Prep Basketball

Keegan Murray's flurry helps Cedar Rapids Prairie boys' basketball past Kennedy

Senior wing scores 9 straight points in late 3rd quarter, early 4th to help Hawks to 81-64 win

CEDAR RAPIDS — All the really good things Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s boys’ basketball team did, the lead the Cougars had in hopes of breaking a losing streak came to an end Friday night in a New York minute.

Rather a Keegan Murray minute.

The Cedar Rapids Prairie wing scored nine points in about that time at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth to help his team create a spread it used to win, 81-64, at a sweltering Hawks gym.

The 6-foot-8 senior finished with a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds. That included 25 points in the second half.

“I knew we had to get going, our offense especially, if we wanted to get out of here with a win,” Murray said. “I feel like getting those points in a row really sparked our team to be able to get monentum and energy and be able to go on and win the game.”

Murray took a full-court pass from teammate Harrison Cook (a Kentucky baseball commit, naturally) to lay in a shot at the third-quarter buzzer to give Prairie 52-49 lead. He splashed a 3-pointer to begin the fourth, then had back-to-back hoops in the lane, his own little personal nine-point run giving the Hawks a 59-49 lead with 7:01 left.

Kennedy never recovered.

“It was nothing we were really game-planning,” said Prairie Coach Jeremy Rickertsen. “It just kind of worked that way.”

“We let up for a second mentally, it felt like, and a good team will take advantage of that,” said Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. “They were just waiting for a little opportunity, and when they got it, there was, like, a 9-0 run before we could get anything going again. Then we didn’t dig out of that hole real well.”


Kennedy (6-9), which has lost six in a row, went off for 28 second-quarter points to assume a 36-32 halftime lead. The Cougars were the aggressors defensively, forcing 14 Prairie turnovers.

Tyler Andrews finished with 25 points for Kennedy, with Jack Wetzel adding 18. Kris Murray, Keegan’s twin brother, added 19 points for Prairie (12-3), 13 in the second half.

“We had to slow down our pace and get the ball to the hoop,” Keegan Murray said. “I felt like we did that in the second half. That was a key thing for us.”

“They kind of threw a different look at us defensively in the second quarter, running and jumping, and we really didn’t handle it. We got a little quick, turned it over, were being careless with the ball,” Rickertsen said. “We talked to them at halftime, and, to the kids’ credit, they made those adjustments. We were able to keep our composure, find open guys. Because when you run and jump and double, somebody’s got to be open. It was just a matter of keeping your head up and being strong with the ball.”


C.R. KENNEDY (64): Jack Wetzel 8-18 1-1 18, Caleb Schlaak 1-3 0-0 2, Tyler Andrews 7-24 9-11 25, Ben Koester 0-1 0-0 0, Zach Drahos 1-4 0-0 2, Michael Gallagher 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Sheets 4-16 5-6 15, Grant Griffin 0-1 0-0 0, Cole Werling 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas Vanek 1-3 0-2 2, Makhi Harris 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-71 15-20 64.

C.R. PRAIRIE (81): Gabe Burkle 3-3 7-10 13, Keegan Murray 11-18 9-9 34, Kris Murray 8-12 3-4 19, Harrison Cook 3-5 0-0 6, Logan Burg 1-4 1-3 3, Max Lampe 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett Pientok 1-2 4-5 6, Jonathan Mullins 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-44 24-31 81.

Halftime — Kennedy 36, Prairie 32. 3-point goals — Kennedy 5-28 (Wetzel 1-3, Andrews 2-9, Koester 0-1, Drahos 0-1, Sheets 2-11, Griffin 0-1, Werling 0-1, Vanek 0-1), Prairie 3-10 (Ke. Murray 3-7, Kr. Murray 0-2, Cook 0-1). Rebounds — Kennedy 29 (Wetzel 6), Prairie 42 (Ke. Murray 14). Total fouls — Kennedy 24, Prairie 20. Fouled out — Kr. Murray, Cook. Technical foul — Kennedy bench. Turnovers — Kennedy 7, Prairie 21.

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