After the Cedar Valley CourtKings (11-1) dropped their second regular season game of the year to the Eagan Bulldogs (8-4) back on April 13 by four points in southern Minnesota, they knew they would get another chance. That chance game on Sunday night before a raucous crowd at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex in downtown Waterloo on Dupaco Night and as part of the conclusion of the My Waterloo Days festivities.
It seems like so long ago that the two-time Midwest Basketball League champions dropped their first and only game of the 2019 season on the road. But with an unblemished home record in three plus years of action, the CourtKings knew defense of the home floor at the SportsPlex was important, especially against a high powered offense team like the Bulldogs.
Both squads dualed away in the first few minutes before the CourtKings pulled away for a nine point lead at the end of the first quarter, 34-25. Reigning MBL MVP Brady Burford started slow on the inside attack, but quickly found his rhythm as the game progressed. Queshawn Roby also added a pair a crucial three point shots as well to help pad the Cedar Valley lead.
In the second period, Aundre Hicks got in on the action to assist Burford in the offense attack. Hicks, having recorded low scoring performances in the past few games, burst out of the gates in the second frame with nine points. Meanwhile the Bulldogs relied on a strong inside game as well, mixed with an impressive mid-range attack. Eagan’s Bryce Williams recorded 14 points in the quarter to cut into the CourtKings lead as the teams went to the locker room, with the Kings up 66-63.
Eagan began the third quarter and controlled much of the frame with their speed and creativity in finding ways to the basket. While often effective, the Bulldogs did commit a number of fouls that send Burford, Hicks and Emeche Wells to the free throw line. While Burford and Hicks helped pace the Kings throughout the period, Eagan outscored Cedar Valley 37-31 in the third, giving the Bulldogs a 100-97 lead heading into the fourth period.
With a packed crowd behind them in support, the CourtKings took control of the final 12 minutes of play to take back the lead within the first few minutes of the fourth. The mid-range game of Anthony James, Hicks and Burford, as well as a sharp defense helped set the Kings up for success and the Bulldogs began to run out of gas and time. Able to ice the game away with free throws and a constant defense unwilling to allow a comeback, the CourtKings outscored Eagan 38-24 in the final frame en route to the 135-124 win to stay unbeaten at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex.
Led by Burford’s game-high 30 points, six CourtKings scored in double-digit figures. Hicks finished the night with 27, while James scored 15. In his return to the CourtKings after playing in Spain, Mack Johnson tallied 15, as Jared Sutherland scored 12, and Wells with 11.
“That was a big one!” said CourtKings Head Coach Micahel Mohlis after the win. “This game was a heck of a fight. We just had to stay composed, and we started making good plays and had a good run.”
With only two home games remaining in the regular season, the home stand continues for the CourtKings this coming Saturday, June 15 as the Minnesota Broncos (6-6) visit Waterloo. Cedar Valley defeated the Broncos back on April 14 in Anoka, Minnesota by a final score of 115-94. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30PM on Saturday night with doors opening at 6:30PM.
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.