CEDAR FALLS — One week removed from a one-point loss at Waterloo West, Cedar Falls reasserted itself back atop the metro boys’ basketball scene Friday night.

A.J. Green poured in 35 points, and the Tigers used a determined effort on the glass and defense to pull away from Waterloo East, 80-57.

The win completed a series sweep of the Trojans as Cedar Falls (15-4) improved to 3-1 against its Class 4A metro opponents. East (8-11) could potentially meet the Tigers again in the substate semifinal round. There’s a chance Waterloo West would await that winner in the substate final.

“They (East) had just beat West two weeks ago so we knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Green said. “We had to come out, be locked in from the start, bring our own energy, and we were able to do that.

“We knew we were going to face adversity. It just happened to be them (West). It kind of sucks to lose, especially that game, but we’ve just got to learn from it. Hopefully we can play them again in substate and get the win then.”

Green received support from fellow starters Logan Wolf (14 points), Jackson Frericks (11 points) and Jack Campbell (seven points). The Tigers’ starting five shot 24 of 45 (53 percent) from the field with Ben Gerdes also contributing in fewer minutes due to foul trouble.

Cedar Falls’ defense was just as strong.

Tyrese Nickelson finished with 15 points and TreyShawn LaBeaux added 14, but East’s potent scoring tandem took a combined 32 field goal attempts to reach that total.

“We did a good job of adhering to the scouting report and knowing who we were guarding at different times,” Cedar Falls coach Ryan Schultz said. “They have some very good basketball players on their team, and I thought we did a good job at least having a hand in their face and making it tough on them to get comfortable.”

The teams traded baskets early before the hosts broke away from a 7-all tie and closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run. Green then drained a 3-pointer after an offensive rebound and turned a steal into a behind-the-back move through traffic for a layup that sparked a 13-2 surge leading to a 40-22 halftime cushion.

East cut its deficit to 13 twice in the third quarter. Green, however, was an efficient 5 of 6 from the field in the second half, and Wolf and Frericks poured in a combined 16 points over the final two quarters.

After a stretch of five wins in six games, East (8-11) has suffered three straight losses — including setbacks to the substate’s top seeds Cedar Falls and Dubuque Hempstead.

“Cedar Falls is really good and we played in spurts,” East coach Steve McGraw said. “This might be as good as we are. Maybe we’re only good enough to be within 30 points of good teams like this. If that is, I need to quit complaining. ... There’s no question they outworked us.”

While East is trying to recover from a recent slump, Cedar Falls appears to be taking steps forward entering Tuesday’s AP Top 10 showdown at Hempstead.

“I think we’re building,” Schultz said. “Our guys are committed, our practices have been very good. I think guys are playing well.”

Cedar Falls 80, Wat. East 57

WATERLOO EAST (8-11) — Tyrese Nickelson 5-19 2-4 15, Jacee Clark 4-7 1-1 9, Jovahn Holmes 1-4 4-4 6, TreyShawn LaBeaux 6-13 1-1 14, Jordan Wise 2-5 0-2 4, Kendall Robinson 1-1 0-0 2, Ramon Harrington 1-3 1-2 4, DaQuavion Walker 1-6 0-0 3, Tavious Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0, Steven VanArsdale 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 9-9-14 57.

CEDAR FALLS (15-4) — AJ Green 11-22 9-10 35, Logan Wolf 4-9 3-5 14, Ben Gerdes 2-2 0-0 4, Jackson Frericks 5-8 0-0 11, Jack Campbell 2-4 0-2 7, Reese Gardner 0-0 2-2 2, Mason Abbas 1-2 0-0 2, Sam Gary 1-3 0-0 3, Tate Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Joshua Ollendieck 0-1 0-0 0, Chase Courbat 1-1 0-1 2, Luke Loughren 0-0 0-0 0, Lovelle Banks 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Nelson 0-2 0-0 0, Hassaan Harvey 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 17-23 80.

Waterloo East 9 13 17 17 — 57

Cedar Falls 17 23 17 23 — 80

3-point goals — East 6 (Nickelson 3, LaBeaux, Harrington, Walker), Cedar Falls7 (Green 4, Wolf, Frericks, Gary). Total fouls — East 14, Cedar Falls 12. Fouled out — none. Technical foul — East bench.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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