Prep Basketball

Jaylon Moses continues comeback from 2 ACL surgeries as Cedar Rapids Xavier rolls

Saints beat Fort Madison, 79-61, in Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout

Xavier's Jaylon Moses (24) looks to shoot under pressure from Linn-Mar's Will Zahradnik (3) during the second quarter at a Linn-Mar High School boys' basketball game with Cedar Rapids Xavier at Linn-Mar in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.  (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Xavier's Jaylon Moses (24) looks to shoot under pressure from Linn-Mar's Will Zahradnik (3) during the second quarter at a Linn-Mar High School boys' basketball game with Cedar Rapids Xavier at Linn-Mar in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — No more alley oops.

“Not right now,” Jaylon Moses said.

The Cedar Rapids Xavier sophomore scored 14 points Saturday as the Saints eased past Fort Madison, 79-61, in the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at the U.S. Cellular Center. It was a career high for the 6-foot-8 son of Xavier assistant coach and former University of Iowa guard James Moses.

You don’t have to squint to see this kid’s potential. If only he can stay healthy.

Moses tore the ACL in his right knee the summer before his freshman year at Xavier. He had surgery, rehabbed and returned to the court, for all of one full-fledged practice last December.

That’s when he tore the same ACL. Both injuries came on alley-oop plays.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’ve just been doing well with my teammates, and they have been helping me with everything. It has been going well for me.”

Moses missed the first three games this season before getting his doctor’s OK to play. He came into this game averaging 6.5 points, his scoring inconsistent, as you’d expect after such a long layoff.

He hit a couple of 3-pointers here to help Xavier (5-7) break a four-game losing streak. He also had a game-high nine rebounds.

“It has just been a process,” said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann. “It was taken a little while. I think mentally he’s getting over the hurdle, trusting it a little more. You see glimpses of what his potential is, day in and day out in practice. He’s a young kid, a young kid who missed two years of basketball. Until a month and a half ago, he hadn’t played since eighth grade. That’s a pretty long time to lay off. We’re happy with what he’s doing, are patient with him. Whatever we get out of him this year is a bonus.”

“It has been a little rough, kind of hard,” Moses said. “Annoying because I wanted to be out on the court, and I couldn’t be because of my knee. I mean, it was good to cheer on my teammates and help them do better from the sideline and not being on the court. It’s still an ongoing process. I’m still working it, it’s gradually getting better.”

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Xavier, which is 3-0 against Class 3A opponents, got points from 13 of the 14 guys it played, including double-figure games from Bryson Bastian (12) and Jacob Beckmann. Logan Rashid had 22 points for Fort Madison (5-9).

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

FORT MADISON (61): Parker Denning 3-6 3-3 9, Jayden Fedler 4-10 6-6 14, Dayton Davis 3-8 3-4 9, Brandon Keester 1-4 0-0 3, Logan Rashid 8-17 4-7 22, Jordyn Gerdes 0-1 0-0 0, Michael Mosena 1-1 2-2 4, Jace Burgher 0-0 0-0 0, Miles Dear 0-2 0-0 0, Leighton Rockhold 0-1 0-2 0, Julian Navarro 0-0 0-0 0, Max Slater 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-50 18-24 61.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (79): Jacob Beckmann 4-6 0-0 11, Nick Hansel 3-5 1-1 8, Jaylon Moses 5-8 2-4 14, Quinn Schulte 2-4 0-0 5, Davis Wagner 1-1 1-2 3, Bryson Bastian 4-11 1-2 12, Tre McCrary 2-7 0-0 5, Matt Jordebrek 1-5 1-2 3, Mitch Helmkamp 2-6 0-0 6, Peyton Shannon 1-3 0-0 2, Hunter Hartgrave 1-1 2-2 5, Kevin Nelson 1-1 0-0 2, Carter Hartman 0-3 0-0 0, Austin Marlin 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 28-64 8-13 79.

Halftime — Xavier 36, Fort Madison 23. 3-point goals — Fort Madison 3-16 (Denning 0-2, Davis 0-2, Keester 1-4, Rashid 2-7, Dear 0-1), Xavier 15-33 (Beckmann 3-5, Hansel 1-1, Moses 2-4, Schulte 1-1, Bastian 3-8, McCrary 1-5, Helmkamp 2-4, Shannon 0-1, Hartgrave 1-1, Marlin 1-3). Rebounds — Fort Madison 29 (Davis 5), Xavier 44 (Moses 9). Total fouls — Fort Madison 10, Xavier 22. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Fort Madison 13, Xavier 10.

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

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