Coleman Helps No. 6 Kennedy Outslug No. 2 Jeff, 44-37

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

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By Kelli Sutterman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — There are times when Josiah Coleman can make his coach look really good. Then there are times when he can make his coach go absolutely nuts.

“I tell you what, he’s going to be a good one,” Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Bob Fontana said after his Class 4A sixth-ranked Cougars outslugged No. 2 Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 44-37, last night before a packed house at the Kennedy gym. “But he gets so energetic and enthusiastic sometimes, and we need him to channel that in a different direction.”

The 6-foot-4 junior guard helped lift his club to a halftime lead with eight big first-half points but also picked up three fouls with that youth exuberance, shall it be called. He redeemed himself big time in the final three minutes, hitting a huge 3-pointer to the left of the key that put Kennedy (9-1) up for good.

Sometimes you’ve got to take the good with the bad.

“Yeah, there are times when I get to just running around out there, not sticking to the game plan,” admitted Coleman, who finished with a game-high 15 points. “(Tonight) was pretty nice, but it all starts in practice. Coach gives us that mindset over and over again to not take it as a joke. Take it seriously, and it’s going to be there in the game.”

Coleman outscored Jeff’s Jarrod Uthoff, which is all you need to know about this one. The 6-foot-7 Wisconsin recruit was limited to 10 shots and 12 points (17 under his average) by an array of defensive schemes, including good old sticky man-to-man from 6-6 Oregon football recruit Christian French at times.

“Actually, we had four different things defensively that we were going to do,” Fontana said. “We ran all four of them. We only ran two of them in the first half, but we ended up running all four. I thought that was big that our kids were able to do that.”

As has been the problem in its two losses, Jefferson (7-2) couldn’t get anyone else going offensively. The J-Hawks rallied for a 34-31 lead early in the fourth quarter but mustered only three points the rest of the way.

Tyler Meiborg finished with 11 points, three in the second half, and Alec Saunders 10. Kyle Lamaak shook off the flu to add 10 points for Kennedy.

The Cougars shot 34 percent from the floor to Jeff’s 33.

“One, they played very good defense. They’re very long,” said Jeff Coach Stu Ordman. “Then I thought, not only in the fourth quarter but throughout the game, our execution left a lot to be desired.”

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