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Clipper boys bedevil the Demons

CCA outlasts Washington, 75-71, in 3A semifinal
Kahler Green finds himself surrounded by a trio of Washington Demons in a Class 3A District No. 9 semifinal game at Cedar Rapids Xavier on Monday, Feb. 22. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
CEDAR RAPIDS– Xavier Catholic High School in northeast Cedar Rapids was the sight of an exorcism Monday, Feb. 22, as the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) boys bedeviled the Demons of Washington, 75-71, in a Class 3A District 9 basketball semifinal.
Jake Neubauer opened up for CCA with a 3-pointer to give the Clippers a quick lead. A Cal Miller 3-bomb, the first of three for the senior, gave CCA a 12-8 lead. However, the Demons kept pace with the Clippers, tying the game multiple times throughout the first period. The game was knotted at 17-17 when Neubauer made a steal and drove it home for a layup to make it 19-17 as the period ended.
Tate Thomsen sank a 3-pointer for the Clippers to start the second period and spark a mini-run. Two-point buckets from Kahler Green, Evan Downes and Neubauer put CCA up, 30-26. Again the Demons cut the lead and pulled ahead 37-35 late in the half. A bucket by Downes made it 37-all at the break.
The action remained tight in the third period as the lead shifted back and forth with 2-point shots from Downes and Neubauer, a 3-pointer from Miller and a 2-point shot from Aaron Akers, which tied the game at 46. A pair of Miller free throws gave CCA a 48-46 lead, which was expanded by Downes making a slam dunk in front of the Clipper student body. The Clippers led 56-52 going into the final eight minutes, and while Washington threatened and narrowed the gap, the lead was CCA’s for good.
Neubauer, Green, Akers and Thomsen hit 2-point shots in the final quarter with Neubauer going 4-4 at the free throw line. Thomsen put up the Clippers’ final point at the charity stripe with 11.9 seconds left in the game.
Neubauer led CCA with 26 points backed up by 15 from Miller and 12 from Downes.
The win improved the Clippers’ record to 12-10 overall and advanced them to the district final on Thursday, Feb. 25, at Cedar Rapids Prairie against Xavier. The Saints disposed of the Williamsburg Raiders, 90-47, after the CCA-Washington game in the second half of a district doubleheader. Xavier improved to 14-8 with the win. Washington ended the season at 7-16 while Williamsburg retired at 3-19.
The district champion will face the District 10 winner on Monday, Feb. 29, at Iowa City West High for the right to compete in the Class 3A State Basketball Tournament.
Game time is 7 p.m. for both games.