Men’s basketball faces Sioux City North after resounding victory over Epworth

The men’s basketball team trounced previously undefeated Western Dubuque Epworth 57-40 Wednesday night to punch their ticket to State. The Tigers play Sioux City North (21-2) this Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Arena as they look to continue their journey by moving into the Final Four. “We all have that mutual mindset that we want to win State, and that’s what we intend to do,” senior Jackson Nichols said.

Kalund Brown drives past a pair of Cedar Rapids Prairie defenders in a regular season game.

This is the first time that the senior trio of Kalehl Brown, Kalund Brown and Ike Boettger have advanced to State in their three-year tenure at the varsity level. “It’s amazing because not everybody gets the opportunity to get down there. After the opportunity we had last year, we weren’t going to let that happen again,” Kalund said.

Despite pulling out a convincing 17-point victory, Cedar Falls didn’t hold the lead entire game. The Tigers found themselves trailing by 5 points early in the game. Senior Kalehl hit two big triples down the stretch of the first half, sending CF into the locker room with a 4-point lead. The two three-pointers Kalehl hit doubled his regular season total of one. The recent recipient of the Mississippi Valley Conference Player of the Year Award, Kalehl, also led the team in points, tallying a career-high 28 points en-route to victory. Of the eight teams left, Kalehl is second among all players in points, only behind Sioux City North’s Daniel Tillo. Boettger is also second among remaining players in rebounds with 192, only behind Tillo.

The second half was all Cedar Falls. The Tigers took advantage of every mistake, and it showed on the scoreboard. The defensive effort is what anchored the Tiger game Wednesday night, though. At one point, CF held Epworth eight minutes without a point. “We don’t have a lot of superstars on this team. We’ve got the twins and Ike that provide a lot of scoring, but it really comes down to putting in the hard work,” Nichols said.

Cedar Falls looks to carry the momentum into Wednesday’s game against Sioux City North.

Sioux City is led by sophomore Tillo who is currently averaging just over 22 points per game, and shooting 43 percent from downtown.

“We’re just going to be real active and make everything hard for [Tillo]. If we can make him put the ball on the ground as much as possible, then that’s what we’ll do,” Kalund said.

 

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