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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 8, 2012
Iowa City West “defends” top ranking, edges C.R. Kennedy, 54-53

Iowa City West's Myzeah Batie-Gaddy, Dondre Alexandre and Jeremy Morgan surround Elliott Christians of Cedar Rapids Kennedy during a game at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. (Cliff Jette/SourceMedia Group)


CEDAR RAPIDS — Steve Bergman called timeout and laid into his Iowa City West Trojans pretty good. He’s been known to do that over a coaching career that’ll surely include a hall of fame induction some day.

His boys responded as he hoped, playing “Bergy Ball” the rest of the way.

“Yeah, he really got into us during that timeout,” swingman Jeremy Morgan said after top-ranked West survived No. 10 Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 54-53, Tuesday night in a tournament-like affair. “He told us we really needed to pick up our defense and stop turning the ball over.”

Dondre Alexander of Iowa City West tries to block Darius Fuller of Cedar Rapids Kennedy as he leaps toward the basket during a game at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. (Cliff Jette/SourceMedia Group)

West held Kennedy scoreless for five and a half minutes during the fourth quarter to turn a six-point deficit into a lead it was able to nurse the rest of the way. A floating Darius Fuller 3-pointer made it a one-point game with 0.8 seconds left, but the Trojans inbounded after a timeout, and that was that — an 18th-straight win that didn’t come without extreme difficulty.

“I just think we wised up and started running our stuff,” said West forward Jacob Gylten. “We were pretty sloppy for the majority of the game and finally just settled down, were more deliberate in our offense and played good defense. That finally got us ahead.”

“We played good defense in the fourth quarter,” Bergman agreed. “I don’t know where it was the first three quarters, but it was pretty good the fourth.”

Kennedy (13-5) scored the first five points of the fourth, including a Cody Bell 3-pointer that gave it a 45-39 edge, leading to the aforementioned Bergman timeout, That was with 7:14 to go. Josiah Coleman’s free throw with 1:48 left was the Cougars’ next point, a Fuller jumper with 1:07 to go their next field goal.

Too much of a drought to beat unbeaten No. 1.

“We had about a half-dozen empty possessions where we hurried passes and made bad passes,” Kennedy Coach Bob Fontana said. “And they capitalized.”

West hit 53 percent from the field but was hurt by an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers. The silky smooth Morgan — 6-foot-6 junior son of former Iowa Hawkeye Michael Morgan — led the Trojans with 17 points, with point guard Dondre Alexander adding 11.

But this game wasn’t won with offense, as West’s players and coaches will tell you.

“We just put our best defenders out there at the end,” Bergman said. “And I thought they did a good job.”

Coleman had 14 points and a team-high six rebounds for Kennedy, with Fuller adding 10 points. West led by four points after a quarter and by a point at the break.

Here is the game boxscore and a short video that shows Fuller driving for a shot that misses, with his team down 53-50 in the closing 20 seconds. Alexander rebounds, pushes and the ball eventually gets to Myzeah Batie-Gaddy, who is fouled and make 1 of 2 free throws that turns out to be the winning point:


IOWA CITY WEST (54): Jacob Gylten 3-6 1-1 7, Jeremy Morgan 4-9 7-8 17, Myzeah Batie-Gaddy 2-2 3-4 7, Wyatt Lohaus 3-5 2-3 8, Dondre Alexander 5-10 1-3 11, Austin Swank 2-3 0-1 4, Richard Bryant 0-0 0-0 0, Jason Stewart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-36 14-20 54.

C.R. KENNEDY (53): Elliott Christians 3-6 1-1 7, Cody Bell 1-5 2-2 5, Josiah Coleman 5-11 4-6 14, Trevor Heitland 4-7 1-2 9, Darius Fuller 4-12 0-0 10, Alex Hayden 1-2 0-0 2, Ben Struss 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Jahlas 2-2 0-0 4, Patrick Martin 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 21-48 8-11 53.

Halftime — West 27, Kennedy 26. 3-point goals — West 2-7 (Morgan 2-4, Lohaus 0-2, Alexander 0-2), Kennedy 3-8 (Bell 1-3, Heitland 0-1, Fuller 2-2, Hayden 0-1, Martin 0-1). Rebounds — West 23 (Gylten 7), Kennedy 24 (Coleman 6). Total fouls — West 11, Kennedy 15. Fouled out — Heitland. Turnovers — West 17, Kennedy 15.


3 Responses to Iowa City West “defends” top ranking, edges C.R. Kennedy, 54-53

  1. Good Game Kennedy. Definitely deserve a higher ranking

  2. See you at substate Cougs, keep up the good work

  3. kennedy has a really good man defense. mostly smothered west most of the game. but the talent of west prevailed in the end. they showed resiliency. that is a trait of a state championship basketball team.

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