Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Washington has seniors, sophomores, a freshman ... and a winning team

Warriors improve to 8-5 with a 73-49 win at Cedar Rapids Jefferson

CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s a unique mix.

Cedar Rapids Washington’s boys’ basketball team starts two seniors and three sophomores. The first guy off the bench is a freshman.

There’s only one junior on the roster. Yet it works.

A 73-49 win Friday night over Cedar Rapids Jefferson on the southwest side was the Warriors’ third in a row. They’ve got an 8-5 record, the victory total doubled from last season.

You might be surprised by this success, but they’re honestly not. They saw it coming.

“We just knew that it was going to be better this year,” said Wash’s Quincy Underwood. “With everybody having experience.”

That’s the thing you don’t see on the surface. The super sophomores, if you will, are Traijan Sain, Jesse Sellers and Jaden Harris, and they saw considerable playing time last season, with Sain being a starter.

Underwood, fellow forward Henry Clymer and reserve guard Wyatt Cain are the seniors who also played a lot in 2019-20. That’s a pretty good nucleus of returning guys.

“I had a lot of confidence coming into this season,” Sain said. “We start three sophomores, but we’ve all played together since we were in, like, sixth or seventh grade, so we’ve got a strong bond. Then, obviously, with Quincy and Henry returning from last year, that was just an additional (positive). Our chemistry was really tight coming into this season.”

“I guess I’m fortunate because three of the sophomores played last year and meshed with the now seniors, guys like Underwood and Clymer and Wyatt, that played a lot of minutes last year. So that hasn’t been as big of an issue as maybe people would expect. Just because I think we already had some chemistry ... The locker room is great. This is one of my favorite years of coaching because I love the guys.”

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This was the second time Washington has beat up on Jefferson (2-10) this season. It scored the first eight points of the game, led by 13 at halftime and 10 after three quarters, before putting things away with a strong 23-point fourth.

Underwood led the way with 21 points, one of five players with double figures in scoring. Sain, Harris and Willie Hodges, the aforementioned freshman, had 11 points apiece, with Sellers chipping in 10.

“Last year, we were a young team,” said Underwood, who is getting recruiting pitches from several junior colleges. “We had three seniors, the rest were juniors, and then there were the three freshmen. I think it’s just been us creating a bond with each other after the season. Just knowing how we are as people, hanging out with each other. That’s helped our chemistry and everything.”

Andreas Williams had 21 points off the bench for Jefferson, which has lost seven in a row.

C.R. WASHINGTON (73): Henry Clymer 2-8 0-0 4, Jaden Harris 5-8 0-0 11, Quincy Underwood 9-13 3-5 21, Jesse Sellers 4-7 0-0 10, Traijan Sain 5-11 1-2 11, Willie Hodges 3-7 4-5 11, Wyatt Cain 0-2 1-2 1, Omoro Crusoe 1-2 0-0 2, Bryce Brim 0-1 0-0 0, Walter Sykes 0-1 0-0 0, Cavan Riley 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 30-62 9-14 73.

C.R. JEFFERSON (49): Kaden Haller 3-6 1-1 8, Gunner Myers 0-2 0-0 0, Caden Schroeder 2-10 0-0 5, Brayden Kindhart 2-7 0-1 4, Carson Blietz 4-12 0-0 9, Lonny Melvin 0-0 0-0 0, Andreas Williams 9-14 3-4 21, Prosper Kapongo 0-0 0-0 0, Dkhai Pope 0-5 0-0 0, Kay’Zure Lewis 1-3 0-0 2, Ian Wiederin 0-2 0-0 0, Blessing Olutunde 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 4-6 49.

Halftime — Washington 32, Jefferson 19. 3-point goals — Washington 4-17 (Harris 1-3, Underwood 0-2, Sellers 2-4, Sain 0-2, Hodges 1-4, Brim 0-1, Sykes 0-1), Jefferson 3-23 (Haller 1-2, Myers 0-1, Schroeder 1-5, Kindhart 0-3, Blietz 1-7, Pope 0-4, Wiederin 0-1). Rebounds — Washington 40 (Sain 13), Jefferson 30 (Schroeder, Blietz, Melvin 6). Total fouls — Washington 11, Jefferson 12. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Washington 14, Jefferson 21.

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

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