CEDAR RAPIDS — Just what kind of defense was that?
“Can I keep it a secret?” said a coy Cedar Rapids Washington Coach Brad Metzger after his team picked up its first win of the boys’ basketball season, 48-43, over Cedar Rapids Jefferson last night at Jeff.
It appeared Washington (1-3) played a little box-and-one, a little diamond-and-one to try and slow down 6-foot-8 Jefferson star Jarrod Uthoff. There was some zone in there, too.
In short, the Warriors threw more junk at the J-Hawks then Fred Sanford. And it worked.
“Our main focus was to stop Jarrod Uthoff because he’s an incredible player,” said Washington point guard Wes Washpun, who played a strong floor game to go along with his game-high 18 points. “He can score from anywhere on the court, and he’s a bigger guy, so it’s really hard to match up on him. But I think Coach came up with a pretty good game plan to stop him.”
Uthoff finished with only eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, 13 points under his average. The rest of his mates couldn’t pick him up, as Jefferson (4-1) shot an icy 31 percent from the field, scoring one point in the third quarter.
That extreme dry spell allowed Washington to build a 10-point lead. Jefferson rallied some late but never got closer than three points, as the Warriors went into slowdown mode and hit some clutch free throws.
“I think it’s all about finding ourselves,” said Wash’s Alex Carr, whose team lost its first three games to ranked or unbeaten foes. “We have two sophomores and a couple of other guys that really haven’t played together. So we just had to find ourselves, work as a team.”
Evan Davis complemented Washpun offensively with 12 points. Jefferson was led by Teyshawn Campbell’s 10.
“At the beginning of the season, I thought we’d be a running team,” said Metzger, who will gain the services of suspended standout Josh Oglesby on Jan. 5. “But I decided we needed to learn how to play the game first instead of playing 100 miles an hour.
“We’re getting better.”