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Cedar Creek drops district opener against Hendrickson on turnovers in fourth quarter

By Jim Irish

Photos by John Gutierrez, Austin American-Statesman


Cedar Creek couldn’t close it out in a District 23-5A opener against Hendrickson.


Ahead by seven points at the end of the third quarter, the Eagles (12-5 overall, 0-1 in district) lost to the Hawks 72-68 on the road Thursday.


Cedar Creek led 53-46 after three quarters, Hendrickson outscored the Eagles 26-15 in the fourth.


Cedar Creek coach Valentino Maxwell, whose motto for the program has been “good to great” was disappointed in the outcome.


“Hendrickson played well enough to win, but that was our game,” Maxwell said.


Both teams sank 28 field goals, but Cedar Creek shot better 54% to 50%.


But the one prominent statistic were steals: Hendrickson had 11 to Cedar Creek’s 3.


“(We had) bad turnovers that led to layups all game but especially in the fourth quarter,” Maxwell said.


"(We had) bad turnovers that led to layups all game but especially in the fourth quarter."

-- Cedar Creek coach Valentino Maxwell


“We also did a terrible job rebounding,” he added. “Easy rebounds went right through our hands, four or five times.”


Cedar Creek’s Kenji Franklin, a 6-foot-5 junior, averages more than 11 rebounds a game but grabbed only five.


As a team, Cedar Creek was outrebounded 29 to 24.


Otherwise, Franklin played well, scoring 26 points on 12-of-21 from the field. He missed all three of his 3-point attempts.


Robert Conrad, a 5-10 point guard, led the Eagles with 29 points on 11-of-20 from the field. He sank 2-of-3 from outside the arc and converted all five free throws.


Cedar Creek forward Micah McDonald contributed seven points and nine rebounds. He also had four blocks.


Maxwell used seven players but only four scored.


Leland Washington, a 6-4 transfer averaging 5 points and nearly four rebounds a game, failed to score and snagged only one rebound in 12 minutes. He had three blocks.


Chi Ukachukwu and Amir Thompson paced Hendrickson (11-6, 1-0) with 24 and 22 points, respectively.


Hendrickson played 12 athletes with 10 scoring.


Cedar Creek competes in the Corpus Christi tournament, opening against Flour Bluff at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. The Eagles also face Poth and Rockport.


Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas


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