Kuljuhovic to build their 14-point lead midway through the third period.
'We knew we had to pick up our pressure in the second half,” said Washington Coach Justin Decker. 'That started bothering them and creating some turnovers.”
Even during the comeback, Wash had a setback. The Warriors allowed a basket, then were hit with a technical foul that turned into a four-point play.
'We made a silly mistake once we got back in the game,” Decker said. 'Then they still stuck together and were able to win. You don't see too many comebacks like that in the postseason.”
Sellers and Sain, another of the sophomore starters, finished with 16 points apiece. Senior Quincy Underwood had 15.
Kuljuhovic led the Wahawks with 16. Nate Ewell added 10 off the bench.
WATERLOO WEST (51): Colby Adams 1 0-0 3, Michael Robinson, Jr. 3 2-2 9, Luke Fordyce 2 0-0 5, Mitch Fordyce 4 0-0 8, Amar Kuljuhovic 8 0-0 16, Keishaun Pendleton 0 0-0 0, Shuntavis Wortham 0 0-0 0, Sam Moore 0 0-0 0, Nate Ewell 4 1-2 10. Totals: 22 3-4 51.
CR WASHINGTON (54): Jesse Sellers 6 0-0 16, Willie Hodges 0 0-0 0, Jaden Harris 2 0-0 5, Traijan Sain 6 4-4 16, Quincy Underwood 6 3-5 15, Wyatt Cain 1 0-0 2, Henry Clymer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 7-9 54.
Halftime: Waterloo West 29, CR Washington 19. 3-point goals: Waterloo West 4 (Adams, Robinson, L. Fordyce, Ewell), CR Washington 5 (Sellers 4, Harris). Total fouls: Waterloo West 11, CR Washington 7. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: Harris.