By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – In a game full or runs the final and most important spurt belonged to Waterloo East.
Waterloo East used a 9-2 run over the third and fourth quarters to break open a three-point game on its way to a 67-53 win over City High in a Mississippi Valley Conference matchup.
Tyrese and Raheem Nickelson combined for 44 points and had seven during the critical 9-2 spurt that gave Waterloo East a 58-48 lead with under six minutes to play.
City High missed its first five shots in the fourth quarter and was held to two points in the opening 4:55 of the quarter as Waterloo East pulled away.
“We hit a little bump and they started hitting shots,” City High senior Chuck Johnson said. “We tried to hit shots but couldn’t get anything down, that’s the game of basketball.”
City High shot 53 percent from the floor in the first three quarters but hit just two of 10 field goal attempts in the final quarter while falling to 3-14 on the season and 2-10 in MVC play with its fourth straight loss.
Johnson had all of his team-high 18 points in the first three quarters, fouling out with 5:47 left.
By the time Johnson got his fifth foul the damage was done as Waterloo East turned a 49-46 lead in the final minute of the third quarter into a 10-point cushion with under four minutes to play.
“Our shots weren’t falling tonight and I think that hurt our confidence a little bit too,” City High coach Derek Roberts said. “I think we only had two 3s tonight and they were both in the first half, we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn tonight but in those games you have to rely on your defense and that wasn’t total there tonight.”
The teams traded runs from the beginning.
City High struck first with a 13-1 first-quarter spurt that put the Little Hawks on top 16-12.
Waterloo East regained the lead at 23-21 with a 11-2 run to end the first and begin the second quarter.
City High had the final spurt of the first half, a 7-2 burst that helped the Little Hawks to a 34-33 halftime lead after Antonio Turner beat the halftime buzzer with a layup.
An 8-0 Waterloo East run in the third quarter gave the Trojans a 43-36 lead they would never give up.
Waterloo East shot 42 percent from the field but was 5-of-13 from 3-point range and outscored City High 14-7 at the free throw line.
“Offensively they kind of took it to us,” Roberts said. “I didn’t think our defensive intensity was there and that is something that we just have to get back to the drawing board and get better at.”
City High made one final run to get back in the game, a 6-0 burst that started with back-to-back baskets by Johnson and cut the Waterloo East lead to 43-42 with 3:07 left in the third quarter.
Tyrese Nickelson answered with a driving basket and Raheem beat the third quarter buzzer with a wild shot in the lane that gave the Trojans a 51-46 lead after three quarters.
The Trojans opened the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run that put the game away.
“Waterloo East, I thought they played very disciplined and very hard and we played their game instead of trying to do the reverse,” Roberts said.
Tyrese Nickelson had a game-high 24 points while Raheem added 20 to lead four Waterloo East players in double figures.
Turner had 15 points and freshman Keshawn Christian added 10 for City High.
Everyone is putting in a lot of work and getting better and the team is getting a lot better,” Johnson said. “We just have to finish.”
City High 19 15 12 7 – 53
Waterloo East 16 17 18 16 – 67
City High (53) – Antonio Turner 5-9 4-4 15, Kolbie Clayton 1-2 0-0 2, Gerald Seals 0-3 1-2 1, Keshawn Christian 4-10 2-5 10, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 1-6 0-0 2, Luke Young 0-1 0-0 0, JP Rethwisch 2-3 0-0 5, Chuck Johnson 9-14 0-4 18, Team 22-48 7-15 53.
Waterloo East (67) – Jordan Jackson 0-7 0-0 0, Tyrese Nickelson 8-17 6-8 24, Jacee Clark 5-11 0-0 10, Tyre Reed 0-1 0-0 0, Raheem Nickelson 7-11 6-8 20, Jovahn Holmes 3-6 2-2 11, Alijah Muhammad 0-1 0-0 0, Deshon Ford 1-2 0-2 2, Jaylon Holmes 0-1 0-0 0, Team 24-57 14-20 67.
3-point field goals – ICH 2-13 (Turner 1-4, Seals 0-2, Christian 0-1, Threlkeld-Wiegan 0-4, Rethwisch 1-2), WE 5-13 (Jackson 0-2, T. Nickelson 2-5, Clark 0-1, Jo. Holmes 3-4). Rebounds – ICH 33 (Christian, Threlkeld-Wiegand 6), WE 34 (T. Nickelson 7). Turnovers – ICH 17, WE 11. Total fouls – ICH 20, WE 13. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – City High (Christian).