CENTER POINT — Trey Johannes didn’t even play in Center Point-Urbana’s first game this season. He was the proverbial healthy scratch.
“It wasn’t an injury or anything,” CPU Coach Mike Halac said Thursday night, after Johannes and the Stormin’ Pointers beat Decorah, 70-58, in a Class 3A substate semifinal boys’ basketball game before 1,100-plus full-throated fans. “At that point, he had not earned any minutes according to our coaching staff.”
The frustrated 6-foot-4 junior forward had a talk with his coach after sitting on the bench that game, and Halac loved it. He knew Johannes coming to him meant Johannes cared and wanted to do everything he could to get playing time and help his team win games.
Which he did in a huge way here, coming off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and score a game-high 21 points. Center Point-Urbana (17-6) plays a substate final Monday night at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids against fifth-ranked Marion.
Irony of ironies here is that the Indians were CPU’s opponent in that aforementioned regular-season opener.
“I was just mad,” Johannes said. “Coach sat me for the Marion game, and I came and talked to him. We had a good talk, and he gave me a chance next game, and I showed out. We just talked about showing effort and playing better defense. I started working on that in practice and showing that in practice. I got called back up.”
Johannes was averaging 6.7 points per game coming into this one, which is third on his team. He came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers, then a runner in the lane as part of a 21-0 run in the first quarter and early in the second that moved CPU from five points down to 16 ahead.
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That was the difference. Decorah (18-5) made its way almost all the way back, crawling within 40-38 in the third quarter, only to see Johannes strike again with an inside hoop that helped the Stormin’ Pointers retake control.
“Effort,” Halac said of his team’s decisive three-touchdown run. “Effort buckets. So many of those were created by turnovers, guys finishing, getting fast breaks. Even if we didn’t finish, we had guys flying around, crashing the glass, every pass defensively we seemed to get a finger on.”
“We always preach that every single possession on defense means everything,” said Center Point-Urbana’s Alex Wade, another stepper-upper here with 16 points, 12 over his season average. “On offense, we’ve just got to shoot confidently and attack.”
Patrick Bockmann had 20 points and Logan Halverson 19 for Decorah, which saw one of its best seasons in years come to a stop. The Vikings won the Northeast Iowa Conference solo for the first time since 1995.
“We were up 8-2, and it looked like we were going on all cylinders,” said Coach Jonathan Carlson. “Then all of a sudden, bam. Some guys that normally don’t score very well for them hit shots. (Johannes) was definitely a surprise, then (Wade), too. In big games like this, sometimes that happens. We were playing the law of averages and saying let those guys shoot. They made a couple, so you’ve got to respect them. Give them credit because they made shots when they had to.”
Carlson was asked what he’ll take out of this very good season from his team.
“The biggest thing was just the togetherness of the group,” he said. “Just how well they molded together throughout the season. Just how they played selfless basketball. They’d die on the court for each other, they never gave up, kept fighting and kept clawing.”
AT CENTER POINT
DECORAH (58): Logan Halverson 9-11 1-2 19, Andrew Magner 2-5 5-7 9, Charles Robinson 1-5 0-0 2, Patrick Bockmann 6-7 4-5 20, Matthew Franzen 0-5 0-0 0, Joseph Bockmann 2-9 0-0 6, Keaton Solberg 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 21-44 10-15 58.
CENTER POINT-URBANA (70): Kole Tupa 3-6 5-6 12, Caleb Andrews 5-10 2-5 12, Keegan Koppedryer 1-4 4-4 7, Alex Wade 3-8 7-10 16, Reece Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Johannes 8-9 2-3 21, Ethan Sells 2-4 0-0 4, Grant Bryant 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-44 20-28 70.
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Halftime — Center Point-Urbana 38, Decorah 27. 3-point goals — Decorah 6-18 (Robinson 0-3, P. Bockmann 4-5, Franzen 0-4, J. Bockmann 2-5, Solberg 0-1), Center Point-Urbana 7-21 (Tupa 1-2, Andrews 0-2, Koppedryer 1-4, Wade 2-6, Johannes 3-4, Sells 0-1, Bryant 0-2). Rebounds — Decorah 23 (Magner 11), Center Point-Urbana 28 (Tupa 12). Total fouls — Decorah 24, Center Point-Urbana 16. Fouled out — P. Bockmann. Turnovers — Decorah 16, Center Point-Urbana 10.