CEDAR RAPIDS — As the Central DeWitt Sabers walked around the court after their 58-47 substate final win over Benton Community, they realized one thing: The path to the state tournament is not easy.
Thanks to solid performances from Christian Wright, Marty Green, McClain Steffens and the rest of the Sabers, they’ve extended their season, but getting there at Cedar Rapids Kennedy Monday night wasn’t easy.
“We knew it was going to be a wire-to-wire game with a great team that Benton has over there, but I am just so happy and excited; this group deserves it,” Sabers coach Jeff Frick said.
One of the main reasons the Sabers are one of the eight teams in Class 3A to extend their season is depth.
Wright led DeWitt with 24 points, but he wasn’t the only one who had a big role. Green had six points in the first quarter to get the Sabers going, and he had a couple offensive rebounds late that gave DeWitt opportunities at second-chance points and to kill the clock.
“They weren’t guarding me very tight at the beginning of the game, so I did what I was supposed to do, and then at the end, other guys got guarded and I knew what I had to do, so I crashed the boards,” Green said.
“Having a deep team like we do is certainly one of the luxuries that we have,” Frick said. “We have different guys who are willing to step up.”
Benton scored the first five points, then DeWitt responded with a 12-2 run, in large part because Green found close shots in the paint and Wright opened his stat line with a 3-pointer on the wing. Lucas Daniels, who has shown leadership throughout the postseason, had three points in the first quarter.