By Jim Irish
Cedar Creek junior Robert Conrad is supplying the leadership for a team with only two seniors on the roster.
The 5-foot-11 point guard scored 30 points — tying a career high — as the Eagles (3-0) defeated Del Valle for the first time in the school’s history in a non-district contest at home on Tuesday.
Conrad plays both ends of the court
Conrad is at his best driving inside, unafraid to take on anybody, and where he displays his acrobatic moves. But he is equally dangerous from 3-point range, hitting two against Del Valle. His vertical leap is also impressive; at the 6:08 mark in the second quarter, he dunked on a breakaway.
"I feel a lot of joy for the program. It's a testament to the players' hard work. We've been building this program in the right direction for six years. ..."
-- Cedar Creek coach Valentino Maxwell
Seemingly everywhere, Conrad contributed four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.
“Great performance,” Cedar Creek coach Valentino Maxwell said about Conrad. “He’s bought into being more of a natural point guard. I’ve been more impressed with his assist-to-turnover ratio (2 against Del Valle). He controlled our team and our pace.”
In addition, Conrad assumed the responsibility of guarding 5-8 senior point guard Damereon Williams, who could possibly be the quickest point guard in Central Texas. That’s no easy task. Williams scored 28 points, including four from long range. But Conrad blocked a 3-pointer and a layup by Williams in the fourth quarter. The Eagles put the blitz on Del Valle in the quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 13-3.
“I feel a lot of joy for the program,” Maxwell said. “It’s a testament to the players’ hard work. We’ve been building this program in the right direction for six years. I feel the win showed our players their hard work is definitely paying off.”
Franklin and McDonald add depth
Cedar Creek teammates Kenji Franklin and Micah McDonald delivered as well. Franklin, a sophomore close to 6-6, dominated inside, earned a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds. McDonald, a 6-2 junior, contributed 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Maxwell credited Franklin’s suffocating defense on Del Valle’s Chris Wilson in the fourth quarter. Wilson finished with nine points.
“We put our best defender on one of their better big offensive players,” Maxwell said. “It took the fire out of him."
Cedar Creek faces tough competition in Austin ISD tournament
Cedar Creek competes against San Antonio Lanier (1-0) and Katy Cinco Ranch (2-0) in the Austin ISD tournament on Thursday.
In another contest on Tuesday, Bastrop (0-2) lost to Lake Belton 64-53 at home on Tuesday. The Bears play host to Lockhart (0-2) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer living in Bastrop, Texas