Cedar Rapids Xavier Rallies Past West High

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – In a matchup of perennially defensive oriented programs West High and Cedar Rapids Xavier were both comfortable with the game coming down to a defensive stop.

It was Xavier that came up with the game-clinching play on defense.

Xavier held West High without a shot attempt on its final possession of the game to secure a come-from-behind 50-48 win over the Women of Troy on Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.

“Historically,” Cedar Rapids Xavier coach Tom Lilly said. “We will take our chances on defense.”

Class 4A eighth-ranked Xavier scored the final seven points of the game, erasing a five-point deficit in the final three minutes while improving to 5-3 on the season after starting 0-2.

West High dropped to 3-4 with the loss, the third in the last four games for the Women of Troy.

“I think we are getting everybodys best shot just because of the success that we have had in the past and I don’t know if we are able to right now rise to that challenge,” West High coach BJ Mayer said. “The key for us that we really liked is before Christmas if we were getting beat we were getting beat by 10 or 15 and here it was a one-possession game down the stretch and hopefully we can get over the top next time.”

West High never led in the first half and trailed 27-24 at halftime.

The Women of Troy opened the first half on a 12-4 run, taking their biggest lead of the game at 36-31 on a Cora Saunders 3-pointer with 3:37 left in the third quarter.

Freshman Meena Tate had the first seven points of the half for West High which went 7-of-10 from the field in the third quarter.

“We made a couple of little changes in our offense at halftime and got some people in different spots and that allowed Meena to get going,” Mayer said. “They were really keying on Matayia and Audrey so we needed somebody to step up and I thought Meena did that.”

West High matched its biggest lead on a driving layup by Saunders that made the score 48-43 with 2:56 left.

It was all Saints the rest of the way.

Xavier cut the lead to 46-48 on a putback by Maya Karl and then tied the score when Libby Arnold rebounded a Karl missed free throw and scored with 1:33 left.

“The difference in the game was the offensive rebound of the missed free throw, that was critical,” Lilly said. “Those are back breakers for coaches and BJ and I have both been on the sidelines for those. Those are tough.”

West High turned the ball over on its next possession giving the Saints possession with 1:15 left.

Xavier ran the clock down to 30 seconds before feeding Arnold at the free throw line.

The senior forward was fouled driving to the basket and converted both free throws with 29.6 seconds left.

“We talked in the timeout, the game is tied and we have the ball and we can’t lose if you decide if you don’t need to shoot in five seconds,” Lilly said. “The notion of playing keep away at the top was all their idea. We wanted to take some time and be patient and keep it out of the corners and Libby got the ball and attacked and made two big three throws.”

West High had a chance to tie or take the lead but Xavier got the late stop that eluded the Women of Troy.

Caitlynn Daniels got her hand on a West High pass with under 10 seconds to play and the ball rolled out of bounds near half court.

West High retained possession but committed its 17th turnover of the game after catching the inbounds pass.

Six of the 17 turnovers for West High came in the fourth quarter.  

 “We panicked a little bit and had a few little attention to detail things,” Mayer said. “We missed a box out on a free throw, we turned it over a couple times. We still have to get those final stops. Those little things that make a big difference.”

Daniels had 12 of her team-high 14 points in the second half while Aree Beckmann added 11 points for Cedar Rapids Xavier.

“This is the first time our seniors have beaten West,” Lilly said. “They should be pretty happy about it because sometimes you go a long time and you don’t beat West because they have a storied program.”Matayia Tellis led three

West High players in double figures with 14 points while Tate and Saunders each had 11.

West High leading scorer Audrey Koch had eight points and six rebounds.

West High      12  12  16   8  –  48

CR Xavier      15  12   9   14  –  50

West High (48) – Matayia Tellis 7-16 0-2 14, Cora Saunders 4-9 2-2 11, Meena Tate 5-7 0-0 11, Grace Schneider 0-2 0-0 0, Jenna Saunders 0-2 0-0 0, Audrey Koch 2-6 4-4 8, Anna Prouty 2-2 0-0 4, Team 20-44 6-8 48.

Cedar Rapids Xavier (50) – Brielle Bastian 1-3 0-0 2, Aree Beckmann 5-10 1-1 11, Caitlynn Daniels 6-16 1-2 14, Aubrey Jones 4-8 0-2 8, Maya Kral 2-2 2-6 6, Libby Arnold 2-8 5-8 9, Mary Kate Moeder 0-1 0-0 0, Team 20-48 9-19 50.

3-point field goals – ICW 2-11 (Tellis 0-3, C. Saunders 1-4, Tate 1-2, Koch 0-2), CRX 1-10 (Bastian 0-1, Beckmann 0-2, Daniels 1-6, Arnold 0-1). Rebounds – ICW 28 (Koch 6), CRX 31 (Beckman, Arnold 8). Turnovers – ICW 18, CRX 11. Total fouls – ICW 17, CRX 15. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.

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