116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — He's been around so long, as it were, it's difficult to think of Kenzie Reed being just a sophomore.
'He played 20-whatever games last year, and then he's doing that again this year. So it actually kind of feels like he's a senior,' Cedar Rapids Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen said, after Reed helped his team brush past ninth-ranked Ottumwa, 60-43, Friday night in a Class 4A boys' basketball substate semifinal. 'He's got a senior amount of games in, so we don't really look at him as a sophomore. But he is. That gets impressive when you sit back and look at it.'
Reed was so impressive here as his Cougars advanced within one game of the state tournament. Kennedy (15-7) plays a substate final Tuesday night against Johnston (9-4) at Marshalltown.
The young point guard went off for a team-high 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Four of those came in the first half against Ottumwa's extended 2-3 zone.
'Honestly, somebody had to step up,' Reed said. 'I just figured why not me? It's getting into a rhythm. After you see the first couple go down, just keep shooting.'
It's rare when a freshman is called upon to be a lead guard for a 4A team, but that's what McKowen did last season. Reed held his own, for sure, and has only gotten better as a sophomore.
And he's got two more years left to play.
'I think I have really improved as a player,' Reed said. 'My basketball IQ is getting higher every game I play. I'm turning the ball over less, too, and scoring a little bit more.'
Kennedy put the game away in the fourth quarter, extending a precarious five-point lead. The Cougars' aggressive pressure defense created 19 turnovers and held Ottumwa (16-6) to just four second-half field goals.
The Cougars locked down Ottumwa's leading scorer Trae Swartz, holding him to a lone 3-pointer. He came in averaging 19.3 points per game.
'I thought it was just like keep doing what we're doing. Try to wear them out,' McKowen said. 'I really thought with two minutes left in the second quarter, they got tired. They had kids starting to ask out of the game. We wanted to try to get them to that point, try and spread their offense out a little bit. Then we not just started making a few shots, but we offensive rebounded better, which I think was a difference.'
Caleb Schlaak, Kennedy's best player, added 12 points, 10 rebounds and a handful of blocked shots. Junior guard Jack Schissel was huge off the bench for the Cougars with nine points, including five at the start of the fourth quarter to help his team extend its lead.
'It was just seeing the defense,' Schissel said.
Adam Greiner had 20 points to lead Ottumwa. Cole Hrubes was a third Kennedy player in double-figures scoring with 11.
OTTUMWA (43): Joe Hammer 3-8 4-4 13, Trae Swartz 1-7 0-0 3, Gatlin Menninga 1-5 2-2 4, Kie Glosser 1-5 0-0 2, Adam Greiner 7-9 5-6 20, Matt Graeve 0-1 1-2 1, Armani Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Blessing Gbambo 0-0 0-0 0, Ayden Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Vasconez 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Campbell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-35 12-14 43.
C.R. KENNEDY (60): Cole Hrubes 4-10 0-0 11, Caleb Schlaak 4-9 4-6 12, Colby Dolphin 2-3 4-5 9, Kenzie Reed 5-9 2-4 17, Max White 0-1 0-2 0, Jackson Bowman 1-1 0-2 2, Avante Ballinger 0-4 0-0 0, Jack Schissel 4-8 0-0 9, Nathan Koester 0-0 0-0 0, Connor Jeffords 0-0 0-0 0, Isaiah Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell Schares 0-0 0-0 0, Brenden Linde 0-0 0-0 0, Deven Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Jazan Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Hayden Klett 0-0 0-0 0, Carter Newhouse 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 10-19 60.
Halftime — C.R. Kennedy 27, Ottumwa 22. 3-point goals — Ottumwa 5-19 (Hammer 3-8, Swartz 1-4, Menninga 0-1, Glosser 0-3, Greiner 1-3), C.R. Kennedy 10-25 (Hrubes 3-6, Schlaak 0-2, Dolphin 1-2, Reed 5-9, White 0-1, Ballinger 0-2, Schissel 1-3). Rebounds — Ottumwa 23 (Menninga 6), C.R. Kennedy 29 (Schlaak 10). Total fouls — Ottumwa 18, C.R. Kennedy 15. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — White, Hrubes, Swartz. Turnovers — Ottumwa 19, C.R. Kennedy 5.
Comments: (319) 398-8259; email@example.com