Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Josh White sparks rousing boys' basketball substate comeback

White drills three 3-point baskets during 21-4 closing surge for Cougars

Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars
Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars

CEDAR RAPIDS — With six minutes left — potentially in his high school basketball career — and his team unable to find any consistent offensive footing, Josh White turned sharpshooter.

The Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior shook off a couple of early missed shots and drilled three pivotal 3-point baskets in a two-minute span in the fourth quarter that helped the Cougars turn a four-point deficit into a six-point lead and sprint away from crosstown rival Cedar Rapids Washington, 59-46, in a Class 4A boys’ basketball substate quarterfinal game Monday night at Kennedy High School.

“It is all my coaches and my teammates,” White said. “They are always trying to keep my confidence up. Missed a couple earlier, but I was able to step up and see the rim.”

Kennedy (14-8) trailed by as many as eight points in the second quarter at 27-19, and as late as the closing minute of the third quarter was still staring at a 40-34 deficit. Two minutes into the final frame, a White 3-pointer pulled the Cougars within a point, 42-41. With the game knotted at 46-46, he drained two more, the second of which from 25 feet away.

“That is where I like to shoot some of them,” White said with a laugh.

White is now tied with junior reserve Cole Hrubes with 30 3-point baskets this season for the Cougars, with none more important than the trio that fueled a 21-4 explosion that closed the game and ended the Warriors’ season at 4-18.

“It started with the defensive side,” Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen said. “When our defensive intensity came up and our on-ball pressure was creating some loose balls — we didn’t always get steals — but I think that really relaxes us on offense. And you could kind of tell we took a breath.”

White and junior Caleb Schlaak led Kennedy with 15 points apiece, while Paul Cory chipped in eight.

Quincy Underwood scored 15 points for Washington.

The Cougars will visit No. 2 North Scott on Friday in a 4A substate semifinal game.

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“They are 20-1 for a reason,” McKowen said of North Scott. “We scrimmaged them early, too, and (North Scott senior) Ty Anderson is unique. He is going to UNI to play basketball and they just have really, really tough guards that don’t make any mistakes. We will have to play good basketball, but at this time of year you have to.”

Boys’ basketball

CLASS 4A SUBSTATE QUARTERFINAL

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 59, Cedar Rapids Washington 46

C.R. WASHINGTON (46): Jabari Dobbs 0 0-0 0, Jesse Sellers 1 0-0 3, Wyatt Cain 3 0-0 7, Jaden Harris 1 0-1 2, Traijan Sain 3 0-0 7, Quincy Underwood 6 2-2 15, Campbell Mitvalsky 2 0-0 4, Henry Clymer 2 0-0 4, Jamar Thurmon 1 2-2 4 19 4-5 46.

C.R. KENNEDY (59): Makhi Harris 1 0-0 3, Paul Cory 2 4-4 8, Brayden Dolphin 1 0-0 2, Josh White 5 1-2 15, Brandtley Koske 2 0-0 5, Max White 0 0-0 0, Cole Hrubes 2 0-0 6, Caleb Schlaak 7 0-1 15, Kenzie Reed 2 0-2 5, 22 5-9 59.

C.R. Washington 15 15 10 6—46

C.R. Kennedy 15 10 11 23—59

Three-point goals — C.R. Washington 4 (Cain 1, Sain 1, Sellers 1, Underwood 1); C.R. Kennedy 10 (J. White 4, Hrubes 2, Harris 1, Koske 1, Reed 1, Schlaak 1). Total fouls — C.R. Washington 14, C.R. Kennedy 11. Fouled out — None.

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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