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The Gazette KCRG
Posted January 6, 2012
Iowa City West survives Jefferson comeback, 50-49


Iowa City West's Dondre Alexander drives toward the lane during the fourth quarter of their game against Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Jefferson High School on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. West won, 50-49. (SourceMedia Group News/Jim Slosiarek)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Dondre Alexander politely declined to shake hands with a reporter postgame Friday night. The Iowa City West guard had a sore right wrist, courtesy of a first-quarter fall.

Call him beaten, but not beaten, considering his interior baseline shot with 39 seconds left and defensive stop in the final five seconds allowed the top-ranked Trojans to escape No. 8 Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 50-49, in a blowout-turned-thriller at the J-Hawk gym.

“A lot of pain, but I just tried not to let it bother me,” Alexander said. “This was a good win. On the road, which made it a little better.”

A road escape, to be quite honest. West (9-0, 6-0 in the Valley Division of the Mississippi Valley Conference) shot 60 percent in the first half to build a 16-point halftime lead but scored only two points in the fourth quarter (Alexander’s winner), allowing Jefferson (7-2, 3-2) to keep creeping closer and closer.

“We didn’t go out ready to play in the second half,” said West Coach Steve Bergman. “I didn’t think we played that well in the first half, but we shot great … We got to standing around offensively and not playing defense.”

Star J-Hawks guard Taylor Olson scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, but it was teammate Creighton Robinson who provided just as big a lift. The 5-foot-9 junior guard with the funky little push shot, nailed a 3-pointer, then a whirling lane drive with 1:45 left to put Jefferson on top for the first time, 50-49.

He finished with 15 points. Jefferson suffered its first two losses this week, including Tuesday night at Dubuque Senior.

“It was a little voice modulation at halftime,” Coach Stu Ordman said. “We really challenged our guys. I thought certain guys stepped up, and I thought everybody played really hard. I’m hoping this inspires them. If we play four quarters instead of two, we might win another game.”

Ordman had no qualms with his team’s final shot. After running the clock all the way down, Olson went one-on-one against Alexander, penetrating the left side of the lane but appearing to have his shot partially blocked, hitting the underside of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

“I saw the basket, but Dondre came up, and I think he tipped it,” Olson said.

“I knew what he was planning to do,” Alexander said.

The 6-foot-3 junior guard led West with 13 points. Austin Swank had 11 off the bench, including a trio of treys, in his first game in a month because of a foot injury. Jeff shot 14 free throws to West’s two despite  having a significant height disadvantage.

Here is the game boxscore:


IOWA CITY WEST (50): Jeremy Morgan 2-9 0-0 5, Jake Gylten 3-3 1-2 8, Myzeah Batie-Gaddy 2-2 0-0 4, Dondre Alexander 6-9 0-0 13, Wyatt Lohaus 4-8 0-0 9, Richard Bryant 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Swank 4-7 0-0 11, Jason Stewart 0-2 0-0 0, Tavian Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-40 1-2 50.

C.R. JEFFERSON (49):Ky Kramer 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Olson 6-13 7-8 19, Alec Saunders 2-5 2-4 7, Tyler Hemphill 4-8 0-2 8, Justin Underwood 0-0 0-0 0, Creighton Robinson 6-9 0-0 15, Andre Kearney 0-2 0-0 0, Jacob Olson 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Goodell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-39 9-14 49.

Halftime— West 33, Jefferson 17. 3-point goals — West 7-17 (Morgan 1-5, Gylten 1-1, Alexander 1-4, Lohaus 1-3, Swank 3-4), Jefferson 4-10 (Kramer 0-1, Saunders 1-3, Hemphill 0-1, Robinson 3-4, J. Olson 0-1). Rebounds — West 16 (Alexandedr 5), Jefferson 24 (T. Olson, Hemphill 6). Total fouls — West 13, Jefferson 7. Fouled out — None. Turnovers— West 11, Jefferson 12.


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