It was a game of two halves. One half saw the Cedar Valley CourtKings (16-3) flourish against one of the league’s top teams, while the other saw the Fort Wayne Vision (15-2) turn the tables. That was the case in the MBL Final Four on Saturday night in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the CourtKing’s 2019 season came to an end.
Cedar Valley jumped out to a quick lead immediately after the CourtKings scored on an Emeche Wells layup off the opening tip. Brady Burford and Mack Johnson each buried a pair of early three point baskets as well to put the Kings up in the opening minutes. Behind a relentless defense, and lightning quick offense, the CourtKings held the East Division champion Vision to just 15 first quarter points as the Kings jumped up 34-15 after the first quarter.
In the second, Anthony James flipped the switch from downtown with a pair of impressive baskets from downtown, as Aundre Hicks also helped pace the offense. While the offense did not match their first quarter production, the defense did continue its pursuit of strong inside protection. At the halftime break, Cedar Valley led the Vision 56-38.
Just as quick as the CourtKings took a lead on Fort Wayne, the Vision fought back hard in the third. Cedar Valley was held to a season low 11 points in the third period while Fort Wayne found more room to set up a paint attack to cut the CourtKings double-digit lead to five points by the end of the third, 67-62.
Several missed shots by the CourtKings continued to plague Cedar Valley in the fourth as Fort Wayne tied and eventually took their first lead of the game. Despite a hard fought effort to keep the action a single possession game, the Kings were unable to tie the game in the final seconds, as they fell by a final score of 92-89.
The Vision now advance to play against the Eagan Bulldogs (16-4) in the MBL Championship Game on Sunday, July 21 at 3:00PM (EDT).
Six CourtKings scored in double-digit figures, led by Burford’s 18 points. Wells and Hicks each scored 14, Jaree Crawford netted 13, while James and Johnson each scored 12.
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