A buzzer beaten. A streak snapped.
It has been a remarkable stretch for the Center Point-Urbana girls’ basketball team.
The Stormin’ Pointers ran their winning streak to six games Tuesday at Center Point, knocking off Class 4A second-ranked Benton Community, 50-42, ending the Bobcats’ 38-game regular-season winning streak.
“We didn’t talk about the streak,” CPU Coach Philip Klett said. “We talked about having a chance to move to the top of the (Wamac Conference West Division).”
CPU (10-3 overall, 5-1 Wamac West) moved alongside the Bobcats (11-1, 5-1) at the top of the heap of a strong, deep division. It did so by rallying from a four-point halftime deficit, opening the third quarter with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good.
The Stormin’ Pointers built a nine-point advantage, then allowing Benton no closer than three points the rest of the way.
“I was really happy with the defense that Jessica Wooldridge played on (UNI recruit Madison) Weekly,” Klett said. “Arika (Wooldridge) and Kennedy (Salow) played very well inside.
“We rebounded very well. We hadn’t done that Friday or Saturday, so we made it a priority.”
On Saturday, Arika Wooldridge followed Salow’s miss with a basket at the buzzer as the Stormin’ Pointers edged Union in overtime, 40-38, as part of Rivalry Saturday at Cornell College.
Wooldridge is widely considered one of the state’s best freshmen and averages a team-high 14.1 points per game.
The Stormin’ Pointers have little time to bask in their hot streak. They have a tricky test at Marion (7-5, 4-2) on Friday. A rematch with Benton is Jan. 29 at Van Horne.
CROWDED AT THE TOP
When Cedar Rapids Washington punished Waterloo West on Tuesday, it created a logjam atop the MVC Valley Division.
Aleena Hobbs scored 23 points, and Dani Franklin added 21 points and 14 rebounds in the Warriors’ 79-58 home rout. As a result, four teams in the division have two losses apiece.
“We just got off to a really good start,” said Washington Coach Frank Howell. “We were hot from the perimeter, and we defensive intensity was good.”
Cedar Rapids Prairie (9-3, 6-2) holds a half-game lead on Washington (9-3, 5-2), West (8-4, 5-2) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (7-6, 5-2). But the Hawks have by far the most difficult remaining schedule.
Prairie faces each of the other three contenders, plus Iowa City West, in its final five league games. The Hawks host Washington on Friday in a non-counting game.
Washington already has wins over West and Xavier, and probably has the easier remaining road.
“There are a lot of good teams, a lot of tough games to go — for everybody,” Howell said. “Every night is a different story.”
Aleena Hobbs, Arika Wooldridge, Benton Community, cedar rapids prairie, Cedar Rapids Washington, cedar rapids xavier, Center Point-Urbana, Frank Howell, girls basketball, Jessica Wooldridge, Kennedy Salow, Waterloo West