Prep Basketball

Sophia Barrett adjusts on the drive, and Cedar Rapids Kennedy stays hot

Cougars top Xavier, 40-34, for 8th win in last 9 games

Sophia Barrett scored 24 points in Cedar Rapids Kennedy's 40-34 win over Cedar Rapids Xavier on Tuesday.
Sophia Barrett scored 24 points in Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s 40-34 win over Cedar Rapids Xavier on Tuesday.

CEDAR RAPIDS — As Sophia Barrett paused outside the locker room for a quick interview Tuesday night, a teammate passed by and gave her a nudge and a word:

“Thanks for carrying us tonight.”

Barrett scored 24 points, hitting 10 of her 14 shots after a slow start, to lead surging Cedar Rapids Kennedy past Class 4A 11th-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier, 40-34, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

“It was pretty physical, so I started looking for an open drive instead of going through contact,” Barrett said.

Kennedy (11-7, 9-3 MVC) continued its post-holiday spree; the Cougars have won eight of their last nine games, including a convincing conquest of 5A No. 7 Cedar Rapids Washington last week.

“Early in the season, we were playing ‘me’ ball. We were really selfish,” Barrett said. “Once we figured our strengths and weaknesses, we started playing better.”

Barrett was 2 of 7 from the field in the first quarter. Once she adjusted to the contact, there was no stopping her.

“She’s good with both hands,” Xavier Coach Tom Lilly said. “She can finish. She can get to the rim. In the first half, we didn’t let her get to the rim as much.”

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Xavier (9-6, 6-5) led 17-15 at halftime. Tori Knight’s three-point play put Kennedy in front, 24-21, and the Cougars maintained a slim lead the rest of the way.

At 34-30, Barrett finished things off with a baseline jumper and a pair of aggressive drives to the hoop.

“Early on, I think we were still in a two-hour delay,” Kennedy Coach Andy Courtney said. “But obviously, Sophia took over. The whole 42nd Street thing, she really wanted this one.”

Knight added seven points for the victors. And Courtney singled out Olivia Pecinovsky for her defensive effort.

“She’s extremely undersized, but always plays hard,” Courtney said. “Her defense was key against Washington, and it was key again tonight.”

Lexi Beier paced Xavier with 10 points. Four others added six.

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 40, CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 34

At C.R. Xavier

C.R. KENNEDY (40): Sophia Barrett 12-21 0-0 24, Grace Techau 0-3 0-0 0, Olivia Pecinovsky 0-2 2-2 2, Tori Knight 3-7 1-1 7, Kaliyah Sain 2-12 0-0 4, Addy Alber 0-2 0-0 0, Ella Cadenhead 1-2 0-0 3, Janelle Minor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 3-3 40.

C.R. XAVIER (34): Brielle Bastian 3-6 0-0 6, Maya Karl 0-5 0-0 0, Lexi Beier 4-7 0-0 10, Madi Steger 1-9 3-4 6, Lexi Turner 0-3 0-0 0, Aree Beckmann 2-5 2-2 6, Kyla Mason 2-4 2-2 6, Ava Turner 0-0 0-0 0, Emma Arnold 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-40 7-8 34.

Halftime: Xavier 17, Kennedy 15. 3-point goals: Kennedy 1-7 (Techau 0-3, Knight 0-2, Sain 0-1, Cadenhead 1-1), Xavier 3-12 (Beier 2-3, Steger 1-4, L. Turner 0-1, Beckmann 0-2, Mason 0-2). Team fouls: Kennedy 10, Xavier 8. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Kennedy 26 (Barrett, Sain 7), Xavier 33 (Steger 6). Assists: Kennedy 1 (Pecinovsky), Xavier 6 (Bastian 4). Steals: Kennedy 6 (Barrett 2), Xavier 3 (Mason 2). Turnovers: Kennedy 6, Xavier 15.

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

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