WATERLOO — Struggles to defend the 3-point line bit Waterloo East early as the Trojans fell in an 18-point hole against Iowa City High Friday.

After working all the way back in the fourth quarter, they bit even harder.

Ryland Threlkeld-Wiegand hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to break a 69-69 tie, then proceeded to hit two more as his team clung to a one-point lead, helping the Hawks to an 85-81 win in Waterloo.

East, which lost the lead for good after going ahead 5-4 early, completely erased that 18-point deficit, pulling even when Ja’Cee Clark made a steal at midcourt, then kicked ahead to Da’Quavian Walker for a layup to tie the game at 69.

Clark finished with four steals for the Trojans, who forced 11 turnovers in the second half.

But despite a spirited comeback, East was never able to get over the top, thanks in part to Threlkeld-Wiegand, who took advantage of three crucial defensive errors in less than two minutes.

“There was no reason to double-team (inside) and leave (Threlkeld-Wiegand) open,” East coach Steve McGraw said. “We did that and it was a mistake, we paid for it.”

After the Trojans got within 83-81, Antonio Turner, who had a game-high 33 points, closed things out by hitting a pair of free throws with under 10 seconds remaining.

It seemed unlikely that East, which made it a game with a 14-3 third-quarter run, would be in any position to come back early, following a dreadful first quarter.

Keshawn Christian, who finished with 23 points, got off to a scintillating start. During a 15-0 first-quarter run by City High, Christian was responsible for 13 points.

The loss wasted a terrific performance by East’s TreyShawn LaBeaux, who nearly recorded a double-double in the first half, before finishing with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

LaBeaux was one of five Trojans to finish in double figures. Tyrese Nickelson had 19, Clark added 14, with Walker and Ramon Harrington adding 10.

East, which hasn’t been above .500 this late in the season in five years, looked in prime position to get there, having won five of six and facing a 4-12 Hawk team that had lost six of seven.

Instead, the Trojans fell to 8-9, much to the chagrin of their frustrated coach.

“That’s what happens when you take a team lightly,” McGraw said. “And I think that’s exactly what we did.”

I.C. High 85, East 81

IOWA CITY HIGH (5-12, 3-9) — Antonio Turner 9 13-15 33, Carter Westlake 1 1-2 4, Jeremie Kambomba 3 0-0 6, Keshawn Christian 7 2-2 23, Ryland Threlkeld-Wiegand 4 0-0 11, Malik Kimber 0 0-0 0, DeAngelo McNeil 4 0-0 8, Nicholas Gravitt 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 16-19 85.

WATERLOO EAST (8-9, 4-8) — Jacee Clark 5 4-5 14, Ramon Harrington 3 3-7 10, Jovahn Holmes 2 1-1 6, TreyShawn LaBeaux 10 0-2 20, Kendall Robinson 0 0-0 0, Da’Quavian Walker 4 0-0 10, Tyrese Nickelson 5 6-6 19, Steven VanArsdale 0 0-0 0, Tavious Jenkins 0 2-2 2, Larenz Plum 0 0-0 0. Totals 20-42 10-14 54.

I.C. High 20 22 19 24— 85

Wat. East 12 15 25 29 — 81

3-point goals — I.C. High 11 (Christian 5, Threlkeld-Wiegand 3, Turner 2, Westlake 1), East 7 (Nickelson 3, Walker 2, Harrington 1, Holmes 1). Total fouls — I.C. High 19, East 13. Fouled out — Kambomba.

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