Boys Basketball Notebook: City High Gets Early Season Momentum Boost

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Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

City High was close to an upset on opening night.

The Little Hawks were tied with Pleasant Valley after three quarters in their season opener but were outscored 20-7 in the fourth quarter of a 62-49 loss.

Eight days later there was no late letdown.

City High (1-1) scored eight of the final nine points in a 63-57 upset of Cedar Falls last Friday in a watershed win for second-year head coach Derek Roberts.  

“That was our message at halftime, at the end of the third and at every timeout late here is where we grow,” Roberts said. “We wanted to show that we were better and we’ve improved from our first game.”

City High was 4-18 last season in Roberts’ first year leading the program but returned a solid nucleus that included a trio of returning starters in junior point guard Antonio Turner, junior sharp shooter Ry Threlkeld-Wiegan and sophomore standout Keshawn Christian.

That trio combined for 46 of the Little Hawks 63 points in the win over Cedar Falls.

“We have chemistry now since we played together last year,” Turner said. “We need to continue to stay together and we will be fine.”
City High players admitted they plain and simple didn’t make enough plays late in the season-opening loss to Pleasant Valley.

That wasn’t the case against Cedar Falls.

Turner hit a key go-ahead jumper and Christian converted two free throws with 41 seconds left that put City High up 60-56.  

“We just said we had to get better,” Christian said of the conversation after the Pleasant Valley loss. “We came in and worked hard the last week and kept trying to get better.”
The win over Cedar Falls is even bigger considering what the Little Hawks have left on the schedule before the holiday break.

City High hosts defending 4A champion West High (3-0) on Tuesday before travelling to Dubuque Senior (2-0) on Friday.

The first four teams on the Little Hawk’s schedule are a combined 10-1 right now with the lone loss the Cedar Falls setback to City High.  

“It doesn’t hurt, I’ll tell you that,” Roberts said of the early momentum. “I’m just proud of our guys and the way they played because we have a tough schedule next week with the number one team in West High coming here and another game with a ranked team at Dubuque Senior.”

Bollers Just Misses Triple-Double

TJ Bollers went for 11 points and eight rebounds in his varsity debut last month and the Clear Creek Amana freshman has done nothing but get better since.

Bollers best performance came his last time out finishing one block shy of a triple double in a 59-53 loss to Center Point Urbana.

The 6-foot-4 forward had 10 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocks against the Stormin’ Pointers last Friday.

Four games into this varsity career Bollers is averaging 9.3 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.

Regals Off and Running

Regina started its season a little later than most teams but it didn’t take long for the Regals to get into midseason form. 

The Regals opened the season with three wins in five days last week, averaging 80 points per game in River Valley Conference south division wins over Mid-Prairie, West Liberty and Wilton.

Regina shot 49 percent from the field and had 57 assists to 34 turnovers during its three wins last week.  

Performances of the Week

Solon senior Ben Krutzfeldt had 25 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a 66-39 win over Central DeWitt.

Regina senior Jocoa Kerschen had 33 points and six rebounds in an 81-52 win over West Liberty.

West Branch junior Brady Lukavsky had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in an 89-27 win over Winfield-Mount Union.

Liberty High sophomore Andre Brandon had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists in a 61-55 overtime loss to Center Point-Urbana.

Clear Creek Amana senior Darius Moore had 32 points, four assists and three rebounds in a 86-76 loss to Benton Community.