CEDAR FALLS — It was nothing Cedar Falls hadn’t seen before.
From a box-and-one to triangle-and-two to running extra defenders at star guard A.J. Green in order to slow him down, the Tigers have seen them all. And when that happens, Cedar Falls needs somebody else to step up and shoulder the scoring.
Waterloo East threw a little of everything at Green Friday in a Class 4A substate semifinal, limiting him to just four points. But Tiger guard Logan Wolf erupted for 26 points as fourth-ranked Cedar Falls scored a 62-50 victory over the Trojans.
The win advances the Tigers to a substate final Tuesday at the McLeod Center against 10th-ranked Dubuque Hempstead, which defeated Cedar Falls, 70-69 on Feb. 13.
“We knew they were going to throw something weird at us, and when A.J. is getting doubled I knew I had to attack, be aggressive and make sure I get points so we can win the game,” Wolf said. “Every team throws something different at us because A.J. is that good of a player, so we’ve all got to be ready to step up at different times to do what we can do to help us win.”
Green didn’t even take a shot in the first quarter and only two in the second, one of which was a near half-court fling at the buzzer.
“What is so nice about him (A.J.) is he doesn’t hang his head in those situations,” Cedar Falls coach Ryan Schultz said. “He is down there in the lockerroom at halftime pumping guys up. He is willing to defer that role and tonight we had several guys step up.”
Wolf scored 10 points in the opening eight minutes, including eight in the final 1:20, including two 3-pointers. That 8-0 Wolf run allowed Cedar Falls to lead 17-10 quarter lead after East had taken its only lead of the game, 10-9, on a Ja’Cee Clark bucket.
The Tigers (17-5) stretched their lead to 29-19 by halftime and 43-30 after three before East mounted a rally in the fourth quarter.
Cedar Falls led 54-40 with 3:41 left, but the Trojans (10-13) rattled off a 10-0 run, getting six points from TreyShawn LaBeaux and four free throws from Tyrese Nickelson. With just 1:34 to go, the lead was 54-50.
But Green scored his first bucket of the game seven seconds after LaBeaux got East within four, assisted on a Wolf dunk and hit a pair of free throws as the lead ballooned back to 10 before settling on the final margin.
“The nice thing is we play in a tough conference and night in, night out we have been through the battles this year,” said Schultz.
The Tigers now turn their attention to a Hempstead team that jumped out to a 41-29 halftime lead and made 11 of 18 3-pointers in the previous game.
“Our defensive effort over there in the first half was not what we expected so we have to play four quarters,” Schultz said. “That is definitely one thing. We have to get to their shooters.”
Cedar Falls 62, East 50
WATERLOO EAST (10-13) — Tyrese Nickelson 4-12 5-6 15, Jacee Clark 4-12 1-2 9, Jovahn Holmes 1-5 0-1 2, TreyShawn LaBeaux 6-13 0-0 12, Kendall Robinson 1-1 0-0 2, DaQuavion Walker 1-2 0-0 3, Ramon Harrington 1-2 0-0 3, Tavious Jenkins 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Wise 2-5 0-0 4, Ramir Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Larenz Plum 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-55 6-9 50.
CEDAR FALLS (17-5) — A.J. Green 1-5 2-2 4, Logan Wolf 10-11 4-7 26, Ben Gerdes 3-9 0-1 6, Jackson Frericks 4-11 6-7 14, Jack Campbell 2-3 1-4 5, Mason Abbas 1-1 0-0 3, Reese Gardner 2-3 0-0 4, Sam Gary 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 13-18 62.
East 10 9 11 20 — 50
Cedar Falls 17 12 14 19 — 62
3-point goals — East 4 (Nickelson 2, Walker, Harrington), Cedar Falls 3 (Wolf 2, Abbas). Total fouls — East 19, Cedar Falls 14. Fouled out — Nickelson.