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CEDAR FALLS — Ryan Schultz gave Cedar Falls’ first-half performance very high grades.

Steve McGraw felt his team failed to pass the test.

Since McGraw coaches Waterloo East, that suggests how much the Tigers dominated the Trojans over the opening 16 minutes on the way to a 63-43 boys’ basketball victory Friday night.

Said Schultz, the Cedar Falls head coach, “It was great. We handled all the different things they threw at us. Our movement was very good. Our ball movement was very good and our energy was very good. I was very, very pleased with our execution, and the rebounding was fantastic.”

Said McGraw, “We’re not good enough to beat a team like Cedar Falls if you don’t shoot it well and don’t rebound. They’re better than us. Anybody who saw this game and looked at our stats .... I’m not trying to disrespect our kids, but it’s pretty obvious.”

Cedar Falls (11-4, 7-4) wasted little time in asserting itself. The Tigers used a 25-4 run to build a 38-11 lead with about two minutes left in the first half. They scored in transition, on second-chance opportunities in the paint, at the free-throw line, from the perimeter.

When AJ Green penetrated the East defense, spun, scooped and scored on a layup just before the horn, he put a ribbon on a overwhelming half of basketball. It was 40-19 Cedar Falls at the break.

“What makes me especially happy is, East makes you play a different way,” said Schultz. “I thought we handled that really well in the first half. It’s a credit to East. Coach McGraw does a fantastic job of making you play a little different than you’re used to. I thought our kids handled that very well.”

Cedar Falls got 15 points from Tra’Von Fagan and 13 from Green, but the top scorer for the Tigers was Trey LaBeaux. He scored 20 points off the bench, including a couple of emphatic third-period dunks.

Since his return from the sophomore squad, LaBeaux has been slowly working his way back into varsity form.

“He’s starting to give us some really consistent minutes right now at both ends of the floor,” said Schultz. “He’s really giving us that energy we thought he could give us. When he plays like that, it makes us a very multi-dimensional team which is pretty hard to guard.”

East (7-10, 4-8) struggled to slow down Cedar Falls either in man-to-man or zone defenses. Offensively, if Isaiah Wade didn’t score, neither did the Trojans. Triple-teamed at times in the low post, Wade still tallied 19 points, but East couldn’t find a complementary outside game. The Trojans didn’t hit shot from the perimeter until they trailed by 25 points.

“We didn’t have an answer for them in the first half,” said McGraw. “Now, I thought we played better in the second half, but by then you’ve got yourself buried and it’s too late.”

McGraw did offer some praise for the efforts by Wade and Marquas Gafeney.

“(Wade) is a pretty good player,” said McGraw. “He’s still raw and he’s got a lot to learn. I thought we did a pretty good job of getting him the ball and he did a better job tonight trying to take the ball at the basket than he has at other times. I thought Gafeney really played hard defensively, too.”

Cedar Falls 63, East 43

WATERLOO EAST (7-10, 4-8) — Marquad Gafeney 3-3 0-1 7, Jacee Clark 2-5 0-0 5, Tyre Reed 0-1 1-2 1, Martekas Matlock 1-8 1-2 3, Isaiah Wade 6-15 7-10 19, Tyus Phillips 0-2 0-0 0, Mosiah Sanders 1-8 1-2 3, Avree Clark 1-5 0-0 3 ,Raheem Nickelson 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Garrey 0-0 0-0 0, Dallas Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Brody Berinobis 0-0 0-0 0, Alijah Muhammad 0-0 0-0 0, Dakar Carter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 10-17 43.

CEDAR FALLS (11-4, 7-4) — Tra’Von Fagan 2-8 11-14 15, AJ Green 5-10 2-2 13, Taylen Alexander 1-4 0-0 2, Isaiah Johnson 2-6 0-0 5, Ben Gerdes 1-1 0-0 2, Trey LaBeaux 8-11 3-4 20, Denison Harrington 0-4 0-0 0, Mitchell Bower 1-3 0-0 3, Jacob Leisinger 1-1 1-2 3, Luke Loecher 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Mozena 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-48 17-22 63.

Wat. East 7 12 11 13 — 43

Cedar Falls 18 22 8 15 — 63

3-point goals—Cedar Falls 4 (Green 1, Johnson 1, LaBeaux 1, Bower 1), East 3 (Gafeney 1 J. Clark 1, A. Clark 1). Total fouls—East 17, Cedar Falls 16. Fouled out—none.


EAST — Makenna Davis 3, Jovahn Holmes 27, Marcellus Moore 4, Bryce Borel 3, Ramon Harrington 14, Cameron Berinobis 2, Joseph Putman 5.

CEDAR FALLS — Blake Christensen 14, Jacob Nelson 5, Logan Wolf 2, Casey Leeper 2, Rhett Smeins 6, Sam Gary 17, Reese Gardner 4, Jackson Frericks 15.

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Sports reporter for The Courier

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