Boys Basketball Notebook: City High taking it one step at a time
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
City High picked up its first win under first-year head coach Derek Roberts against Burlington in December.
The Little Hawks got Mississippi Valley Conference win number one last week against Cedar Rapids Washington.
With those two milestone wins out of the way Roberts is keeping the next step for the Little Hawks simple, just get back to work.
“We just keep it simple for these guys and try to keep it as small as possible so our next step is just attacking the next practice and trying to get better from there,” Roberts said. “We don’t really talk about stringing wins together or anything like that, even in games we have four minute wars where we concentrate on four minutes at a time we try to keep it simple for them.”
City High (2-10) has showed continued signs of progress under Roberts after an 0-6 start in which the Little Hawks were held to 27 points four times.
The Little Hawks scored a season-high 69 points on 50 percent shooting from the field in the win over Cedar Rapids Washington and was 7-of-13 from 3-point range.
“For the first time our guys really came together for most of a game and played together and played for each other,” Robert said. “Really we just worked on things on both ends of the floor throughout the 32 minutes. I was proud of them for how hard they worked.”
City High has benefitted from the return of senior center Charles Johnson.
The 6-foot-5 Johnson is averaging 8.5 points and 11 rebounds in four games since his return to the lineup.
“Obviously getting Charles back helps out a lot, having that presence in the middle,” Roberts said. “He is averaging 11 rebounds a game since he came back and just gives us a different presence inside.”
The 2-10 record doesn’t sparkle but Roberts likes the growth he has seen from his young team this season.
Three of the top four scorers for City High are underclassmen led by sophomore Antonio Turner who is scoring a team-high 11.3 points per game.
Sophomore Ry Threlkeld-Weigand is averaging 7.8 points per game while freshman Keyshawn Christian is adding 5.9.
“Some of the other guys are really starting to step up and grow into their roles not only as players but as leaders,” Roberts said. “Our top two or three scorers are freshman and sophomores so those guys will just continue to get better as we go along. We will have growing pains along the way but we expect those and it’s good to see out of those guys.”
Ratings Update: West High still has not moved from its perch atop the Class 4A Associated Press poll.
The Trojans remained number one in Class 4A in the latest poll released by the Associated Press on Monday.
Sioux City East was second followed by Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Dubuque Senior and Waukee.
Other top-ranked teams include Waverly-Shell Rock in Class3A, Western Christian and Pella Christian tied for the top spot in 2A and North Linn was No. 1 in 1A.
Closing in on 1000: Cooper Kabela has a chance to become the next area athlete to crack 1,000 points for his career and the West Branch senior could do it soon.
Kabela sits at 962 career points entering play this week, needing just 38 to reach 1,000 for his career.
West Branch (8-5) hosts Tipton on Tuesday and travels to Bellevue on Friday.
Schedule Changes: West High had its game scheduled for Jan. 14 against Blue Valley Northwest in the Best of the Midwest Showcase cancelled due to inclement weather.
Solon’s WAMAC conference matchup with Maquoketa that was postponed on Jan. 10 has been rescheduled for Jan. 23 at Solon.
Top performances: West High senior Devontae Lane had 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and added four assists and five steals in an 80-59 win over Linn-Mar.
City High freshman Keyshawn Christian had 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 69-50 win over Cedar Rapids Washington.
City High senior Chuck Johnson had 15 points and 16 rebounds in a 69-50 win over Cedar Rapids Washington.
Regina junior Jocoa Kerschen had 20 points, six rebounds and three assists in a 57-45 win over Durant.
West Branch sophomore Beau Cornwell had 28 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 77-42 win over Mid-Prairie.