DES MOINES – Consider where they came from.
The Kennedy Cougars were 11-10 last season, an ordinary team. They faced the prospect of dealing with a new coach, a new system, a new philosophy and few expectations externally.
So while a 75-65 loss to favored Sioux City North in a Class 4A state tournament quarterfinal Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena hurt bad, it shouldn't take away from what they achieved in 2013-14. That's achingly cliché, but true.
"Everyone came to practice ready to give it their best," said Kennedy's Zach Daniels. "No one took days off. It's a good feeling just to make it here because everyone doubted us this year. We passed everyone's expectations."
But, oh, what could have been. Unafraid to play fast against a fast team, Kennedy (18-6) survived an awful beginning and had a lead early in the third quarter.
But North (22-3) notched a couple of defensive stops, which spurred it to a 7-0 run that gave it a 65-58 lead with 3:34 left. Kennedy couldn't overcome it.
"They got wide-open layups on fast breaks, we kind of fell apart with our press," said Kennedy's Cole Murdock. "We were right there, we just kind of fell apart at the end and let them pull away."
Read more: http://iowaprepsports.com/2014/03/12/kennedy-gives-sioux-city-north-a-run-but-falls-75-65/