Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Prairie boys' basketball off to its best start in 5 years

Four players score in double figures as Hawks down Kennedy, 62-59

Cedar Rapids Prairie Hawks
Cedar Rapids Prairie Hawks

CEDAR RAPIDS — Jeremy Rickertsen is not surprised that his team is 3-0 for the first time in five years.

The sixth-year Cedar Rapids Prairie boys’ basketball coach knows more than anyone how much his guys put into their preparation.

“They put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Rickertsen said after the Hawks defeated Cedar Rapids Kennedy 62-59 in a non-conference game Friday night at Prairie High School. “We did team camps with this group and they have been that kind of core, core guys. I knew that there was potential there and obviously we have a long way to go.”

Prairie has a strong mix of upperclassmen and youth and all are contributing to the team’s early success. Three players — sophomore Gabe Burkle (11.0 points per game), senior Jonathan Mullins (11.3) and sophomore Jake Walter (12.3) — possess a double-figure scoring average and true to their versatility, four scored at least 10 against Kennedy.

Walter led all scorers with 15 points, Mullins added 14, junior Cade Stoffer scored 13 and Burkle chipped in 10.

“It is great,” Burkle said. “It makes the game easier. We play as a team. It is not one on one ever. It is just always a team effort for us.”

The first half featured Kennedy bursts of 9-0 and 11-0, plus a 12-2 surge by Prairie only to produce a 35-35 halftime score. In the second half, the Hawks switched their defensive alignment and limited the Cougars to five third-quarter points.

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“We identified all their shooters because they were shooting pretty well,” Burkle said. “Got out on them. We changed it up in the fourth quarter, went with a 1-3-1 (defense) and that seemed to kind of throw them off.”

Prairie led by as many as nine points late in the fourth quarter. Senior Max Lampe helped Prairie grab 11 more rebounds than Kennedy by leading all players with 12.

Senior Josh White led Kennedy (1-1) with 12 points.

Kennedy hosts Waterloo East on Tuesday, while Prairie visits Linn-Mar.

Boys’ basketball

AT CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE

Cedar Rapids Prairie 62, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 59

C.R. KENNEDY (59): Makhi Harris 0 2-2 2, Paul Cory 2 0-0 5, Brayden Dolphin 3 3-3 10, Josh White 4 1-1 12, Brandtley Koske 1 2-4 4, Max White 0 0-0 0, Cole Hrubes 3 0-0 9, Caleb Schlaak 3 2-2 9, Kenzie Reed 3 0-0 8, Connor Colby 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 10-14 59.

C.R. PRAIRIE (62): Caden Stoffer 4 2-2 13, Jackson Nove 0 0-0 0, Jake Walter 6 3-4 15, Jonathan Mullins 6 1-2 14, Elijah Ward 0 0-0 0, Garrett Pientok 1 0-0 2, Max Lampe 3 0-0 6, Caleb Miller 1 0-0 2, Hank Wagemester 0 0-0 0, Gabe Burkle 1 8-8 10, Totals 22 14-16 62.

C.R. Kennedy 17 18 5 19—59

C.R. Prairie 20 15 11 16—62

Three-point goals — C.R. Kennedy 11 (Hrubes 3, White 3, Reed 2, Cory 1, Dolphin 1, Schlaak 1), C.R. Prairie 4 (Stoffer 3, Mullins 1). Rebounds — C.R. Kennedy 14 (Koske 5), C.R. Prairie 25 (Lampe 12). Total fouls — C.R. Kennedy 18, C.R. Prairie 14. Fouled out — None.

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

 

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