Needless to say, the past weekend around the Midwest Basketball League was nothing short of exhilarating. The Minnesota Broncos stunned the reigning MBL champions at home one night, while the Elite came back the next to upset the West Division leading Eagan Bulldogs. As for the Cedar Valley CourtKings (7-1) they took advantage of the exciting weekend of basketball back on their home court as they welcomed the North Minneapolis Eagles (0-8) to the Cedar Valley SportsPlex in Waterloo.
Despite a losing record, the Eagles have made progress in only their second full season as an MBL team. North Minneapolis challenged the cream of the crop in the division early in the year, which was highlighted by a 115-114 loss to the Minnesota Lakers on April 13. Regardless, the CourtKings knew picking up a home win would greatly help their playoff aspirations as the season reached its midpoint.
From the opening tip of the game, the CourtKings took control, and took control fast amasing a double digit lead in just a few short minutes. The CourtKings were able to dominate the inside game the entire way thanks to a CourtKings roster loaded with size. Big men Emeche Wells and Brady Burford dominated with five baskets a piece as Cedar Valley scored a season-high 43 points in the first quarter, leading 43-21 after the first 12 minutes.
Burford continued to help guide the CourtKing offense in the second period as Anthony James got in on the action with a pair of layups and a three point shot. David Stanley and Jordan Burich also started to heat up after slow first quarters. While only five buckets from downtown were made by the CourtKings in this game, the continuous attack of the basket allowed the Kings to run up their score and their lead on the Eagles. At the halftime break, Cedar Valley took an 81-48 lead into the locker room.
After a strong first period, Jaree Crawford hit his stride in the third quarter, as he scored eight of the King’s 38 third period points. Off the bench, Jared Sutherland and Isaac Freeman both showed off their offensive skills as Sutherland fought in the lane for tough mid-range shots, and Freeman dominated the court with his towering rebounding ability. At the end of three frames of action, the CourtKings produced their single largest lead of the season of 50 points, leading 109-69.
Freeman helped put the finishing touches on an offensive masterpiece by the CourtKings as he saw more action inside. Sutherland, Wells and Stanley helped pace the offense down the stretch with victory well in sight. Kelvin Mackey and Chamar Wilson off the bench helped the Kings at the free throw line with a number of late game free throws as the CourtKings rolled to victory over North Minneapolis, 145-96, and a 49 point victory.
The big win saw a season-high eight CourtKing players score in double-digit figures, led by Burford with 22. Wells rang up 21, Crawford 19, Stanley and Sutherland with 14, Freeman and James each with 12 and Burich with 10.
“Credit to my guys,” said CourtKings Head Coach Michael Mohlis after the win. “We told them it might be one of the those trap game, and not let the other team linger. They came out and really set the tone.”
With the CourtKings win and T.C. Elite defeating the Eagan Bulldogs prior to the opening tip, Cedar Valley now moves into sole possession of first place in the MBL West, one game ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings.
It will be a busy weekend for the Kings next weekend as they will play two crucial games on the road, with two very different destinations. The trip begins on Saturday, May 25 at the Green Bay Area Titans (4-4), who the CourtKings defeated at home on April 28, 138-121. Cedar Valley will then take on the Iowa Elite Pro in Des Moines the next day on Sunday, May 26. The CourtKings beat the Elite Pro in the season opener on April 7 by a score of 123-118. Both games are slated for a 6:00PM tip-off at their respective venues.
The CourtKings return home for a four game homestand in June to close out the home schedule on Saturday, June 1 against the Rochester Roadrunners. The Eagan Bulldogs come to town on Sunday, June 9, while the Minnesota Broncos visit on Saturday, June 15 and defending league champions T.C. Elite wrap up the home regular season schedule on Saturday, June 22. Tickets for all of these remaining regular season games are available for purchase at the door upon entry at the games, or online at cvcourtkings.com. Fans can experience our new courtside seating for $20 for a single game or all eight home games for $99. Adults single game tickets cost $10, while season tickets run for $59. Youth and college students can purchase single game tickets for $5, season tickets for $30, or youth/college student courtside seating for $15.
Fans can catch the online radio call of all CourtKing game with the voice of the CourtKings John Leo on the Cedar Valley Sports Network by clicking https://www.meridix.com/channel/?liveid=CVCOURTKINGS#/ to listen.
Be sure to follow the CourtKings on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @CVCourtKings for updates and news.