Prep Basketball

Alburnett holds off Cedar Valley Christian in unexpectedly wild 1A district game

Levi Telecky scores 33 for Huskies in 71-59 loss

Alburnett head coach Jeff Christopherson shouts to his team during a state tournament game last season at Wells Fargo Ar
Alburnett head coach Jeff Christopherson shouts to his team during a state tournament game last season at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (The Gazette)

ALBURNETT — If there is one thing Coach Jeff Christopherson’s Alburnett boys’ basketball team learned during its run to the 2019 Class 1A title game, it was to never take anything for granted.

“That was a big part of our story last year,” he said following the Pirates’ wild 71-59 Class 1A district quarterfinal win Thursday night over Cedar Valley Christian. “We knew they would keep coming at us. They had a tournament game under their belt and we had been off for a week.”

The win advanced Alburnett (14-7) to next Tuesday’s district semifinal against Wapsie Valley. Coach John Grimm’s Cedar Valley Christian team finishes 5-18.

Most thought Thursday’s game would be a repeat of the Pirates’ 61-22 win in the regular season.

It was far from a repeat. The Huskies jumped out to a 16-13 lead midway through the second quarter and many in the Alburnett crowd were nervous.

“We never really could get into a flow,” Christopherson said. “You have to give Cedar Valley Christian a lot of credit for that. They came ready to play.”

That said, it appeared the Pirates had taken control after putting together a 24-0 run to end the first half and start the second. In fact, Alburnett led 41-21 starting the fourth quarter.

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At that point, Cedar Valley Christian sophomore guard Levi Telecky took off. He scored 27 of his game-high 33 points in the final eight minutes and almost single-handedly brought the Huskies back.

“We knew he was their top offensive weapon,” Christopherson said of Telecky. “He got loose a couple times, but there were also a couple times he just hit some great shots and I thought we had him covered pretty well.”

Despite Telecky’s heroics, the Huskies could cut the gap lower than six. Senior Austin Huber had a solid game for Alburnett. He hit five 3-point baskets and finished with 23 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Junior Shane Neighbor added 20 points while Reed Stallman finished with 16.

“Austin hit some clutch free throws and Neighbor hit some too,” Christopherson said. “We can take this game and learn from it. We’ll have to be more consistent against Wapsie Valley. They are a very solid team.”

Zach Slamma added 11 points for Cedar Valley Christian, which scored 38 points in the fourth quarter.

In the opener here, senior Kiks Rosengarten scored a game-high 32 points, including four in the extra session as Wapsie Valley beat Gladbrook-Reinbeck 75-67 in overtime.

Gunner Meyer finished with 19 while junior Blayde Bellis chipped in with 10 for Wapsie Valley (15-7).

Freshman William Kiburis led Gladbrook-Reinbeck (13-9) with 26 points. Tyler Tscherter added 20 for the Rebels.

Alburnett 71, Cedar Valley Christian 59

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CEDAR VALLEY CHRISTIAN (59): Nati Kejella 3 0-0 8, Levi Telecky 12 6-10 33, Drew Grimm 0 0-0 0, Zach Slamma 4 2-2 11, Jonathan Holt 2 3-5 7, Joshua Jackson 0 0-0 0, Dakota Jordan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 11-17 59.

ALBURNETT (71): Reed Stallman 4 8-12 16, Austin Huber 5 8-8 23, Shane Neighbor 8 4-6 20, Blake Sperfslage 0 3-4 4, Grant Soukup 1 0-0 3, Kale Rose 1 3-4 6, Andrew Ossman 0 0-0 0, Gavin Soukup 0 0-0 0, Jordan Balderston 0 0-0 0, Cael Neighbor 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 26-34 71.

Halftime - Alburnett 27, CVC 16, 3-point goals - CVC 6 (L. Telecky 3, Kejella 2, Slamma1). Alburnett 7 (Huber 5, Soukup 1, Rose 1). Total fouls - CVC 25, Alburnett 20. Fouled out - Kejella, Slamma. Technical fouls: none

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