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Balance effort carries Iowa Central men

—Photo by Paul DeCoursey Javonte Keck goes up for a basket for Iowa Central Wednesday against Little Priest Tribal.

By CHRIS JOHNSON

sports@messengernews.net

The Iowa Central men’s basketball team placed five players in double figures as they cruised to a 92-68 victory over Little Priest Tribal on Wednesday night.

The Tritons (7-10 overall, 2-2 ICCAC) won their second straight league contest behind a strong opening first half and a solid defensive performance.

Iowa Central built a 49-28 first half lead by a 24-11 outburst in the first eight minutes of play. The Tritons used a balanced scoring attack in the opening half.

“In the first half we were moving the ball around well,” said Iowa Central head coach Chad Helle. “I think the first half we played unselfish basketball, but in the second half, we let off the gas.”

Javonte Keck, Marquis Henry and St. Edmond graduate Andrew Gibb. Keck (13) and Henry (10) reached double digits in the first 20 minutes, while Gibb had nine.

The Tritons were 17-for-29 in the first half (58 percent) and finished 35 of 60 (58 percent).

Keck and Gibb went on to finish with 17 points to lead the Tritons. Henry finished with 15 points, while Zack Foulks and D’Monte Gaw came off the bench to score 15 and 12 points respectively.

The Warriors (4-10, 0-4) had three players in double digits, led by Dakwaunte Fields double-double. Fields had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Travis Woods had 20 points, while Dijon Brown added 10 points.

“They are a scary team that has some shooters,” Helle said. “They can shoot from anywhere on the court, so you have to put pressure on them and make the shots contested.”

Little Priest Tribal put a little scare into the Tritons in the second half, scoring the first six points, cutting a 21-point lead to 15. On defense the Warriors switched to a full court press to try to force the Tritons into turnovers. Iowa Central had no trouble with the advantage, going on a 21-12 run.

“I think we did a good job with their full court press,” Helle said. “It’s nice to be able to work on those things with a big lead. It’s also good to see it because we can’t simulate it in practice.

“We were able to react to it and get the ball to the middle of the court and work our offense from there.”

Iowa Central is back in action when they host third-ranked DMACC at 3 p.m. on Dennis Pilcher Court as part of a women’s and men’s doubleheader.

IOWA CENTRAL 92, LITTLE PRIEST TRIBAL 68

Iowa Central — Ayris Abdelnassar 1-4 0-0 3, Jeremiah Hurst 4-6 0-0 8, Andrew Gibb 7-16 3-3 17, Javonte Keck 6-7 3-3 17, Marquis Henry 5-7 2-2 15, Zack Foulks 4-8 3-4 12, Simon Brathwaite 1-1 0-0 2, Omar Vargas 0-0 0-0 0, Jeremy Kambomba 0-0 0-0 0, Cham Deng 3-5 0-0 8, Sam Glenn 0-1 0-0 0, D’Monte Gaw 4-5 2-2 10. Totals: 35-60 13-14 92.

Little Priest Tribal — Keesten Hanks 2-7 0-0 4, Dijon Brown 5-15 2-5 12, G’iovonni Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Travis Woods 6-16 5-8 20, Dakwaunte Fields 9-17 3-3 21, Donte Innocent 1-4 0-1 3, Hunter Walker 0-1 0-0 0, Osayande Igiehon 1-3 0-0 2, 24 Vaquarious 2-4 2-4 6, Lance Denney 0-2 0-1 0. Totals: 26-69 13-22 68.

Halftime score: Iowa Central led 49-28. Three-point goals: Iowa Central 9-22 (Abdelnassar 1-4, Gibb 0-4, Keck 2-3, Henry 3-4, Foulks 3-3, Deng 2-3, Glenn 0-1); Little Priest Tribal 3-19 (Hanks 0-5, Brown 0-3, Woods 3-8, Fields 0-1, Walker 0-1, Denney 0-1); Total rebounds: Iowa Central 35, Little Priest Tribal 40; Turnovers: Iowa Central 16, Little Priest Tribal 20; Total fouls: Iowa Central 19, Little Priest Tribal 15.