Great rewards awaited the Cedar Valley CourtKings (13-1) on Saturday night as they hosted the defending Midwest Basketball League champions T.C. Elite (7-6) at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex in Waterloo.
With a win, the CourtKings could lock down the top seed for the MBL West Division Playoffs only a few weeks away. With a playoff spot already secured, the only thing left to do was win to ensure that the West Division comes through Waterloo in July.
The Kings narrowly defeated the Elite by a final score of 121-119 in their first meeting of the season in Minneapolis back on May 11. With the chance to cap another undefeated regular season at home, Cedar Valley would have to beat the team that knocked them out of the postseason in 2018.
Both squads got out to quicks starts as Jaree Crawford dominated the inside game with the help of Mac Johnson, Emeche Wells and David Stanley from mid-range. T.C. Elite’s speed and quick ability to force turnovers kept them in the game early on as Darian Robinson and Latrell Love powered the Elite offense. At the end of the first period, the CourtKings held a 30-29 lead.
In the second, the Kings defense buckled down and slowed the T.C. Elite offensive attack dramatically, only allowing 14 total points in the period. With the long range game of Johnson mixed with the inside game of Burford and Isaac Freeman, bolted ahead of their opponents to take a 63-43 lead into the halftime break.
The offensive output only continued for Cedar Valley in the third quarter. While they only outscored the Elite 32-20 in the period, the Kings maintained their lead throughout thanks to Wells, Stanley and Burford, who fired up the crowd with two monster dunks. With a limited roster available, the Elite struggled to break into the Kings lead, as Cedar Valley ended the third frame leading 95-73.
The final 12 minutes of play saw Aundre Hicks come alive for 16 points after only scoring 10 in the first half. Freeman and Anthony James also got in on the late game action as they tore through the T.C. Elite defense in the final minutes. While Robinson and Love tried to power through the deficit, the Kings proved to be too much as Cedar Valley ended their four game homestand with their 12th consecutive victory, 132-99. The CourtKings also keep their all-time record at home in the Cedar Valley SportsPlex unblemished as they improve their home record to 33-0.
Eight CourtKings ended the night in double-digit scoring figures led by the second half push of Aundre Hicks, who ended the game with at game-high 26. Crawford finished with 17, Burford with 15, Johnson, Wells and Stanley with 13 each, 12 from Freeman, and 10 by James.
With the win, the CourtKings have secured the top seed for the MBL West Division Playoffs, which begin July 6. Before the postseason can begin however, the CourtKings will conclude the 2019 regular season on the road next weekend as they take on the Minnesota Lakers in St. Paul. The Kings won their first meeting of the season with the Lakers, beating their rivals from up north by a final score of 116-84 on May 5 in Waterloo. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00PM.
The CourtKings return home for the first round of the MBL West Playoffs on Saturday, July 6, where they will play at 7:00PM. Tickets 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 games 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.