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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 17, 2012
Muhlbach’s return spurs Cedar Valley Christian to win over Central City

Will Muhlbach (35) of Cedar Valley Christian goes up for a shot against Central City's Dylan Berg in the first half Monday night.

CENTRAL CITY — Will Muhlbach decided not to play because he couldn’t play.

Tendinitis in his right knee was too much for the Cedar Valley Christian center to deal with, so he didn’t waste anyone’s time. He simply didn’t go out for the team — until last week.

“At the beginning of the season, I just wasn’t going to be able to play,” the 6-foot-4 senior said after his double-double helped lift CVC past Central City, 57-43, Monday night. “It hurt too bad to play. But I did some physical therapy, and it started to feel better. I decided to come to a practice (last) Thursday to see how it was. It felt fine, so I played in the game Saturday. That felt fine, so here I am.”

Muhlbach scored 17 points and snatched 11 rebounds as Cedar Valley Christian (2-6) ended a four-game losing streak. This wasn’t what the Huskies had in mind after a 13-10 debut a season ago in Iowa High School Athletic Association sanctioned play, including a playoff victory.

But if the springy Muhlbach can stay healthy and productive, this team could be a handful moving forward.

“I just throw him the ball inside, and he scores,” said guard Jeremy Strutz, who had a game-high 18 points. “It takes a lot of (pressure) off me. I love having him out there because he’s a great player.”

Strutz and Muhlbach were CVC’s leading scorers, in that order, last season. Jon Landis and Spencer Zielke also started and are back.

Experience, especially now, is a plus. A lack of depth (only six guys saw meaningful minutes) is a minus.

“We’ve just got to get into the gym and get reps,” Muhlbach said. “We’ve had trouble getting everyone into practice (at the same time), so we’re not really on the same page all the time.”

Sophomore Chad Griggs had 25 points for Central City (0-7), including 19 in the first half. The Wildcats have had an unbearable early schedule, playing the top four teams in the Tri-Rivers Conference (Cascade, Monticello, North Linn and Maquoketa Valley), as well as unbeaten Preston.

“The kids are working hard,” said first-year CC Coach Tanner Carlson. “We’ve just had a tough, tough start to our schedule … We’ve just got to keep the guys (positive). They are working hard and doing some things right.”

Here is the game boxscore:

AT CENTRAL CITY

CEDAR VALLEY CHRISTIAN (57): Spencer Zielke 4-9 0-0 9, Jeremy Strutz 7-13 2-2 18, Jon Landis 4-10 3-6 12, Will Muhlbach 8-15 1-4 17, Evan Koch 0-4 1-2 1, Tom Scroggs 0-0 0-0 0, Daniel Ostroot 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Gustafson 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 7-14 57.

CENTRAL CITY (43): Chad Griggs 8-14 5-8 25, Skyler Matthias 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Berg 4-10 0-0 8, David Mosher 3-9 1-2 8, Brandon Stevens 0-10 1-2 1, Nick McCarry 0-3 0-0 0, Joey Rochford 0-0 1-2 1, Storm Matthias 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Rollinger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-48 8-14 43.

Halftime - Cedar Valley Christian 26, Central City 22. 3-point goals – Cedar Valley Christian 4-11 (Zielke 0-1, Strutz 2-4, Landis 1-3, Koch 0-3), Central City 5-19 (Griggs 4-7, Mosher 1-4, Stevens 0-7). Rebounds – Cedar Valley Christian 30 (Muhlbach 11), Central City 32 (Berg, Mosher 8). Total fouls - Cedar Valley Christian 15, Central City 14. Fouled out - None. Turnovers – Cedar Valley Christian 14, Central City 19.

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