CEDAR RAPIDS — When you ask coaches to seed the postseason, you’re occasionally going to have someone get upset. Heck, when the Iowa High School Athletic Association seeded the postseason, you occasionally had someone get upset.
So it was when seeds and brackets were released Thursday for Class 3A, Substate 3.
West Delaware was awarded the top seed in the substate, Cedar Rapids Xavier was No. 2 and Davenport Assumption next at No. 3. Xavier and Assumption play in 4A conferences, with Assumption having a winning overall record and Xavier a losing record.
Yet Assumption will have to play at Xavier if both advance to a 3A substate semifinal in a couple of weeks, and that did not please Knights head coach Matt Fitzpatrick, who accused the coaches of the five Wamac Conference schools in the eight-team substate of “manipulating” the seeds and brackets.
“I understand both sides of it,” said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann, diplomatically, after his team brushed past Cedar Rapids Washington, 54-47, Friday night at Xavier. “It’s not easy what we’re doing. In that meeting, we looked at record, we looked at BC Moore, we looked at head to head, common opponents. So we had a healthy debate. It is what it is. I think Assumption and us would rather have taken care of business, if we could do it, and meet in the substate final. But the Wamac Conference plays good basketball as well.”
Xavier (8-8) got back to the break-even mark with this win, which was secured with some good defensive play in the fourth quarter. The Saints had a one-point lead after three but held Washington (8-10) to seven points over the final eight minutes.
“In practice, we like to do what we called a Wahlert drill. That’s what we call it,” said Xavier guard Jacob Beckmann. “We play, like, 12 straight minutes of defense.”
“This time of year, you’ve got to layer your stops,” Luehrsmann said. “You get three or four in a row, then get a high-percentage shot on the other end, that’s how you are able to separate and put a team away. Fortunately, we were able to step up and do that. That is something we have been inconsistent with the whole year.”
Beckmann led Xavier with 14 points, his team’s only double-figure scorer. Sophomore big man Jaylon Moses finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, adding a handful of blocked shots.
He was a difference maker in the fourth on both ends of the court. Mick McCurry led Wash with 20 points and 10 boards.
By the way, Beckmann is fine with Xavier’s 2-seed.
“I think we’re just about peaking right now,” he said. “We’re right there. The 1-seed was what we were hoping to get. But a 2-seed, yeah, we’re happy with that. But, obviously, you can never be satisfied.”
AT CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER
C.R. WASHINGTON (47): Mick McCurry 8-19 2-2 20, Jamar Thurmon 3-11 2-3 8, Riley Pankey 0-0 0-0 0, Imanuel Rowland 3-7 0-0 6, Ross Snitker 2-10 0-1 5, Chandlir Haug 2-4 1-3 5, Joe McKinstry 0-2 0-0 0, Brayden Wright 1-3 0-1 3, Kaden Bowie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 5-10 47.
C.R. XAVIER (54): Nick Hansel 4-8 0-0 8, Jaylon Moses 2-7 4-4 9, Quinn Schulte 2-5 1-2 5, Davis Wagner 1-4 6-8 8, Jacob Beckmann 4-11 4-4 14, Bryson Bastian 3-4 0-0 9, Matt Jordebrek 0-0 0-0 0, Tre McCrary 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 16-42 16-20 54.
Halftime — Xavier 28, Washington 26. 3-point goals — Washington 4-21 (McCurry 2-7, Rowland 0-3, Snitker 1-6, McKinstry 0-2, Wright 1-3), Xavier 6-20 (Hansel 0-2, Moses 1-3, Schulte 0-1, Wagner 0-1, Beckmann 2-8, Bastian 3-4, McCrary 0-1). Rebounds — Washington 37 (McCurry 10), Xavier 33 (Moses 11). Total fouls — Washington 17, Xavier 12. Fouled out — McCurry. Turnovers — Washington 8, Xavier 7.
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