CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa This wasn't just a baby step on the road back to respectability.
"It was a big, big baby step," said first-year Cedar Rapids Washington Coach Adam Sanchez, after his Warriors ended a 27-game losing streak with a 53-50 win last night at Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
Washington hadn't tasted victory since a Class 4A substate final two years ago. There was a loss to Harrison Barnes, Doug McDermott and Ames in the first round of the 2011 state tournament, 22 straight last season and four this season.
"It's been a long time coming," said senior center David Rosenthal. "We worked our butts off over the summer. Crazy. Getting this monkey off our back, that's step one. That was our biggest roadblock. Now they'll be some more like this, hopefully."
The Warriors deserved this outcome, jumping to a 9-0 lead and never trailing. It was a little scary at the end, as Kennedy (3-2) rallied and had a shot (albeit from half court) to tie.
You didn't think a 27-game losing streak would end easily, did you?
"I'm really, really excited for our guys because they deserve this," Sanches said. "It kind of makes it easier now when you tell them it's a process and it's going in the right direction. For them to buy in, it's a little easier now. They did all the work. They deserve it."
Jason Oney had 10 points to pace Wash, with Raz Taylor adding nine and Rosenthal and Brock Butterfield eight each. Ben Struss had 11 and Blake Murdock 10 for Kennedy.