Photo by Rob Howe
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – There is a different vibe surrounding the City High basketball program this season.
A first-year head coach, with a new up-tempo style has given the Little Hawks a fresh feel and four new starters give the City High lineup a new look.
Even with all the new elements it has been a change in attitude that has been the most noteworthy for the Little Hawks this season.
City High showed off its fresh attitude and new-look style on Saturday in a 70-49 win over Muscatine in a non-conference matinee at City High.
“I feel like we are just bringing a different attitude,” junior point guard Keyoun Agee said. “Last year it was a little sluggish and this year we are trying to bring the energy up and put City on the map.”
City High was aggressive on defense, playing passing lanes and forcing the Muskies into 25 turnovers.
The Little Hawks were efficient on offense, shooting 48 percent from the floor and hitting seven 3-pointers.
However it was the energy and effort that stood out in the fist win for City High under first-year head coach Brennan Swayzer.
“The atmosphere feels a lot different, junior Byron Benton said. “We compete harder and we are coming out and playing like a different team.”
Senior Keshawn Christian led three Little Hawks in double figures with 18 points while Benton added 16 and Agee had 14 as City High improved to 1-1 on the season.
The Little Hawks raced to an 8-0 lead and never trailed giving Swayzer his first career win at his alma mater.
“It feels great because I have worked a long time to get to this point,” Swayzer said. “Honestly knowing what my guys are capable of it’s kind of a double-edged sword. We came out and got the W but at the same time I don’t think we lived up to what we have shown over the last month and what we could be.”
City High pushed 2019 state semifinalist North Scott to the limit in a 63-57 loss in the season opener.
On Saturday the Little Hawks used an 18-5 first quarter to build a lead that would never be trimmed to less than eight.
City High forced Muscatine into eight first-quarter turnovers, turning four of those into fast break layups while taking control early.
“Defense is heavily stressed in practice,” Benton said. “That allows us opportunities to get out on the break and create.”
Benton hit a pair of 3-pointers and had 10 of his 16 points in the opening quarter.
Christian had nine of his team-high 18 in the second quarter and sophomore Jamari Newson had six in the third quarter.
“Our team chemistry has gotten better,” Benton said. “We are more together as a team and that is fun. Everyone enjoys everyone’s success. It’s fun to play like that.”
Muscatine made a run in the third quarter cutting the lead to 47-39 on a Noah Yahn 3-pointer.
Agee responded by going coast-to-coast for a layup that just beat the buzzer.
City High then opened the fourth quarter with five consecutive points on an Andre Miller 3-pointer and an Agee driving layup to push the lead back to 54-39.
“Because we have the athletes that we have I want to put them out in space where they are going to be at their strengths,” Swayzer said. “We stress defense and I’ve always felt that offense will take care of itself. That’s what our point of emphasis is at.”
City High (70) – Keyoun Agee 6-8 1-3 14, Cedric Dunnwald 1-1 0-0 3, Kolby Kucera 2-8 0-0 5, Andre Miller 1-5 0-0 3, Byron Benton 6-9 2-4 16, Jamari Newson 4-10 0-0 8, Bram Sueppel 1-1 1-1 3, Traivon Hodges 0-1 0-0 0, Keshawn Christian 7-13 3-3 18, Kaleba Jack 0-2 0-4 0, Team 28-58 7-15 70.
Muscatine (49) – Briggs Miller 0-3 3-5 3, Braden Hufford 1-3 0-0 2, Trevor Diederichs 0-2 0-0 0, Reed Ulses 0-0 0-4 0, Sean Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Noah Yahn 10-15 2-2 26, Bredyn Seaman 0-1 0-0 0, Waker Cler 1-2 0-0 2, Jacob Thomas 2-2 0-0 4, Joshua Dieckman 5-8 0-0 10, Team 20-38 5-11 49.
3-point field goals – ICH 7-19 (Agee 1-1, Dunnwald 1-1, Kucera 1-5, Miller 1-2, Benton 2-4, Newson 0-3, Hodges 0-1, Christian 1-2), MUS 4-14 (Hufford 0-2, Diederichs 0-2, Yahn 4-7, Seaman 0-1, Cler 0-1, Dieckman 0-1). Rebounds – ICH 24 (Christian, Jack 5), MUS 32 (Thomas 8). Turnovers – ICH 12, MUS 25. Total fouls – ICH 16, MUS 12. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.
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