CEDAR FALLS - Cedar Falls coach Gregg Groen says there's nothing flashy about the manner in which his girls' basketball team defends. Friday night, it was the Tigers' hard-nosed, man-to-man approach that allowed Groen's team to force its way into the conversation as one of the state's best.
Class 5A's No. 10-rated Cedar Falls held No. 1 Kennedy 13 points below its season-low to take over sole possession of first place in the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division standings with an eye-opening, 46-30 victory.
"We just play man-to-man defense," Groen said after his team held Kennedy to 9 of 41 shooting. "We really don't do that much special. It becomes a team effort of how can we collectively shut them down. Tonight I thought the girls came out and I thought they played extremely well defensively."
After patiently passing the ball around Kennedy's zone defense in the first quarter to take a 13-8 lead aided by three Kiana Barney 3-pointers, the Tigers (13-1, 8-0) held Kennedy (14-2, 7-1) scoreless for the final six minutes of the second quarter resulting in a commanding 24-12 halftime advantage.