CEDAR RAPIDS — In the blink of an eye, Cedar Rapids Kennedy went from second gear to overdrive.
A full-court press forced turnovers galore and a layup parade in the fourth quarter, and the Cougars upheld their Class 4A No. 1 ranking with a 67-46 win over Iowa City High in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game last night at Kennedy High School.
The final score was extremely deceptive. Kennedy (5-0 overall, 4-0 MVC) trailed by three points after three quarters, but owned the fourth to the tune of 31-7.
“We got some steals, we got some baskets, the bench got fired up and that got us fired up,” said Kennedy’s Kristen Hahn.
Kennedy was abysmal from the field in the first three quarters, hitting 15 of 59 shots (25 percent), including 3 of 24 from 3-point range. But the shots got easier late, thanks to the press.
“We’re good at layups,” Hahn said.
Mariah Duke opened the fourth quarter with a steal and three-point play that tied the game, 39-39. Hahn followed with a steal and a layup that gave Kennedy the lead for good.
The Cougars weren’t done. Far from it.
Five different players scored in a 10-0 run in a two-minute span that made it 55-42 and put the Little Hawks (4-3, 2-2) away.
“We love the running game,” Duke said. “We love to get up and down the court, put pressure on the other team and see if they can handle it.”
The Little Hawks couldn’t. They committed 31 turnovers.
“We played very scared, and our passing was atrocious,” City High Coach Bill McTaggart said. “When you’re tired, you don’t come to the ball and don’t ball-fake, it can make you look pretty bad.”
The turnover disparity — Kennedy coughed it up only 10 times — led to many more opportunities for the home team. The Cougars attempted 72 shots, City High 49.
Jade Rogers had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Kennedy. Hahn added 11 points, Duke 10, and that duo combined for 11 steals.
City High’s Virginia Johnson posted 21 points and 13 rebounds.
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