Prep Basketball

Cedar Falls keeps rolling with 70-50 win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy

No. 10 Tigers have won 6 in a row

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Ethan Sailer (35) leaps past Cedar Falls' Jack Campbell (44) as AJ Green (4) secures a rebound during the first half of a game at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday, January 19, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Ethan Sailer (35) leaps past Cedar Falls' Jack Campbell (44) as AJ Green (4) secures a rebound during the first half of a game at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on Friday, January 19, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS – You always wonder how your team is going to respond after beating No. 1.

Cedar Falls boys’ basketball coach Ryan Schultz did. The answer turned out to be really, really well.

The Tigers led virtually the entire way Friday night in a 70-50 win at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. They officially call this a surge for Class 4A’s 10th-ranked team, which is 9-3 and on a six-game win streak.

Cedar Falls beat top-ranked Iowa City West at home Tuesday night.

“That was a big talk for us, even right after that game,” Schultz said. “We’re going to enjoy tonight, but then we need to get back at it, because this is too good of a league, too good of a team. We knew we’d have to be ready for a battle.”

The Tigers definitely were in battle mode, overwhelming Kennedy (6-6) in the paint and on the boards. The rebounding edge was a whopping 39-15, with the Cougars getting no second looks offensively and CF quite a few.

Combine that with 4-for-24 from 3-point range, and that’s a loss.

“They just really beat us up in the physical part of the game,” said Kennedy guard Derrick Diggins, who scored a team-high 21 points. “They were bigger and got a lot of offensive rebounds. Our big guys got in foul trouble. It all just kind of went downhill from there.”

Cedar Falls all-state guard AJ Green got as quiet of a 29 points as you’ll see, if scoring 29 points is ever quiet. He got into some foul trouble and sat periods of the second and third quarters.

But the Tigers go 6-foot-7, 6-5, 6-4 and 6-4 at the other four positions, and that’s a load. Logan Wolf added 16 points, Jack Campbell 10.

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“I thought it took us a quarter to get used to their physicality,” said Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. “We never blocked out and rebounded at the same time. We’d either block out, or just go try to rebound. They’re a little taller, a little more athletic at most positions, so that doesn’t work. We’ve got to do both things.”

“I was happy with our energy, especially on the defensive end,” Schultz said. “And we were on the glass tonight. That’s how you seal the deal.”

Kennedy has zero time to sulk about a third-straight defeat. The Cougars get right back after it Saturday against fourth-ranked Sioux City East as part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“That’s what we want, the big court,” Diggins said. “We can’t really dwell on this one. We’ve got to get right back at it. Just have to turn it around tomorrow.”

AT C.R. KENNEDY

CEDAR FALLS (70): Ben Gerdes 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Frericks 3-5 0-0 6, Jack Campbell 3-4 4-6 10, Logan Wolf 7-11 2-4 16, A.J. Green 10-19 4-4 29, Reese Gardner 3-4 0-0 6, Sam Gary 0-2 0-0 0, Mason Abbas 1-1 0-0 3, Tate Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-48 10-14 70.

C.R. KENNEDY (50): Jack Wetzel 2-9 0-1 4, Ethan Sailer 0-0 0-0 0, Derrick Diggins 10-18 1-3 21, Grant Griffin 0-4 0-0 0, Jackson Foley 2-6 6-6 12, Benjamin Koester 1-1 0-0 3, Trey Sheets 1-4 1-3 3, Zach Drahos 3-7 0-0 7, Cole Werling 0-1 0-0 0, Caleb Schlaak 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 8-13 50.

Halftime – Cedar Falls 32, Kennedy 25. 3-point goals – Cedar Falls 6-14 (Frericks 0-1, Green 5-10, Gary 0-2, Abbas 1-1), Kennedy 4-24 (Wetzel 0-3, Diggins 0-3, Griffin 0-3, Foley 2-5, Koester 1-1, Sheets 0-3, Drahos 1-5, Werling 0-1). Rebounds – Cedar Falls 39 (Green 8), Kennedy 15 (Diggins 4). Total fouls – Cedar Falls 17, Kennedy 14. Fouled out – Sailer. Technical foul – Gerdes. Turnovers – Cedar Falls 20, Kennedy 11.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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