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Thursday, October 18, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

Cougars sweep season series from Washington

Cedar Rapids Kennedy Coach Bob Fontana has persuaded his guys to play defense with passion, pride and persistence.

It's been a simple message to get across.

"If you don't play defense, you don't play," senior Jake Misener explained. "That's how he gets us to play defense."

The stingy fourth-ranked Cougars held Washington to just three points in the third quarter Friday night and spanked the Warriors, 57-50, on Hall of Fame Night at Washington.

Washington exploded for 24 points in the second quarter and led by seven at halftime, 30-23. Fontana used the intermission to stress defense and rebounding, and Kennedy (14-2, 9-2) took his words to heart in the second half.

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No. 2 Lions keep Saints in a skid

No one could have blamed No. 14 Xavier for wishing for a little breather in its schedule after the Saints lost three consecutive heartbreakers to ranked teams in the last two weeks, dropping games to No. 3 Iowa City West, No. 4 Waterloo West and No. 11 Dowling Catholic by a combined eight points.

Instead, the road only got steeper on Friday night as the Saints played No. 2 Linn-Mar on its home court, losing 50-31 to the Metro’s top team.

A stiff defensive effort kept the Saints in the game early, as they held 6-foot-3 Linn-Mar standout Kiah Stokes to four baskets in the first half and got 12 points from their bench to stay within five points, 23-18.

But the Lions (18-1, 13-1) had too many weapons, nailing five 3-pointers in the game to go with Stokes’ pestering presence under the basket on both ends of the court. 

“It’s the kind of situation where you try to keep it close enough to get yourself an opportunity to win,” said Xavier Coach Tom Lilly. “Defensively you have to hope that they don’t shoot that well from the perimeter, and if they do they’re a tough out because it takes quite a few bodies to stop Stokes on the inside, so I guess you pick your poison.”

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West's quick start dooms No. 6 J-Hawks

IOWA CITY – Cedar Rapids Jefferson entered Friday night's clash against Iowa City West as the sixth-ranked team in Class 4A in the state.  It also came into the game having won five out of seven, including three in a row.
 
That impressive streak ended as Jefferson lost to Iowa City West, 59-45, with the J-Hawks playing catch-up for almost the entire game.
 
Jefferson Coach Stuart Ordman said the game was decided within the first five minutes of tip-off.

“We came out lackadaisical and casual, and they definitely took it to us,” he said.

Jarrod Uthoff, the state’s leading scorer, led the J-Hawks with a hard-earned 28 points and 11 rebounds, and also was a perfect 10-10 at the charity stripe.

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Trcka has it rolling again in Saints win

Sophomore Tara Trcka had the hot hand once again for the Xavier girls bowling team Friday. Trcka fired games of 255 and 228 for a 483 series that led the Saints to their third straight victory. They beat Waterloo East, 2578-2338, in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet at May City Bowl.

Trcka was the MVC female bowler of the week last week after rolling a 514 series in a win over Washington. She ranked ffith in the state with a 212.3 game average before Friday's meet.

Molly Behounek rolled a 181 game and Alyssa Schuster a 328 series for Xavier (4-7, 4-5 MVC).

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Freshman basketball drums home a lesson

I think I have gone to more high school basketball games this year than ever before, and there is a good reason for that.

When you have a ninth grade grandson playing team basketball, it is likely your attendance will increase. First of all, I have always enjoyed going to high school athletics, whether in a professional manner or as a grandparent.

So Susie and I have attended some of the Metro games that give you a new perspective on the game itself. The thing that has impressed me about the ninth grade level is the sportsmanship of the players involved.

I think they are learning at this early age that being a member of a team, and the court conduct that goes with it, is as important as improvement in their skills.

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