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Defense Helps Kennedy Past Washington, Into Substate Finals

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CEDAR RAPIDS You didn't pay too close of attention when they kept telling you how much better they were getting defensively. Seems like every team says stuff like that.

But the Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars proved Friday night it wasn't lip service. It was truth.

It wasn't offense that allowed them to escape Cedar Rapids Washington's upset bid, 55-47, in a Class 4A substate semifinal, that's for sure.

"Defense definitely won this game tonight," said Kennedy's A.J. Carter.

"Our offense wasn't good," said Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. "We had success against them previously with some high-ball screens, but they made some adjustments. You can't really go away from what's worked for you, but we weren't able to counter them tonight. Defense won us this game. That has to happen because there are going to be games where your offense isn't very good."

Kennedy (17-5) plays No. 2 North Scott (21-1) in a substate final Tuesday night at Clinton. The winner heads to Des Moines for the state tournament.

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