In Charles City, as the frigid winds howled outside the high school gymnasium, the Cedar Valley CourtKings and Wisconsin Gamechangers fought it out on the hardwood in an exhibition match-up. With this game coming one week prior to next Sunday’s regular season opener against the Eagles of North Minneapolis, the CourtKings put on a strong team performance, finishing the afternoon with a 134-117 win over the Gamechangers. After the CourtKings won the opening tip, the two squads went back and forth trading baskets with multiple three point shots by Wisconsin. The Gamechangers, lead by point guard Steven Baker, pressured the CourtKings early by forcing several turnovers and numerous ball control issues. Head coach Michael Mohlis discussed this in his postgame interview and on how to remedy this early issue. “I think with the guys we have, the more they can play together, the more they’re going to get a flow down and we can play with more pace and space, he said.” The CourtKings turned the heat up on Wisconsin in the second quarter with eight points from David Stanley and seven more from Johnny Jackson. This strong, 40 point quarter pushed the CourtKings to a six point halftime lead, 66-60.
In the third, the CourtKings kept adding pressure, using a 35-24 period with six three point shots to amase a 17 point lead heading into the final quarter. Despite a late rally by the Gamechangers, great team ball control and movement helped propel the CourtKings to the 134-117 victory. Rookie forward Brady Burford led the way with 20 points. “I thought it was a great team win,” said Burford. “We keyed in on their best player and worked to stop him in the second half.” Raijon Kelly contributed 19, while guard Aundre Hicks dropped 17 more points. For the Gamechangers, Baker led his team with 34, while teammate James DeVault added another 31. “We saw glimpses of what these guys can do together,” Mohlis added following the win. “We haven’t played that much together. We’ve had four weeks of training camp, and we just added some of our veteran guys. Putting all of them together could be another special season.”
With the preseason now in the books, the CourtKings set their eyes toward the regular season opener next Sunday, April 8 against the North Minneapolis Eagles. The team will honor its 19-0 championship team from the 2017 campaign and unveil the newest championship banner in the pregame celebrations. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm.