Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Prairie girls' basketball shows it can defend too in win over Kennedy

No. 7 Hawks get 55 combined points from D-I commits in 68-58 victory

Prairie's Sidney McCrea (2) goes to the free throw line after drawing a Muscatine Muskies foul during the second quarter
Prairie’s Sidney McCrea (2) goes to the free throw line after drawing a Muscatine Muskies foul during the second quarter of their high school basketball game at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Prairie girls’ basketball team is known for its prolific pair of scorers with Division I college basketball futures.

Friday night against Cedar Rapids Kennedy, the Class 5A No. 7 Hawks displayed a glimpse of their defensive capabilities.

“I think we are capable of it at times,” Prairie Coach Josh Bentley said after the Hawks held off Kennedy, 68-58, in a non-conference game at Prairie High School. “I would like to see us withstand that a little more. We got off to a good start.”

Prairie (4-0) scored the first 17 points of the contest with a strong defensive effort led by the length, athleticism and speed of senior Jenna Leggat and sophomore Kamryn Grissel. The Cougars failed to score until the final seconds of the first quarter and the Hawks pushed their lead to 24 points — the largest that they matched throughout the third quarter — before halftime.

“We came with a lot of energy and that really started on the defensive end,” Prairie senior Sid McCrea said. “Our defense feeds our offense. We got a lot of steals and deflections.”

McCrea and fellow senior Mallory McDermott spread their usual 1-2 scoring punch throughout the entire game. McDermott, a Western Illinois signee, scored 15 of her 24 points by halftime, while McCrea, bound for Northern Illinois next year, scored 21 after halftime and led all scorers with 31 points.

McDermott is averaging 26.7 points per game this season, while McCrea averages 22.7.

“I have been playing with Mallory since fifth grade,” McCrea said. “We have always been there. We have always been kind of a duo playing on the same teams all the time.”

Leggat led the Hawks with eight rebounds.

Kennedy (2-3) used a 32-16 surge in the second half to get as close as eight points with 24.4 seconds to go. Sophomore Tori Knight led the Cougars with 21 points, while junior Sophia Barrett added 17.

Both teams return to the court on Tuesday, Prairie hosts Linn-Mar, while Kennedy visits Waterloo East.

Girls’ basketball

AT CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE

Class 5A No. 7 Cedar Rapids Prairie 68, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 58

C.R. KENNEDY (58): Camryn Ray 1 1-2 3, Ella Cadenhead 0 0-0 0, Sophia Barrett 7 1-3 17, Grace Techau 0 0-0 0, Olivia Pecinovsky 2 0-0 4, Sadie Powell 4 1-2 11, Tori Knight 8 2-3 21, Carlee Smith 1 0-0 2, Olivia Herring 0 0-0 0, Totals 23 5-10 68.

C.R. PRAIRIE (68): Sid McCrea 8 13-14 31, Kamryn Grissel 3 1-4 7, Mallory McDermott 8 6-6 24, Jenna Leggat 2 0-0 4, Hailey Cooper 1 0-0 2, Natalie Bennett 0 0-0 0, Lauren Williams 0 0-0 0, Totals 22 20-24 68.

C.R. Kennedy 3 10 27 18—58

C.R. Prairie 19 14 24 11—68

Three-point goals — C.R. Kennedy 7 (Knight 3, Barrett 2, Powell 2), C.R. Prairie 4 (McCrea 2, McDermott 2). Rebounds — C.R. Kennedy 25 (Barrett 7), C.R. Prairie 28 (Leggat 8). Total fouls — C.R. Kennedy 16, C.R. Prairie 8. Fouled out — None.

Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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