Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys' basketball gets its top-5 win in overtime tussle

Cougars outlast No. 5 Dubuque Hempstead, 62-59

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Paul Cory (3) watches the ball in the second half at a boys' basketball game earlier this season.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Paul Cory (3) watches the ball in the second half at a boys' basketball game earlier this season. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Jon McKowen knew he had a good team

The Cedar Rapids Kennedy boys’ basketball coach was just waiting for proof that his team believed.

“As coaches, we talked about that,” McKowen said after the Cougars held off Class 4A No. 5 Dubuque Hempstead in overtime, 62-59, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game Tuesday night at Kennedy High School. “We can see it because we have been around a ton of years that this is a really good basketball team. They have a lot of pieces and their energy level is good. Their attitudes are great. But we haven’t really had that top-10 win. That gives you confidence, there is no doubt. You can feel good about practice, you can feel good about your record. But when you beat a really good team, that does more for your confidence than anything else.”

Kennedy (7-3, 5-2 MVC) jumped out early by scoring the first nine points of the contest and adding a 13-0 burst that bled into the second quarter and ended with its largest lead, 25-11. Hempstead threatened to overtake the Cougars with surges of 9-0 in the first quarter, 16-2 in the second, 11-3 in the third and 8-0 in the fourth, but Kennedy always had an answer.

“We tried to play how we practice,” Kennedy senior Paul Cory said. “Every day we go at each other with a lot of energy. We just tried to play like that.”

Cory led Kennedy with a season-high 17 points, and his slashing drive to the basket on a pass from freshman Kenzie Reed was converted for an easy layup that gave the Cougars the lead for good, 58-56, with just over two minutes left in overtime.

“I saw an open lane,” Cory said. “Just ran the play.”

Brandtley Koske chipped in 11 points for the Cougars. Junior Caleb Schlaak also scored 11 and salted the game away for good with a crucial defensive rebound and two free throws with 11.7 seconds left in overtime.

MVC scoring leader Michael Duax lead all scorers with 29 points for Hempstead (9-3, 5-3).

Boys’ basketball


Cedar Rapids Kennedy 62, Class 4A No. 5 Dubuque Hempstead 59 (OT)


DUBUQUE HEMPSTEAD (59): Elijah Herrion 0 0-0 0, Cameron Davis 2 0-0 6, Kellen Strohmeyer 2 1-2 5, Michael Duax 10 6-8 29, Jack Sabers 4 1-1 9, Jamari Smith 2 0-0 6, Nicholas Kaesbauer 2 0-0 4, Totals 22 8-11 59.

C.R. KENNEDY (62): Makhi Harris 1 0-0 3, Paul Cory 7 0-0 17, Brayden Dolphin 0 2-2 2, Josh White 1 0-0 2, Brandtley Koske 4 2-2 11, Max White 0 0-0 0, Cole Hrubes 2 2-2 8, Caleb Schlaak 4 2-2 11, Kenzie Reed 3 1-2 8, Totals 22 9-10

Dubuque Hempstead 11 16 16 11 5—59

C.R. Kennedy 20 12 17 5 8—62

Three-point goals — Dubuque Hempstead 7 (Duax 3, Davis 2, Smith 2); C.R. Kennedy 9 (Cory 3, Hrubes 2, Harris 1, Koske 1, Reed 1, Schlaak 1). Rebounds — Dubuque Hempstead 31 (Duax 9); C.R. Kennedy 24 (Koske 5). Total fouls — Dubuque Hempstead 13, C.R. Kennedy 11. Fouled out — None.



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