CEDAR FALLS — As the first annual Jerry Slykhuis Basketball Showcase came to a close Saturday night, one thing became apparent — plenty of excitement is in store for the basketball teams from Cedar Falls entering the new year.

Class 5A’s No. 2-ranked Cedar Falls girls revealed a lock-down defense and caught fire on offense during the second half of a convincing 51-32 win over No. 6 Ankeny Centennial.

The Cedar Falls boys jumped out to an early lead before Minnesota’s six-time defending Class 3A state champion DeLaSalle combined a barrage of stops with quick transition baskets during a 79-44 victory in the nightcap.

Throughout the opener, Cedar Falls’ girls (7-1) showcased balance on offense with Cynthia Wolf, Kamryn Finley and Emerson Green each scoring 11 points and Anaya Barney adding eight.

On the other end of the court, Centennial (6-2) was held to 9 of 37 shooting as Cedar Falls mixed in traps to cause 11 first-half turnovers during a game the Tigers led from start to finish.

“Our whole team is super lengthy and it makes them think a little bit before passing the ball inside,” said Wolf, who worked with Kiana Barney and Grace Burken to limit Centennial’s strong post presence.

Cedar Falls coach Gregg Groen felt it was imperative his team got Centennial out of its comfort zone.

“One of the things we knew we had to do tonight was create more possessions because they’re really good with their offense when they take high efficient shots,” Groen said. “We needed to do something different to get them out of rhythm.”

Cedar Falls’ offense came to life with the Tigers shooting 13 of 19 from the field over the final two quarters. Reserve McKenna Gleason hit two of her team’s five second half 3-pointers.

Centennial was playing one night removed from a win over a West Des Moines Valley team that defeated Cedar Falls in last year’s 5A state championship game.

“It was a physical game and we just weren’t able to handle it,” said Scott DeJong, who has coached Ankeny teams to seven state titles. “Second half they got really hot from 3, and if they shoot like that, they’ll be tough for anybody to beat.”

Added Cedar Falls’ Wolf, “The pieces are starting to fall together, the more chemistry we’re making. We can read each other and it’s helpful to have so many people that do so many different things.”

In the boys’ game, Cedar Falls guard AJ Green led all scorers with 24 points — including nine in a first quarter that saw the Tigers build a 16-12 lead — but none of his teammates finished with more than five.

University of Minnesota recruit Gabe Kalscheur scored nine of his team-high 22 points during a second quarter in which DeLaSalle flipped momentum in its favor. Green knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer, cutting Cedar Falls’ halftime deficit to 29-25, but the Tigers turned the ball over 10 times in the third quarter and DeLaSalle opened the second half on a 22-2 knockout run.

“We didn’t have the movement and the spacing that we had last night,” Cedar Falls coach Ryan Schultz said. “We weren’t sharing the basketball. It was too much dribbling, holding the ball, too much standing, not enough cutting. When you start to shoot quick against a team that wants to get out in transition, I think you’re playing right into their hands.”

Boxscores

Girls

ANKENY CENTENNIAL (6-2) — Taylor Runchey 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Wycoff 0-5 0-0 0, Rachel Schon 3-11 6-6 13, Chloe Olson 0-7 2-4 2, Alexandria Keahna-Harris 3-7 0-0 7, Meg Burns 1-3 0-0 3, Lizzy Johnson 0-0 2-2 2, Karina Fritz 2-2 0-0 5. Totals 9-39 10-12 32.

CEDAR FALLS (7-1) — Anaya Barney 3-6 0-2 8, Emerson Green 5-7 1-1 11, Kamryn Finley 4-10 1-1 11, Kiana Barney 1-9 2-2 35, Cynthia Wolf 5-8 0-0 11, Grace Burken 0-1 0-0 0, McKenna Gleason 2-2 0-0 6, Kirsten Graves 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-43 4-4 51.

Centennial 7 6 9 10 — 32

Cedar Falls 12 7 20 12 — 51

3-point goals — AC 4 (Schon, Keahna-Harris, Burns, Fritz), CF 9 (A. Barney 2, Finley 2, Gleason 2, Wolf). Total fouls — AC 9, CF 12. Fouled out — none.

Boys

DELASALLE (3-2) — Tyrell Terry 1-10 4-4 6, Gabe Kalscheur 7-18 6-6 22, Sage Booker 2-3 2-2 6, Jackson Battle 5-9 3-4 16, Christian Dickson 4-11 1-2 9, Rayquan Moore 2-4 4-4 9, Malik Lamin 2-2 2-2 6, Brady Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Jalen Thomas 1-1 0-0 2, Kameron Graves0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 22-24 79.

CEDAR FALLS (3-3) — AJ Green 10-22 1-2 24, Logan Wolf 0-4 0-0 0, Ben Gerdes 2-4 0-0 5, Mason Abbas 1-3 1-2 3, Jack Campbell 1-2 0-0 2, Sam Gary 2-4 0-0 5, Jackson Frericks 1-3 0-0 2, Reese Gardner 1-1 0-1 2, Joshua Ollendieck 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Lovelle Banks 0-1 1-1 1, Luke Loughren 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 3-6 44.

DeLaSalle 12 17 28 22 — 79

Cedar Falls16 9 9 10 — 44

3-point goals — DeLaSalle 6 (Kalscheur 2, Battle 2, Moore, Greer), Cedar Falls 5 (Green 3, Gerdes, Gary). Totals fouls — DeLaSalle 10, Cedar Falls 15. Fouled out —Wolf.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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