Slow Start Dooms City High In Loss to Cedar Rapids Jefferson


Photo by Jeff Yoder

Susan Harman 

Your Prep Sports

It took City High 4 minutes, 47 seconds to make a basket to start its game against Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The Little Hawks added just one more in the first quarter and fell behind 19-4. Thereafter the teams were about even, but the damage was done in a 61-50 J-Hawks victory Tuesday at City.

“Give credit to them, they punched us in the mouth,” City High coach Derek Roberts said. “Our guys just weren’t ready to play for whatever reason, and that’s on us. That’s where it was decided.”

“We’ve been talking a lot to our boys about pressuring defensively and playing a complete game,” Jefferson coach Brandon Horman said. “And they came out with the aggressiveness we’ve been waiting to see all season long.”

Jefferson used its quickness to break down City’s defense and penetrate to the basket, but it also showed off some terrific 3-point shooting. The J-Hawks hit 3-of-5 threes in the first quarter and made 9-of-21 overall.

“It started with our defense,” Horman said. “That’s kind of the key to our game this year. If we take care of things on the defensive end, that allows us to get out and run and use our speed to our advantage. We’re small, and if we can control the game that way, that’s how we’ve got to go.”

City was plagued by turnovers, committing seven in the first quarter while making only 2-of-12 shots. The Little Hawks had 22 turnovers for the game.

“They were denying the wings,” City junior forward DeAngelo McNeil said. “Our offense is really around our wings and then our post as well. We didn’t really get as many post touches as we wanted.”

Jefferson bottled up City’s 6-foot-8 center Jeremy Kambomba, who was held to four points, and yet the J-Hawks didn’t give up much at all on the perimeter until the fourth quarter.

“It was a rough night from a turnover perspective,” Roberts said. “That’s turning it over once every three possessions. We didn’t shoot it well the first half on top of that. They pressured defensively and got out on our shooters.”

The J-Hawks got a big game from Willie Guy III, who made 6-of-10 threes and led all scorers with 24 points.

“They set a lot of screens and our defense wasn’t communicating,” McNeil said.

City used a press in the second half and it caused Jefferson some problems. The J-Hawks turned the ball over 12 times in the second half, but City had trouble making much out of the turnovers until late in the game.

“We tried changing the defense a little bit, and it worked at times where we turned them over a bit, but on the other hand that left some things open,” Roberts said.

The Little Hawks were led in scoring by two reserves. Keshawn Christian had 14 points and McNeil 12.

“I felt like we needed a spark and that’s what I came in and applied,” McNeil said.

CR Jefferson  19  8 17  17  –  61

City High         4 10 12  24  –  50

Jefferson (61 ) – Osborne Meiborg  2-10 5-6 9, Kyler Bell 2-10 5-5 10, Kyran Ligon 2-5 0-0 4, Willie Guy III 7-12 4-5 24, Trenton Kuennen 2-3 0-0 4, Raejzuan Shockley 0-2 1-2 1, Blaze Bouzek 2-4 0-0 6, Ryan Blum 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 18-47 16-20.

City High (50) – Antonio Turner 1-8 0-0 2, Luke Young 2-6 0-0 5, Carter Westlake 2-4 1-1 6, Jeremy Kambomba 2-5 0-0 4, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 2-7 0-0 6, Keshawn Christian 5-11 4-6 14, DeAngelo McNeil 6-8 0-1 12, Malik Kimber 0-2 0-0 0, Jason Allen 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 21-52 6-10.

3-point goals – Jefferson 9-21 ( Meiborg 0-4, Bell 1-4, Guy 6-10, Bouzek 2-3), City 4-12 (Turner 0-1, Young 1-3, Westlake 1-2 Threlkeld-Wiegand 2-4, Christian 0-1, Kimber 0-1). Fouls – Jefferson 15, City 15. Technical fouls – City High (Turner0.