Coe Falls, Mount Mercy Wins in Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament

From Coe Athletics

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Westminster went on a 13-0 run in the final minutes of the game, as the Bluejays defeated Coe 82-80 in the opening game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Mount Mercy.

Westminster opened the game with a 7-2 lead in the first 2:59, but Coe answered back with six-straight points to take its first lead of the game at 8-7 with 14:46 to play in the half. Neither team led by more than four for the rest of the half. Coe took the lead at the break as junior Max Schmarzo (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) hit a 3-pointer with :03 to play, giving Coe the 34-31 advantage.

The Kohawks came out on fire in the second half, as a jumper by senior Andrew Wirth (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) sparked a 9-2 run in the first 2:51, as Coe led 43-33 with 17:09 to play. Schmarzo hit another trey with 14:36 to play, giving Coe a 55-45 lead, but the Bluejays put together their first of two big runs after the long ball.

Back-to-back jumpers by Verdis Lee Jr. ignited a 13-0 run for the Bluejays over the next 3:56, as they took a 58-55 lead with 9:39 to play. Coe held a 66-65 lead with 7:06 to play. A jumper by Wirth with 6:46 left started a 9-0 run for Coe over the next 2:10, as they led 75-65 with 4:36 to play. The Bluejays put together their second big run in the final minutes, as Joe James scored four-straight points to start a 13-0 run in the next 3:31, as Westminster led 78-75 with :45 to play.

Junior JT Vonderhaar (Bettendorf, Iowa/Assumption) hit 1-of-2 free throws with :35 left, cutting the lead to 78-76. Lee Jr. hit a pair of free throws for Westminster with :31 left, but sophomore Christian Fahey (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) scored on a layup with :22 left to cut the lead to two. James would hit 1-of-2 free throws with :21, while Coe got the rebound. The Kohawks missed a shot with :10 left, but got a layup from Schmarzo with :06 to play. Westminster hit 1-of-2 free throws with :04 left, but Coe's last second 3-point attempt fell short.

Wirth tied a career-high with 21 points on 5-of-8 3-point shooting, while Vonderhaar and Fahey joined him in double figures with 18 and 14 points respectively. Junior Matt Daoust (Minnestrista, Minn./Mount Westonka) had nine points, while Schmarzo had eight. James led Westminster with 32 points and 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Jacob Timm (Mount Vernon, Iowa/Mount Vernon), Vonderhaar and Fahey led the Kohawks with six rebounds apiece, a new career-high for Timm. Schmarzo added four rebounds. Timm had a career-high 10 assists, while Wirth added three. Wirth moved into a tie with former teammate David Mataloni for seventh in school history with 247 assists. Vonderhaar tied a career-high with two steals, while Wirth became the ninth player in school history to record 100 career steals.

Westminster was 28-of-55 (50.9%) from the field, while Coe was 28-of-57 (49.1%). The Kohawks struggled at the free throw line, as they were 15-of-28 (53.6%), while the Bluejays were 18-of-23 (78.3%). Coe held a 25-18 advantage on points off turnovers, while the Bluejays held a 20-10 advantage in bench points.

The Kohawks (5-3) will face Illinois Tech (0-14) Sunday in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Mount Mercy. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. A link for live video and live stats can be found on the front page of CoeAthletics.com.
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