By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – With the way things have gone for City High this season any win feels good.
The win the Little Hawks picked up on Friday felt a little bit better than most thanks to the way they got it.
City High rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final two minutes on its way to a 72-65 overtime win over Dubuque Wahlert in a Mississippi Valley Conference contest at City High.
The win was the first since January 20 for City High and snapped a five-game losing skid for for the Little Hawks.
“We just needed that, we needed that really bad,” City High senior Chuck Johnson said. “It makes it feel so much better with us coming back, fighting through adversity, fighting through everything and playing as a team.”
Freshman Keshawn Christian scored 12 of his team-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as City High improved to 4-15 on the season and 3-11 in MVC play.
Christian forced overtime with a driving left-handed layup that tied the score at 56 with 25 seconds left.
The 6-foot-2 freshman then gave City High a lead it would never give up with a pull-up 15-footer one minute into overtime.
“Coach told us we weren’t done, we weren’t out of the game and he told us to go out there and play our hardest,” Christians said. “Our focus is always just to play as hard as we can and that’s what we did.”
Wahlert led 23-22 at the half and by as many as nine in the third quarter before City High rallied.
The Little Hawks took their first lead since the first quarter at 40-39 on a reverse layup by Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand with 6:11 left.
Wahlert responded with five straight points by senior Austin Savary who finished with a game-high 28 points.
The Golden Eagles appeared to have the game in hand when Savary converted a conventional 3-point play with 1:52 left to make it 54-47.
City High had other ideas.
Christian and Johnson both had baskets as the Little Hawks cut the lead to 55-51 and after Will Leytem made one of two free throws Christian made it a two-point game with his third 3-pointer of the second half.
“I’m not really good at shooting but I got a couple in the second half,” Christian said. “I have to give the credit to my teammates, they set a good screen to get me open.”
On the ensuing Wahlert possession Leytem missed a pair of free throws and Christian drove the length of the floor to tie the game at 56 with a left-handed layup.
“I was just trying to create something for the team,” Christian said. “I wasn’t even trying to get the rim but it opened up and I just took it.”
Christian had one more big play in him.
His pull-up 15-footer with 3:02 left in overtime gave City High a 61-59 lead it would never give up.
The Little Hawks hit 9-of-12 free throws over the final 2:32 to put the game away.
“It’s not easy to come to practice every single day when you have a losing season like this but those guys show up every single day, they have a great attitude, they work their butts off and they are being coachable,” City High coach Derek Roberts said. “It’s starting to show on the floor.”
Christian didn’t score in the first half but made up for it after halftime.
He finished 7-of-11 from the field, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts, all coming in the final 13 minutes of the game.
“He hit a couple of threes and he hit a couple of mid-range jumpers and that’s a credit to him because he stays after and works with our assistant coaches,” Roberts said of Christian. “He’s been working on his outside game more and if he can hit that outside shot you have to go out and guard him but he’s so good at driving the ball it’s a tough matchup.”
Johnson finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for City High while Threlkeld-Wiegand added 11 points.
“We just played more as team,” Johnson said. “We started sharing the ball better and moving the ball.”
City High 13 9 14 20 16 – 72
Dubuque Wahlert 12 11 16 17 9 – 65
City High (72) – Antonio Turner 1-6 5-7 8, Kolbie Clayton 0-1 0-0 0, Gerald Seals 1-2 0-0 2, Keshawn Christian 7-11 5-9 22, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 3-9 4-4 11, Luke Young 1-3 0-0 3, JP Rethwisch 2-2 2-2 7, Chuck Johnson 6-10 3-5 15, Jeremie Kambomba 1-2 2-4 4, Team 22-46 21-31 72.
Dubuque Wahlert (65) – Matthew Bandy 3-6 2-5 8, Riley Bohr 2-2 0-0 4, Craig Collins 2-6 1-2 7, Austin Savary 7-20 11-15 28, Will Leytem 2-8 4-8 10, Jackson Jaeger 3-6 2-2 8, Bruno Onyeukwu 0-0 0-1 0, Samuel Herrig 0-2 0-0 0, Team 19-50 20-33 65.
3-point field goals – ICH 7-19 (Turner 1-4, Seals 0-1, Clayton 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Christian 3-3, Threlkeld-Wiegand 1-5, Young 1-3, Rethwisch 1-1), DW (Collins 2-5, Savary 3-8, Leytem 2-7, Jaeger 0-1, Herrig 0-1). Rebounds – ICH 30 (Johnson 7), DW 34 (Savary 12). Turnovers – ICH 12, DW 13. Total fouls – ICH 26, DW 24. Fouled out – City High (Johnson); Wahlert (Collins, Savary). Technical fouls – None.