As the thunder storms rolled into the Waterloo area on Saturday night, the Cedar Valley CourtKings were busy inside the Cedar Valley SportsPlex creating a storm of their own. An offensive storm that is. Taking advantage of good looks and outstanding ball movement, the CourtKings hammered away an decisive 122-85 win over Northwest Division rival Rochester to move to 9-0 on the season and win their 37th consecutive game against Midwest Basketball League opponents.
The Roadrunners (3-6) entered Saturday night’s game coming off a three point loss to the Minnesota Lakers a week earlier and looked to end their woes with a win over the only remaining unbeaten team in the league. In the early minutes of play, the CourtKings fired up their offensive play inside the lane with strong paint play from Brady Burford, Johnny Jackson, and Alex Houston. “We knew that we had some size advantage with J-Bo (Johnny Jackson) and Brady Burford,” said head coach Michael Mohlis. “We knew that they could out-strengthen a lot of the Rochester guys.” Three point baskets by Dylan Hale and Anthony James throughout the period helped the CourtKings jump out to an early 34-26 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, the CourtKings got hot from beyond the arc. Six Kings drill shots from beyond the three point line including Raijon Kelly, Jackson, Burford, and Mack Johnson who sank three baskets from long range in the period. Racking up a total of 48 defensive rebounds in the game, the CourtKings were able to get more opportunities on offense and take more shots to extend their lead. At the halftime break, the Cedar Valley had extended their lead out to 20 points, ahead 68-48.
As the third quarter began, the CourtKings continued their strong play in the paint with Burford and Jackson leading the charge. The defense began to turn its attention to slowing down the Roadrunners leading scorer Joseph Carpenter, who lead his team with 22 points in the first half. Stealing the ball a total of 12 times throughout the ball game and forcing Rochester into high pressure situations began to force offensive turnovers and a breakdown of the Roadrunners game plan. The pressure held Carpenter to only four points in the second half. Going into the final frame of play the CourtKings held a dominant 94-65 advantage.
In the fourth period, the CourtKings made a number of substitutions with the game well in hand with a 29 point lead with 12 minutes to go. Queshawn Roby, Tyler Richardson, Bradley Dockemeyer, Darius Campbell, and Isaiah Cotton all saw action as the final minutes ticked away. Crediting his team with a well played game, Mohlis explained how sharing the ball and getting an extra pass on offensive lead to the team’s huge success against the Roadunners. “It was a hard fought game, and I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said. “We talk about sharing the basketball, making the extra pass as a point of emphasis. Credit to our guys who did a really good job of getting good looks through making an extra pass. We get so many more shots with the extra ball movement.” At the final horn, it was the CourtKings walking away with the 37 point win, 122-85.
For the second consecutive game six CourtKings finished in double figures in scoring. Buford finished with a double-double of 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Jackson scored 16 points. James finished with 12, as Houston, Smith, and Johnson scored 11 each. “I’m just honored that our guys are really starting to grow as a team,” Mohlis said after the win. “It’s week by week improving to the point where we can play really high quality championship basketball.”
The CourtKings will be on the road next weekend for a two game trip to Minnesota. The two-time defending champions will be in St. Paul on Saturday, June 16 to take on MBL Select of the league’s traveling team division at 4:00pm, while Sunday afternoon’s game will feature a crucial Northwest Division showdown between the CourtKings and T.C. Elite in Minneapolis at 2:30pm. Both games can be heard online at cvcourtkings.com