Waterloo East Rally Gives McGraw Milestone Victory
Steve McGraw has built an impressive resume during his 43-year career. The veteran Waterloo East High School boys basketball coach added another milestone to the list of accomplishments Tuesday night (Jan. 24, 2017).
Hosting Cedar Rapids Washington on Wier-McGraw Court at Fred J. Miller Gymnasium, the Trojans rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to edge the Warriors, 65-64, in a Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) game. The victory was the 600th all-time for McGraw, making him the 14th coach in Iowa history to reach the plateau.
McGraw now has a career record of 600-329. The win-loss total includes a 485-227 mark at East, where he's currently in his 33rd season guiding the Trojans. During his time with the program, McGraw has directed East to 13 state tournament appearances and a pair of state championships (1990 and 2003). He was added to the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) boys basketball Hall-of-Fame in 2010.
Asked after the game what it meant to become the latest 600-game winner in the state of Iowa, McGraw said: "I don't want to talk about 600. Six-hundred just means you've been at it a long time."
The milestone victory wouldn't have been possible without a late rally by East (5-8 overall, 1-7 MVC). The Trojans outscored Washington 15-3 over the final three-minutes, 45-seconds, while holding the Warriors (3-11, 1-8) without a field goal after they built a 61-50 edge midway through the fourth quarter.
A pair of Tyrese Nicholson free throws with :15 remaining were the decisive points. East escaped with the win when Washington missed two shots -- one was blocked -- on its final possession.
Nicholson ended the night with 17 points, while teammate Jordan Jackson tallied a game-high 19. Both players started for East for the first time this season.
Cedar Rapids Washington built a 33-19 advantage in the second quarter and owned a 33-25 lead at halftime. East cut the deficit to four points, at 37-33, early in the third-quarter, but trailed 50-42 at the end of the period. The Trojans then outscored the Warriors 23-14 during the final eight-minute quarter.