High School

Waukee boys basketball beats Waukee Northwest in redemption

Waukee and Waukee Northwest boys basketball faced off Friday in a rematch of two of the top teams in the state and the top two senior players in Iowa.

Northwest held on to win in the first matchup between these two teams. This one wasn’t even close as Waukee won 77-55.

Omaha Biliew opened the scoring and in typical fashion the Iowa State signee scored on a dunk. Waukee’s Cade Littlefield and Vance Peiffer also added early baskets.

Cade Littlefield of Waukee puts up a shot during a game against Waukee Northwest, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

The Warriors were up 17-12 at the end of the first quarter and had a 32-20 advantage at halftime. Northwest could do little to get back in the game.

Biliew picked up 21 points for the Warriors. Mason Costello and Littlefield each added 15, and Peiffer recorded 13.

“That’s what makes us hard to guard, when we share the ball like that,” Littlefield said postgame. “We were just able to space the floor a lot better and then they have to guard everyone, so that’s what makes it difficult.”

Pryce Sandfort led the Wolves with 26 points, and Cade Kelderman scored 17.

Let’s not forget that basketball is a team sport

Sure, Biliew and Sandfort were the headline names in this matchup. But Waukee and Northwest both boast rosters full of impact players.

For Waukee, Littlefield and Peiffer’s experience stuck out. Littlefield had a hot scoring night. He and Biliew were the first-half scoring leaders, and Littlefield was all over the court for the Warriors. He knows how to put his teammates in scoring position. And when he can’t, Littlefield won’t hesitate to shoot a 3-pointer.

Peiffer matches what Biliew brings to the court: dunks, rebounds … you name it and he does it. Having two big men like that makes Waukee a dangerous team. Peiffer is a presence in the paint, and having a couple dunks against the crosstown rival made it a memorable night for him.

Vance Peiffer of Waukee drives to the basket during a game against Waukee Northwest, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

Sandfort, an Iowa signee, got his points and had some help from Kelderman.

Kelderman paces the offense, shoots as well as he sets up his teammates, and isn’t afraid to fight for possession. He was instrumental in Northwest’s win earlier this season, but he and his teammates couldn’t keep pace with Waukee on Friday.

Northwest had a piece it didn’t have the last time these teams played: Grant Tigges, who was out sick in the first matchup. He and Sandfort are a solid tag team in the paint, and Tigges made some difficult shots look easy. Tigges has a motor that doesn’t quit, and the Wolves will have him for another year.

Different the second time around

Northwest controlled the first two quarters when these teams played in December. It wasn’t until the second half that Waukee closed the gap to make it a close game. The rematch was never in doubt.

After the first quarter, this was Waukee’s game to lose and the Warriors weren’t about to get swept in the regular season by their biggest rival. Biliew was Waukee’s leading scorer in that first game, too, but Peiffer and Littlefield pushed the Warriors over the top on Friday.

“I would really just have to say out effort,” Littlefield said about what changed between the two games. “I think we really picked it up on the defensive end, offensive end. I think we played a lot harder and way more like a team this game.”

Alyssa Hertel is the college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at [email protected] or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

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