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Friday, February 23, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

There's more to the game than basketball

There's more to high school basketball in the Metro than practicing and playing games. Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Jefferson have now led the way to join the Coaches vs. Cancer crusade with fundraising attached to basketball.

In fact, the program started Jan. 14 with the Kennedy-Jefferson boys game as the schools competed to see who could raise the most money for the Linn County Cancer Society and its Relay for Life program, chaired by volunteer Dave Martin.

Through raffles, the selling of T-shirts and the general solicitation, the J-Hawks and Cougars raised $4,200. This week is Jefferson and Washington's turn. One of their projects has been a dance marathon, and they will donate the proceeds from their activities and autographed basketballs by the high school players to the cancer society (see above story).

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Stokes outscores Prairie

Linn-Mar’s Kiah Stokes, the state’s leading scorer, single-handedly outscored the entire Prairie team Friday night with a 30-point performance as the No. 2 Lions trounced the Hawks, 54-28.

In a face-off between the Metro’s top and bottom teams, Prairie (4-12, 3-10) remained within striking distance at the half, trailing Linn-Mar 25-20. But the Hawks were hamstrung in the second half and Lions charged ahead, outscoring them 29-8.

Prairie senior Mackenzie Blaha hit three treys to lead the Hawks with nine points. Talented  freshman Madison Dellamuth, who leads the team in scoring, assists and field goal percentage, managed only a single bucket.

Mykaela Brandt and Kailee Karr each scored six points for the Lions (17-1, 12-1).

Prairie hosts Class 3A No. 2 Mount Vernon on Saturday at 6:30. Linn-Mar takes on Xavier at home next Friday.

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Oney, Armstrong help UNI reach new heights

Katelin Oney and K.K. Armstrong enjoyed remarkable basketball careers at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, and now the two best friends are helping the University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team scale new heights.

Oney and Armstrong helped Washington compile an 88-14 record during their four years with the varsity. They made the Class 4A state tournament each season and finished second, second, third and second in Des Moines.

Success has followed them to Cedar Falls. The Panthers won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and reached the NCAA tourney for the first time in school history last season, and this year they are sitting in first place in the MVC standings near the midpoint of the regular-season campaign.

Oney and Armstrong, a pair of 5-foot-7 guards, graduated from Washington in 2008. Armstrong committed to Northern Iowa during the early part of the summer of 2007, but Oney waited a little longer before picking Northern Iowa as well.

"They were actually our first signees of the new staff," said UNI Coach Tanya Warren, in her fourth year at UNI. "We wanted to build our program starting with those two."

The Panthers are 14-5 overall and 7-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference heading into Saturday afternoon's home date with Bradley.

Oney, a starting guard, is tied for the conference lead in 3-pointers and ranks 10th in scoring at 10.5 points. Armstrong, a key reserve, ranks 10th in the MVC in free throwing shooting and is averaging 7.3 points, fourth-best on the team.

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Morehouse shines for short-handed Marion

The Marion wrestlers lost another pair of matches in a double-dual meet Thursday night in their home gym.

They've yet to win a meet this year, due once again to automatic forfeits for the snakebit and short-handed squad. But, as he's done all season, senior Scout Morehouse started things off in his two 112-bouts with relentlessness and moxie.

On this night, he won both pretty handily on a second-period pin and a 13-6 decision.

"I try to come out as aggressive as possible in every meet to set the tone for the rest of my teammates," said the diminutive grappler, who's listed at 5-foot-5 but says he's actually two inches shorter. "I want other teams to know that when they wrestle Marion, they can expect to get the very best out of us. We've got a lot of pride."

What they don't have is a lot of wrestlers. In the matches against Center Point-Urbana and Vinton-Shellsburg, the Indians put out only eight varsity contestants in the 14 weight classes. So the team essentially was behind by 36 points before even hitting the mat.

Marion lost to Center Point-Urbana, 51-21, and dropped a tight contest to Vinton-Shellsburg, 42-37.

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Xavier girls fall to another ranked foe

A possible concussion. A sprained finger. Another painful loss.

That was the story Thursday for the 14th-ranked Xavier girls basketball team, which lost a tight game to a ranked opponent for the third time in six days.

Iowa City West clinched the Valley Division title in the Mississippi Valley Conference with a 49-45 victory over the 14th-ranked Saints at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

The third-ranked Trojans won their first conference title since 1979, snapping a drought that lasted 32 years. "We're ecstatic," West Coach B.J. Mayer remarked.

Ecstasy for Iowa City West, agony for Xavier.

The Saints lost to 11th-ranked Dowling Catholic, 38-37, Saturday on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds, then lost to fourth-ranked Waterloo West, 32-29, on Tuesday.

"It was deja vu all over again," said Coach Tom Lilly.

Annie Dale suffered an apparent concussion in the fourth quarter and had to be helped to the Xavier locker room, but she appeared bright-eyed after the game and did not require further medical care. Alex Bartz sprained a finger, and neither player was on the floor at the end.

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