Prep Basketball

Iowa City High finally gets first MVC boys' basketball victory with big 4th quarter

Little Hawks outscore Waterloo West, 28-8, for 71-58 win

CEDAR RAPIDS — If this is the worst team in the Mississippi Valley Conference, the Mississippi Valley Conference is really, really good. Though you already knew that.

Iowa City High finally picked up its first MVC win Saturday night as part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout, rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Waterloo West, 71-58, at the U.S. Cellular Center. Emphasis on the word “finally.”

These Little Hawks have had an excruciating MVC experience to this point. Coming in here, they were 0-7 in the league, with six of the seven losses by eight points or less.

There was a string of three consecutive games that went to overtime. The two games after that, City High (3-7 overall) lost by three points each.

That’s brutal. And in the past.

“It’s just what we needed,” said freshman guard Darren Richardson. “We’ve worked so hard, worked through all the negative energy. We just always stay positive, work hard, work hard in practice. Pick each other up as teammates ... Fight through the adversity. We weathered the storm.”

“It’s just a great feeling, because for so long, we’ve been right there,” said senior forward Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand. “It has been pretty demoralizing, but we’ve stuck together as a team. That was a big thing for us to focus on coming into this year: sticking together, sticking with the process.”

City High outscored West by a 28-8 margin in the fourth quarter to overcome a deficit it had most of the game. The Wahawks (6-4, 4-4) developed turnover-itis, which led to a lot of Little Hawks breakouts.

West had 20 turnovers in the game.

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“We were able to force a lot of turnovers, get fast breaks and knock down our free throws,” Threlkeld-Wiegand said. “That was a big thing.”

Richardson led City High with 16 points, followed closely by Threlkeld-Wiegand (14), Liam McComas (13) and Carter Westlake (11). Richardson and sophomore Byron Benton were integral in the fourth quarter, a pair of guards recently promoted from the sophomore team.

Daquayvion Walker led West with 19 points, including four 3-pointers.

“I’m just so proud of my players and how they came out and played hard and found our way through some adversity,” said City High Coach Derek Roberts. “What we went through was not easy, I’ll tell you that. But these guys are resilient. It’s harder on the coaches. We just kept telling them ‘Hey, we’re right there, guys. Literally one possession, so we don’t need to change anything too drastically. Just keep doing what you’re doing and stick to the process.’ They did that.”

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

IOWA CITY HIGH (71): Carter Westlake 4-9 0-0 11, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 5-8 2-2 14, Liam McComas 4-5 5-6 13, Luke Young 0-1 0-0 0, Antonio Turner 3-10 2-2 9, Darren Richardson 6-11 4-5 16, Byron Benton 2-8 4-7 8. Totals 24-52 17-22 71.

WATERLOO WEST (58): Antonio Alexander 2-6 2-3 6, Jaden Keller 1-3 3-5 5, Isaiah Johnson 5-9 0-0 13, Caleb Haag 4-8 1-2 10, Daquavion Walker 7-11 1-4 19, Sebastian Gunderson 0-3 0-0 0, Armin Kuljuhovic 1-3 1-2 3, Mitch Fordyce 0-0 2-2, Mondre Lagrow 0-1 0-0 0. 20-44 10-18 58.

Halftime — West 30, City High 22. 3-point goals — City High 6-22 (Westlake 3-8, Threlkeld-Wiegand 2-4, Young 0-1, Turner 1-4, Richardson 0-3, Benton 0-2), West 8-17 (Johnson 3-5, Haag 1-3, Walker 4-7, Gunderson 0-1, Lagrow 0-1). Rebounds — City High 27 (McComas 10), West 30 (Keller 11). Total fouls — City High 15, West 13. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — City High 12, West 20.

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

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