Prep Basketball

Gabe Burkle's free throws with 3 seconds left send Prairie boys' basketball past Kennedy

Burkle's offensive rebound and basket tied it a minute earlier, Hawks win 61-59

CEDAR RAPIDS — At 61 percent this season, Gabe Burkle considers himself a “decent” free-throw shooter.

With the game on the line, he was nothing short of clutch.

Burkle connected on both ends of a one-and-one with 3 seconds left to send Cedar Rapids Prairie past Cedar Rapids Kennedy. 61-59, in a Mississippi Valley Conference boys’ basketball game Friday night at Kennedy High School.

“I felt way more confident,” said Burkle, a 6-foot-7 sophomore who finished with 22 points. “I stepped up to the line, and I knew I was going to make them.”

Prairie (10-5 overall, 4-5 MVC) called two timeouts, the first at the beginning of the possession after getting a defensive stop, with 20 seconds to go. The second came with 4.9 seconds left, when the Hawks’ offensive set bogged down.

Burkle was the first option, flashing from the post.

“We wanted to clear the paint and go directly to him,” Prairie Coach Jeremy Rickertsen said. “He did a good job coming back for the ball, and made an aggressive move to the basket.”

Burkle was bumped on the drive. After the Cougars called time in an attempt to ice him, he calmly made both.

And thus ended a game that contained four ties and 13 lead changes.

Kennedy (7-6, 5-4) had the largest lead of the game — for either team — at 55-49 with 6:22 to go.

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With the Hawks down 59-56 at the 1:08 mark, Elijah Ward made the first of two free throws. He missed the second, but Burkle was there for the offensive rebound and putback to tie the game.

Ward added 20 points for the Hawks.

Caleb Schlaak tallied 22 points for Kennedy, including the Cougars’ final six points of the game. He scored on an inbounds pass to put the Cougars up 57-54, then added a lefty hook to make it 59-56.

CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE 61, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 59

At C.R. Kennedy

C.R. PRAIRIE (61): Jackson Nove 0 2-4 2, Jon Mullins 3 0-0 7, Elijah Ward 8 1-2 20, Garrett Pientok 0 0-0 0, Gabe Burkle 9 4-5 22, Caden Stoffer 0 0-0 0, Jake Walter 2 0-0 4, Johnny Joens 2 0-0 6, Collin Rickertsen 0 0-0 0, Caleb Miller 0 0-0 0, Hank Wagemester 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 7-11 61.

C.R. KENNEDY (59): Paul Cory 1 1-2 3, Brayden Dolphin 3 1-2 9, Josh White 3 0-0 7, Caleb Schlaak 6 9-11 22, Kenzie Reed 2 0-0 6, Makhi Harris 2 0-1 5, Brandtley Koske 0 0-0 0, Max White 0 0-0 0, Cole Hrubes 2 2-4 7. Totals 19 13-20 59.

Halftime: Prairie 29, Kennedy 28. 3-point goals: Prairie 6 (Joens 2, Mullins, Ward 3), Kennedy 8 (Harris, Dolphin 2, J. White, Hrubes, Schlaak, Reed 2). Team fouls: Prairie 15, Kennedy 11. Fouled out: none.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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