Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Jefferson High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Jeff girls fall to No. 12 IC West

IOWA CITY – Kylie Wise and Kennedy Dighton each scored 15 points as the Jefferson girls basketball team suffered a 65-56 loss to 12th-ranked Iowa City West in a Mississippi Valley Conference game Friday at West.

The Women of Troy pulled away with a 17-9 run in the second quarter.

Jefferson fell to 8-11 overall and 6-5 in the conference.

Maddie Huinker popped in five 3-pointers and scored 22 points for Iowa City West (13-6, 8-3).

JEFFERSON (56): Kitterman 2 3-4 7, Guy 2 0-0 4, Donner 1 2-2 5, Wise 7 0-0 15, Melton 0 0-0 0, Watkins 0 0-0 0, Kuba 1 0-0 2, Thurmond 0 0-0 0, Erica Oler 1 0-0 2, Dighton 5 4-5 15, Emily Oler 2 2-2 6. Totals 21 11-13 56.

IOWA CITY WEST (65): Morgan 1 2-2 5, Zacharias 4 5-6 14, Fay 1 0-0 3, Saunders 0 4-6 4, McGrane 0 0-0 0, Huinker 7 3-3 22, Cook 1 0-0 2, Harder 1 2-2 5, Koch 1 1-3 3, Morgan 0 0-0 0, Beckner 2 3-4 5, May 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 20-26 65.

Halftime – Iowa City West 42, Jefferson 27. 3-point goals – Jefferson 3 (Donner, Wise, Dighton), Iowa City West 9 (Huinker 5, Morgan, Zacharias, Fay, Harder).


Angry J-Hawks stick Kennedy, 39-21

The Jefferson J-Hawks sent a clear message to all the wrestling coaches in Iowa who pooped all over them in the latest IWCOA rankings.

You guys were dead wrong.

The angry J-Hawks captured nine of 14 bouts Thursday night and defeated Kennedy, 39-21, in a dramatic Mississippi Valley Conference showdown at the Jefferson gym.

The coaches who vote in the IWCOA rankings dropped Jefferson from No. 5 to No. 9 in the poll that was used by the IHSAA to determine the assignments for the regional dual meet tournaments next Wednesday. At the same time, the coaches lifted Kennedy from No. 9 to No. 7 and effectively gave the Cougars a nice assignment at home in the regional tournament while shipping Jefferson to Johnston.

The top eight teams in the IWCOA rankings get to host the regionals and everyone else has to travel. Jefferson drew a tough assignment in the regional at Johnston that features the fifth-ranked Johnston Dragons and Dowling Catholic.



Briggs thinks Jeff wrestlers got raw deal

Cedar Rapids Jefferson wrestling coach Dick Briggs is a mild-mannered guy who rarely complains, but he's upset with the way the Class 3A regional dual meet tournaments were organized this year.

First of all, he thinks the J-Hawks were short-changed when they dropped from No. 5 to No. 9 in the IWCOA dual team rankings that were used to determine which schools would host a regional tournament on Feb. 10. The top-eight teams in the rankings get to host, so Jefferson missed by one spot.

Secondly, he's disappointed his J-Hawks would have to defeat fifth-ranked Johnston in the regional finals at Johnston in order to claim a berth in the state dual meet tournament. Normally, a team seeded No. 9 would face the No. 8 seed in the regional finals, but the Iowa High School Athletic Association did not follow the chart.

The Iowa Wrestling Coaches Association (IWCOA) made the rankings, then the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) made the pairings that were released last month.

Briggs did not like either result and has not gotten any satisfactory answers.



Dighton wins Metro Spotlight Award

Kennedy Dighton of Jefferson is the winner of the Metro Spotlight Award for high school girls this week, the Metro Sports Report announced Sunday.

Dighton, a 6-foot-1 junior, has been a key member of the Jefferson basketball team as it bids for a winning season this year.

Dighton leads the J-Hawks at 13.5 points and more than eight rebounds per game. She has raised her game this season after averaging 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds last year as a sophomore.



McKinney wins Metro Spotlight Award

Dennis McKinney of Cedar Rapids Jefferson is the winner of the Metro Spotlight Award for high school boys this week, the Metro Sports Report announced Sunday.

McKinney, a 6-foot-4 senior, has been one of the driving forces for the Jefferson basketball team during its surge the last few weeks. The J-Hawks have won three of their last four games, including an upset victory over sixth-ranked Linn-Mar Friday night, and have raised their record to 6-10.

McKinney scored 19 points and snared 17 rebounds in the victory against Linn-Mar, continuing his good work during the winning streak.



Valentino Green commits to Iowa Western

Cedar Rapids Jefferson football star Valentino Green has committed to play for Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs next season.

Green, 6-foot-3, 196 pounds, was a two-way star for the J-Hawks last season when they finished 7-4 and reached the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

He rushed 44 times for 608 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 430 yards and seven touchdowns. All told, he scored 104 points for Jefferson last season.

Green also excelled on defense, where he finished second on the club with 74.5 tackles.

Green was named second team all-state by the Iowa Newspaper Association as a defensive back.



Jeff girls nudged by Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls edged the Jefferson girls bowling team, 2,520 to 2,414, in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet Friday in Cedar Rapids.

Madison Rasmussen had a high game of 205 and Megan Kitzmiller had a 382 series for the J-Hawks.

Jayden Robe bowled a 367 series for the Tigers.

CEDAR FALLS: Jayden Robe 188-179=367, Rachael Sears 166-180=346, Megan McDonell 169-172=341, Emily Barth 150-160=310, Madison Standing 136-151=287, Meridith Standing 121-123=244.

JEFFERSON: Megan Kitzmiller 201-181=382, Maddie Kisling 187-167=354, Madison Rasmussen 205-116=321, Hailey Kimble 157-141=298, Allie Schirmer 124-159=283, Lauren Sheets 110-84=194.

Cedar Falls: 1,651-869=2,520.

Jefferson: 1,638-776=2,414.


Bennett, Donner lift J-Hawks over Tigers

Tanner Bennett rolled a 258 game and Chaise Donner had a 464 series to lead the Jefferson boys bowling team in a 3,277 to 3,080 win over Cedar Falls in a Mississippi Valley Conference meet Friday in Cedar Rapids.

Nick Hanson had a 257 game and a 451 series for the Tigers.

CEDAR FALLS: Nick Hanson 194-257=451, Brandon Jerome 234-214=448, Dylan Swatek-Briggs 205-214=419, Avery Bauer 192-176=368, Jackson Reynolds 159-203=362, Dalton Swatek-Briggs 139-162=301.

JEFFERSON: Chaise Donner 246-218=464, Hunter Sturtz 257-200=457, Tanner Bennett 258-190=448, Riley Walton 214-202=416, John Gardner 214-183=397, Logan Miller 178-153=331.

Cedar Falls: 2,048-1,032=3,080.

Jefferson: 2,182-1,095=3,277.


Ollinger, Finley lead Lions by J-Hawks

When their team needed them most, Linn-Mar’s two stars came out bright Friday night.

First, senior Amanda Ollinger single-handedly wiped out a fast start by the energized visitors from Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

Then, as the scrappy J-Hawks made a fourth-quarter rally to pull within three points, steady sophomore Kamryn Finley swished seven free throws down the stretch to preserve a 55-44 Lion victory.

"I started out kind of slow,” said Finley, who made just one basket in the first half and another in the third quarter. “My shot wasn’t falling.

"When I started driving to the hoop and getting to the line for free throws, that sort of got my confidence back.”

For her part, Ollinger scored 18 of her team’s 20 first-quarter points (including the first dozen in a row) to assume a lead after a make-shift starting line-up on senior night spotted the J-Hawks to a 12-0 opening spurt.

"She had a fantastic first quarter,” Linn-Mar coach Jaime Brandt said. “It was special to start those five seniors. But Amanda really took over when she came in and gave us a spark when we needed it.”

Ollinger made just one basket and three free throws the rest of the way but made her presence felt with 23 points, 12 rebounds and six steals.



J-Hawks upset No. 6 Lions, 71-70

After coming close so many times this season, the Jefferson boys basketball team simply found a way Friday night.

Valentino Green grabbed a rebound off a missed Dennis McKinney free throw and banked it home just before the final horn to give the J-Hawks a stunning 71-70 Mississippi Valley Conference win over No. 6 Linn-Mar at the Jefferson gym.

Green's winning basket set off a wild celebration as players and fans mobbed the 6-foot-2 senior while the Lions stood near their bench in stunned silence.

"We didn't have a play on," Green said. "We wanted to make the shot, but I knew if he missed it I was going to get the rebound. I battled for it and I knew I had to go up strong.

"This win shows just how hard we've been working," he continued. "Since Christmas break, we've been getting a lot better and it showed tonight."

Jefferson coach Brandon Horman just stood back and watched the celebration unfold. The J-Hawks dropped a 3-point decision on Tuesday at Dubuque Wahlert and refused to back down against the highly-regarded Lions.



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