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Boys' basketball notebook: 4 games for the price of 1 at Springville
CEDAR RAPIDS — The happiest guy Monday night at Springville Middle School was Jeff Christopherson.
It's not often during a prep basketball season that a head coach gets a chance to go out and scout a future opponent. There aren't many playing dates to begin with, so you almost always have games at the same time.
But the Alburnett boys' coach got a rare opportunity to get a sneak peak at an upcoming foe. More than one upcoming foe.
Springville hosted Elkader Central in the school's main gym. Literally right next door in the practice gym, Cedar Valley Christian was playing English Valleys.
'We play three of these teams,' Christopherson said. 'We don't have Cedar Valley Christian until the very last game, so we'll get a good look at them later. But we've got Springville and Elkader Central coming up.'
The unique doubleheader actually was a unique quadruple-header, as the schools' girls' teams began the night. Springville and CVC picked up sweeps.
The night seemed to go off without a hitch, though Springville Athletics Director Joe Martin may have needed a couple of Tylenol at its conclusion.
'The first five minutes was the most chaotic because you had all these people coming in at once,' he said. 'Providing locker rooms was a little bit of an issue. Thankfully we had a couple of teachers who were nice enough to let us use their classrooms. Honestly, parking was probably the biggest issue we had.'
Cedar Valley Christian, located in southeast Cedar Rapids, does not have a suitable gymnasium, so it rents Springville's. The schools are in the same conference (Tri-Rivers), thus scheduling normally is not an issue.
When CVC is on the road, Springville is home, and vice versa. Cedar Valley Christian AD Stephanie Hodge even has her own set of gym keys to use.
But you've got to play some non-conference games, too, which forced this Monday night hoops-fest. It'll happen again in early February.
'This was not an issue whatsoever,' said Cedar Valley Christian boys' head coach Craig Foote. 'We've played in all different kinds of environments, all kinds of different gyms.'
The practice gym at Springville is regulation size, though the playing surface is SportCourt and not wood. There is plenty of bleacher seating on one side, a scoreboard and even a working public-address system.
How close in proximity were the two gymnasiums? You could stand in a certain spot between them and simultaneously view both games.
'The people of Springville have been very accomodating,' Foote said. 'They have done a lot for our program and for our conference.'
'It really helps our concessions,' Martin said. 'We actually debated playing four games back to back to back to back, but the logistics just don't work.'
AROUND THE HOOP
• Ryan Luehrsmann became Cedar Rapids Xavier's winningest boys' basketball coach when his Saints beat Waterloo West, 58-52, Tuesday night at Waterloo. In his fifth season, Luehrsmann has 65 career victories, one more than the legendary Dick Breitbach, who coached from 2001 to 2007. 'Been blessed with a great staff and players,' Luehrsmann. 'Honored to be mentioned with Coach Breitbach.'
• Muscatine junior Joe Wieskamp scored 50 points in his team's 84-44 win Tuesday night over Burlington. The 6-foot-4 wing was 9 for 12 on 3-point attempts. He is averaging 32.6 points per game this season and his 1,068 career points already is a school record.
• Friday's best game in the area is probably West Delaware at Mount Vernon. The Hawks are 5-0 and ranked second by The Gazette in Class 3A. Mount Vernon also is 5-0, somewhat of a surprise considering the Mustangs graduated standout players and multiple-year starters Tommy Hook and Connor Herrmann.
• The Metro's leading scorer through the first two-plus weeks of the season is Cedar Rapids Prairie junior guard Griff Clark (20.4). Xavier's Matthew Mims is second at 18.3, Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Derrick Diggins third at 18.0.