Winning games on the road is not an easy task. The Cedar Valley CourtKings found that out on Saturday when they traveled up north to Anoka, Minnesota to take on the rival Minnesota Broncos in their first road game of the season.
Having played against and beaten the Broncos only two weeks ago at home, the CourtKings wanted to start strong against their divisional opponent on their home court at the Pact Charter School. Both squads starting out strong. Minnesota’s EJ Haymore came out hot from beyond the three point line, sinking three baskets. The CourtKings responded with quick defensive transition to slow the Broncos down early, a key that head coach Michael Mohlis stressed in his keys to the game. Additionally, strong ball movement on offense helped pull the defense out of place, allowing a handful of laid up baskets from Brady Burford, Raijon Kelly, and Anthony James.
In the second period, quick defensive thinking forced several Broncos turnovers leading to CourtKing points on the other end. However, the CourtKings were put into foul trouble in the period as a team and allowed the Broncos trim the lead down from the free throw line, which was as much as 11 points during various points in the game. At the halftime buzzer, the CourtKings held onto a six point lead, 50-44.
As the third period began and the Bronco offense began to pick up speed, it was guard Aundre Hicks who caught fire, laying in three straight baskets to hold off the Broncos run for the first half of the quarter. Additional shots by Burford and Kelly helped add to the effort going into the final minutes.
In the fourth, the contest tightened up on both sides. Loose ball turnovers and several missed shots by the CourtKings helped Minnesota cut into the Cedar Valley lead going down the stretch. In their tightest game of the season thus far, the CourtKings managed to use late Bronco turnovers and subsequent fouls to seal the 97-93 win, and stay undefeated on the 2018 campaign. Hicks ended the game leading scoring for both teams with 21 point, six rebounds, and four assists. Kelly scored another 18 points, while Burford dropped 15. Akeem Cubie led the Broncos with 25 points, while teammate EJ Haymore added 20.
The road trip continues for the CourtKings next Saturday as they travel to the windy city to take on the Chicago Legends at 1:30pm on May 19. Fans can tune into the game online at cvcourtkings.com.