CourtKings Throttle Wisconsin Storm, 104-76
Another strong start propelled the Cedar Valley CourtKings to their second-straight victory Sunday night (May 22, 2016).
The home squad got a game-high 27 points from Andre Norris (Dubuque) in a 104-76 victory over the Wisconsin Storm at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex in Waterloo. In all, five players scored in double-figures for the CourtKings (2-2).
Wisconsin (1-3) arrived at the game site about 15 minutes before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. tip-off and didn't have time to do any pre-game warm-ups. The Storm started the game cold and never found a rhythm during the first half.
Cedar Valley scored the game's first nine points, and outscored Wisconsin 11-0 over the final four minutes of the opening period. The CourtKings owned a 29-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter and never let their lead fall below double-digits after getting ahead 16-4 at the 5:58 mark.
"We had a good game plan coming into tonight," Cedar Valley coach Stan Hughes said. "The game plan for us was to stay focused and stay disciplined. Our emphasis is total defense and to limit them to just one shot."
The CourtKings twice built their lead to 24 points in the second quarter, going ahead 35-11 on Alex Coleman's basket with 8:19 left and 35-11 on Wakefield Ellison's three-pointer with 1:47 remaining.
Later, Ellison hit a jumper just ahead of the buzzer, giving Cedar Valley a 53-32 cushion at halftime.
"I like to be in control of the game at all times, and I will not let go," Hughes said. "We have some very good players that have bought into what the coaches say, and they go out and do what they are very capable of doing."
Ellison (Winston-Salem), playing just his second game for the locals, ended the night with 19 points. He was signed by the team prior to last week's game, following Rashad Carrington's death in a May 8 car accident.
Wisconsin opened the second half with an 8-2 run, which cut the CourtKings' deficit to 55-40 following Pierre Harris' three-pointer with 9:16 left in the third quarter. The 15-point margin would be as close as the Storm would get.
Harris was among four Wisconsin players who tallied double-figures. He led the Storm with 27 points, which matched Norris' game-high total for the CourtKings. The visitors played without three injured starters, who are all averaging more than 19 points per game.
In addition to Norris and Ellison, Cedar Valley also got twin-figure scoring from Anthony James (11 points), Coleman (10 points), and Lamar Wall (10 apiece).
"We're beginning to mesh together as a team," Hughes said. "We're starting to play well as a team. My hope is we can get many more just like today."
After two-straight home games, the CourtKings face their next opponent on the road. Cedar Valley plays the Minnesota Rangers (2-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Oxford Community Center in St. Paul.