Prep Basketball

Mick McCurry's 3-point play with 3 seconds left lifts Washington over Kennedy in overtime

CEDAR RAPIDS — Another time, another gym, another official, and it might have been a charge. But Friday night, at Cedar Rapids Washington, with this official, it was a block.

And a Warriors win.

Mick McCurry’s three-point play with three seconds left in overtime gave Wash a 61-58 win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a terrific boys’ basketball thriller.

The 6-foot-6 senior wing initially caught the basketball in the corner, faked a shot, then drove the lane. Kennedy’s Tyler Andrews stepped in to try and draw the offensive foul.

McCurry’s shot fell through, Andrews was called for the block, McCurry made the ensuing free throw and fittingly deflected an inbounds pass from Kennedy near midcourt to end it. He finished with 19 points.

“They came out in the 1-3-1 zone, and what was open was the corner,” he said. “They all collapsed, and, at that point, it’s just a basketball play. That’s it. The ball ended up in my hands, and I tried to do what I could do. I saw (Kennedy’s) Trey (Sheets) coming out to try and block the 3, so I pump faked, and drove the middle. Tried to jump stop. Fortunately, it did go in.”

And he got the call.

“And I got the call,” McCurry said.

“It’s a 50-50 thing, probably,” said Washington Coach Justin Decker. “I’ve been on the other side of it. I understand. I thought Kennedy played really hard, I have a lot respect for what (Coach) Jon (McKowen) does and how hard those kids play. It feels really good, obviously, to be on this side of it for once.”

Kennedy (2-2) led most of the game, by as many as eight points in the third quarter, only to have Washington (3-2) rally. An Imanuel Rowland 3-pointer with 1:30 left gave the Warriors a 58-52 lead and presumably the game, only to have Kennedy tie it with back-to-back forced turnovers, two free-throw misses by Washington and six free-throw makes by the Cougars.

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Wash’s Campbell Mitvalsky was called for an offensive foul with 6.6 seconds left in regulation for hooking his defender on a drive. A desperation half-court heave at the buzzer by the Cougars didn’t come close.

Each team missed its initial shot in overtime, with Washington working about 3:30 off the clock before calling a timeout with 16 seconds to go. The Warriors kept working for a good shot but never got one and didn’t force a bad one.

“We weren’t stalling,” Decker said. “I was just ‘Hey, we’re working for layups. Keep cutting.’ Or maybe we get fouled. If we cut hard enough, they’re going to grab you, and we get fouled.”

Jack Wetzel scored a game-high 22 points for Kennedy, which won a double-overtime game Tuesday night at Waterloo East. Tyler Andrews added 10 points but all came in the first half, as foul trouble bedeviled him and helped allow Washington’s comeback.

Ross Snitker added 11 points for Washington and Jamar Thurmon 10. The Warriors rebounded from a loss Tuesday night to Waterloo West, a game they led by 14 points late in the third quarter.

“We really struggled getting into our sets,” McKowen said. “This was the loudest gym we’ve played in this year, and, if you’re running a set and have one guy not running it, you’re in trouble. That took us out of our flow, and we just weren’t able to get back into it offensively.”

He was asked about the deciding blocking call.

“We always talk about don’t put yourself into positions for a human call (to decide things),” he said. “So we don’t think about that too much. We think about the things we can control.”

AT CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON

C.R. KENNEDY (58): Ben Koester 1-2 0-2 2, Tyler Andrews 4-9 0-0 10, Jack Wetzel 7-14 6-6 22, Trey Sheets 0-5 1-2 1, Zach Drahos 1-4 6-6 8, Michael Gallagher 3-4 0-0 9, Grant Griffin 1-1 0-0 2, Caleb Schlaak 0-3 4-4 4, Cole Werling 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas Vanek 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Gloede 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 17-20 58.

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C.R. WASHINGTON (61): Mick McCurry 7-15 3-4 19, Campbell Mitvalsky 4-11 1-1 9, Jamar Thurmon 2-7 6-8 10, Imanuel Rowland 1-4 2-2 5, Ross Snitker 3-8 3-6 11, Joe McKinstry 1-3 0-0 3, Brayden Wright 1-2 0-0 2, Kaden Bowie 1-1 0-0 2, Riley Pankey 0-0 0-0 0, Jacques Plummer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 15-21 61.

Halftime — Kennedy 28, Washington 22. End of Regulation — 58-58. 3-point goals — Kennedy 8-21 (Andrews 2-3, Wetzel 2-9, Sheets 0-3, Drahos 0-1, Gallagher 3-4, Schlaak 0-1), Washington 6-17 (McCurry 2-7, Thurmon 0-1, Rowland 1-3, Snitker 2-3, McKinstry 1-2, Wright 0-1). Rebounds — Kennedy 28 (Wetzel 6), Washington 31 (Snitker 8). Total fouls — Kennedy 19, Washington 18. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Kennedy 14, Washington 14.

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

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