Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Caleb Schlaak scores career-high 30 points in win over Washington

Cougars have won 6 of last 8 meetings with Warriors

Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Caleb Schlaak (23) drives the ball up the court at a boys' basketball game with Cedar Rapids Wash
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Caleb Schlaak (23) drives the ball up the court at a boys’ basketball game with Cedar Rapids Washington High School earlier this season. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Caleb Schlaak has found something he likes against rival Cedar Rapids Washington.

After posting 25 points against the Warriors in a 17-point home win Dec. 20, the 6-foot-7 Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior stood even taller Thursday night.

“We just really worked it in,” Schlaak said after scoring a career-high 30 points for the Cougars in a 67-55 victory over the Warriors in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Washington High School. “My teammates were looking for me in the post. Just fronting and it was right there. Just put the ball right there in front of me, got the rebounds, been working on my rebounding in practice all week long. Just got the rebounds, put them in around the hoop.”

Schlaak averaged 7.9 points per game last season, which ranked fourth on the team. After the three players ahead of him moved on from the program, Schlaak has accepted the role of scoring leader (team-high 16.1 points per game) this year and has flourished.

“He is really progressing,” Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen said. “He is tough to guard because he shoots the ball well. He can put it on the floor and as you can see tonight, he can finish around the hoop. He is really starting to work for position before he catches the ball. If you work hard before you catch it, you get great position. That is your scoring. Now all you have got to do is make the catch and put it in. Just maturing in his game and playing without the ball.”

Schlaak also led the Cougars with eight rebounds, a facet of his game he is diligently working to improve in order to become a more versatile force around the basket.

“I have been getting in the weight room all summer long,” Schlaak said. “Getting stronger, so you don’t get bumped around. Finish around the rim. Makes it a lot easier.”

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Senior Brandtley Koske added 13 points for the Cougars (6-3, 4-2 MVC), while freshman Kenzie Reed (12 points) reached double figures in scoring for the first time in his short varsity career.

Jamar Thurmon paced Washington (2-7, 0-5) with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Boys’ basketball

AT CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 67, Cedar Rapids Washington 55

C.R. KENNEDY (67): Makhi Harris 0 0-0 0, Paul Cory 0 1-2 1, Braden Dolphin 4 0-0 9, Josh White 0 0-0 0, Brandtley Koske 6 0-1 13, Max White 0 0-0 0, Cole Hrubes 1 0-0 2, Caleb Schlaak 10 10-14 30, Kenzie Reed 2 6-6 12, Totals 23 17-23 67.

C.R. WASHINGTON (55): Zaren Ross-Carr 1 2-2 4, Jesse Sellers 1 0-0 3, Riley Pankey 4 0-1 11, Jaden Harris 0 0-0 0, Traijan Sain 0 0-0 0, Quincy Underwood 4 0-0 10, Campbell Mitvalsky 3 4-4 10, Henry Clymer 0 2-7 2, Jamar Thurmon 4 6-7 15, Totals 17 14-21 55.

C.R. Kennedy 12 20 13 22—67

C.R. Washington 11 13 15 17—55

Three-point goals — C.R. Kennedy 4 (Reed 4, Dolphin 1, Koske 1); C.R. Washington 7 (Pankey 3, Underwood 2, Sellers 1, Thurmon 1). Rebounds — C.R. Kennedy 21 (Schlaak 8); C.R. Washington 28 (Thurmon 10). Fouled out — None.

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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