DES MOINES - You could sense the Kennedy Cougars might be in trouble at the state basketball tournament Wednesday night when Pleasant Valley put an imposing starting lineup on the floor that stood 6-foot-7, 6-foot-6, 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-5.
All four of those Spartans were taller than Kennedy's tallest starter.
You also could sense the Cougars might be in trouble when they kept clanking their 3-pointers on their way to a dreadful 3-for-20 performance from long range.
The Cougars managed to overcome a 12-point deficit and take a 44-42 lead on a rare 3-pointer with 4:14 left in the game on the strength of an impressive 18-4 run, but the fun ended there.
Pleasant Valley marched to the foul line and hit 14 straight free throws in the final 3 minutes, 22 seconds and defeated Kennedy, 58-51, in the opening round of the Class 4A tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Spartans, who began the season with 19 straight victories, will face Des Moines Hoover in the semifinals Friday afternoon. The Cougars retired for the season with an 18-6 mark, losing in the first round of the state tournament for the second straight under second-year head coach Jon McKowen.
"When we're smaller across the front line, we've got to shoot it a little bit, especially when they're a pack-man team," said McKowen. "They really want to pack it in tight (on defense).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:59