Subscribe for 33¢ / day

CEDAR FALLS — One night after eclipsing the 1,000-point scoring mark, Cedar Falls guard A.J. Green put together a stellar encore.

Green scored 26 points and the Tigers knocked Waverly-Shell Rock from the ranks of the unbeaten, squeaking out a 57-52 win in boys’ basketball Saturday.

In a game featuring two of the state’s top players, Green’s Tigers seized momentum when Go-Hawk star Austin Phyfe was forced to the bench with two first-quarter fouls.

With Phyfe out, Cedar Falls closed the first period on a 14-0 run to grab a 20-11 lead.

When Phyfe, who finished with 19 points, did return, Waverly-Shell Rock was able to work its way back in the game. With the help of Jacob Bahe, who chipped in 13, the Go-Hawks briefly took a one-point lead in the third quarter.

But foul trouble again proved costly, as Bahe was forced to the bench after picking up his fourth foul in the third quarter. In his absence, the Tigers outscored Waverly 10-5 to grab a 40-36 lead heading into the final period.

They wouldn’t trail again.

Aside from foul trouble, Waverly-Shell Rock also had struggles at the foul line, shooting just 10 of 17 with some critical misses late in the game.

Having steamrolled through the first 17 games, Go-Hawks Coach Nate Steege put a positive spin on Saturday’s loss, saying it could ultimately prove to be a blessing in disguise.

“Sometimes, unfortunately, you need to deal with a little adversity and maybe even lose a game to get yourself back on track,” he said. “Until they experience and see it and we can show it on film, sometimes they don’t always believe you. I have no doubt they’ll bounce back.”

The Tigers had already experienced adversity in recent weeks, dropping three straight games before topping Waterloo West Friday night.

Cedar Falls Coach Ryan Schultz attributed the losing streak to struggles on the defensive end. In those three losses, the Tigers were allowing almost 67 points a game.

In the last two wins, that number has shrunk to 50.5.

“We’ve noticed in our losses, we’ve had a huge point differential compared to what we were doing in our wins defensively and so we really kind of refocused on the defensive end and kids have recommitted to that and I think it’s showing through right now,” Shultz said. “I thought we were outstanding tonight.”

Ced. Falls 57, Waverly-S.R. 52

WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK (17-1) — John Stensland 1 0-0 3, Jackson Little 1 0-0 3, Luke Velky 1 0-0 3, Jacob Bahe 6 1-3 13, Austin Phyfe 6 7-9 19, Braden Holmquist 1 0-0 3, Jack Seward 1 0-0 3, Joey McNally 0 2-4 2, Mosai Newsom 0 0-0 0, Jordan Gayer 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 10-17 52

CEDAR FALLS (11-6) — AJ Green 9 5-5 26, Logan Wolf 2 0-1 4, Ben Gerdes 3 1-2 7, Isaiah Johnson 2 4-4 8, Jackson Frericks 1 3-4 5, Daniel Martinson 0 0-0 0, Sam Gary 0 0-0 0, Reese Gardner 1 0-0 2, Jack Campbell 2 1-2 5. Totals 20 14-18 57

Waverly-S.R. 11 13 12 16 — 52

Cedar Falls 20 8 12 17 — 79

3-point goals—Waverly-Shell Rock 6 (Stensland 1, Holmquist 1, Seward 1, Gayer 1, Velky 1, Little 1), Cedar Falls 3 (Green 3). Total fouls—Waverly-Shell Rock 18, Cedar Falls 18. Fouled out—none.


Load comments