CEDAR RAPIDS — Heart over height.
Not to mention quickness, speed, shooting and Willie Guy. A whole lot of Willie Guy.
That’s how Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s boys’ basketball team was able to knock off Class 3A seventh-rated Oskaloosa, 62-61, Saturday night in the finale of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Specifically, it was Guy’s pull-up jumper from about 15 feet with 16 seconds left that gave Jeff (6-6) its winning points. The senior guard had a brilliant 28-point game.
“I’m so proud of the guys,” said Jefferson Coach Brandon Horman. “Going through the MVC, going through that gauntlet night in and night out, they’ve been sticking to it. They’ve had their ups and downs, we haven’t shot the ball well throughout the season. We kept believing in ourselves, and our guys stepped up and knocked down shots tonight against a tough, tough Oskaloosa team.”
And a tall, tall Oskaloosa team. The Indians (9-3) go 7-foot and 6-foot-10 across the front, with Xavier Foster (one of most highest-rated college recruits in the country as a junior) and Northern Iowa signee Cole Henry.
The rest of the Osky starting lineup Saturday was 6-5, 6-2 and 5-10. Jefferson countered with three starters under 6-foot, one who is 6-1 and another 6-2.
You won’t find a much more pronounced height disadvantage than that.
“Coach was telling us all week that we just had to run, run, run,” Guy said. “Our guys, we work in practice all the time on running, running, running. Getting in shape so we can run teams like that out of the gym. That’s just our style of play.”
Did Guy feel his J-Hawks did run Oskaloosa out of the gym? Or, at least, Foster.
“Not just him,” Guy said, “It was all of them, really. You could tell.”
Jefferson built a seven-point lead with 1:19 to go, only to watch Osky rally and take the lead back on a pair of Foster free throws with 32.7 seconds remaining. Jefferson brought the basketball down court, worked it around the perimeter a bit, then Guy started dribbling toward the lane, stopped and popped his winning shot.
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Oskaloosa called timeout with the ball at midcourt with 9 seconds left. The ball was worked low left block to Henry, who was triple teamed and threw a cross-court pass to the corner to guard Austin Hafner.
His wide-open 3 attempt was short, Jeff’s Ozzie Meiborg rebounded and was fouled. He missed a 1-and-1 free throw, but a desperation heave at the buzzer by Osky was a no-go.
Meiborg added 16 points for Jefferson, and Blaze Bouzek’s treys on three consecutive possessions helped the J-Hawks build a third-quarter lead. Henry went off for a 30-point, 18-rebound night, though a 6-for-15 performance from the free-throw line was costly.
Oskaloosa came in shooting just 44 percent from the stripe as a team.
“We knew we wanted to get out and run,” Horman said. "We know that the pace we play at is a challenge for some teams. We wanted to play our game ... None of our guys backed down.”
AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER
OSKALOOSA (61): Rian Yates 2-7 0-0 6, Cole Henry 12-21 6-15 30, Xavier Foster 6-11 4-5 17, Noah VanVeldhuizen 1-5 0-0 3, Austin Hafner 1-5 0-0 3, Iszac Schultz 1-2 0-0 2, Tyler Miller 0-3 0-0 0, Jackson Blythe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 10-20 61.
C.R. JEFFERSON (62): Dymonte Hawks 0-2 0-0 0, Raejzuan Shockley 3-5 1-2 7, Willie Guy 10-19 2-2 28, Blaze Bouzek 3-6 0-0 9, Ozzie Meiborg 5-13 4-5 16, Brayden Kindhart 0-2 0-0 0, Sam Staley 1-2 0-0 2, Jackson Snyder 0-7 0-0 0, Evan Griffith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-56 7-9 62.
Halftime – Oskaloosa 34, Jefferson 33. 3-point goals – Oskaloosa 5-23 (Yates 2-7, Foster 1-4, VanVeldhuizen 1-5, Hafner 1-5, Schultz 0-1, Miller 0-1), Jefferson 11-26 (Guy 6-7, Bouzek 3-4, Meiborg 2-7, Kindhart 0-2, Staley 0-1, Snyder 0-3). Rebounds – Oskaloosa 37 (Henry 18), Jefferson 30 (Shockley 7). Total fouls – Oskaloosa 13, Jefferson 20. Fouled out – Shockley. Turnovers – Oskaloosa 11, Jefferson 7.
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