Iowa City West is best again in Class 4A

Trojans avenge loss in last year's title game, top West Des Moines Valley, 64-50

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DES MOINES — Not this year, Valley. Not this year.

It’s Iowa City West’s season.

The top-seeded and top-ranked Trojans wanted nothing to do with another upset loss Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, showing they are without question the best team in Class 4A with a 64-50 win over West Des Moines Valley in Saturday night’s championship game.

Valley beat West a year ago here, but that didn’t happen again. The Trojans (23-3) were just too good.

“I remember the exact feeling last year,” said West’s Devontae Lane. “I walked into the locker room after that game, and our seniors heads were down. Everyone was crying. I didn’t want that feeling again.”

He didn’t get it.

 

 

“It was a great night,” said West Coach Steve Bergman. “I have loved coaching these seniors. They stuck with. The hardest thing to do is be the favorite from day one and hang in there and do it.”

Connor McCaffery scored 19 points and had eight rebounds in this wire-to-wire performance. Lane added 13 points.

They are four-year players who finish their outstanding careers with two championships, a runner-up and third-place finish. This is West’s seventh title overall and Bergman’s sixth.

That’s third-best all time behind Davenport’s legendary Paul Moon (seven) and Western Christian’s Jim Eekhoff (eight).

“I’m glad you’re keeping track because I’m not,” Bergman said. “It’s mostly just relief winning this one.”

The only in-state team to beat West this season was Cedar Rapids Prairie. Its other two losses were to Webster Groves (Mo.) and Cretin-Derham Hall of St. Paul, Minn.

The 4A all-tournament team included Lane, Sioux City East’s Van Rees, Valley’s Quinton Curry and Charley Crowley. Fittingly the all-tournament captain was McCaffery, who had 18 points in each of his team’s first two wins here this week.

“This means everything,” he said. “That was our goal from the beginning of the season. It couldn’t have been any better from start to finish. It’s everything we could have hoped for.”

Sophomore Patrick McCaffery added 12 points, had five rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. He, of course, is Connor’s brother, which added to the warm fuzzies here.

“It’s always been our goal since we started playing together,” he said. “We wanted to win two, but we at least got one. That means everything, especially it being his senior year.”

A blocked shot by Patrick McCaffery led to Izaya Ono-Fullard breaking down court and scoring on a layup as the buzzer sounded, giving West a 10-point halftime lead of 34-24 and some significant momentum. The Trojans had established a lead of 25-15 with 2:30 left in the half after an Evan Flitz 3-pointer.

Valley (21-5) climbed back with six a couple of times after that, but West got the final four points on a Seybian Sims inside hoop and Ono-Fullard’s basket. The Trojans built an 11-point lead on a Connor McCaffery trey midway through the third quarter, but Valley again closed within six, 45-39, by quarter’s end.

One final burst late in the fourth put things to bed. Lane had a beautiful driving spin move for two, Patrick McCaffery splashing a corner trey and holding up three fingers and he trotted back down court.

The title was deservedly theirs. Not this year, Valley.

“It’s just winning in general,” Connor McCaffery said. “Obviously you have revenge. But if it was against anybody, I don’t think I’d feel any different than I do right now.”

“Today we had a lot prepared for them, but I could tell they didn’t want to listen, they just wanted to play,” Bergman said. “So we gave them the very bare minimum. And they played.”

Very well.

AT DES MOINES

WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (50): Austin Hinkle 4-11 2-4 13, Reese Skinner 1-4 0-0 2, Nate Dennis 2-4 0-0 4, Charley Crowley 2-5 3-3 7, Quinton Curry 6-10 3-4 15, Bryce Jeffers 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Whipple 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Sueppel 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Samples 0-0 0-0 0, Will Rodruck 0-0 0-0 0, Parker Jensen 1-2 0-0 2, Blake Brinkmeyer 0-0 0-0 0, Carter Frey 2-4 3-3 7. Totals 18-40 11-14 50.

IOWA CITY WEST (64): Devontae Lane 5-11 2-2 13, Nate Disterhoft 2-2 0-1 4, Patrick McCaffery 4-8 3-4 12, Connor McCaffery 4-8 9-9 19, Izaya Ono-Fullard 2-3 0-0 4, Evan Flitz 2-2 0-0 6, Seybian Sims 2-2 0-0 4, Jake Anderson 0-0 1-2 1, Hakeem Odunsi 0-2 1-2 1, Paul McGee 0-0 0-0 0, Dante Eldridge 0-0 0-0 0, Homy Nasr 0-0 0-0 0, Jayson Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Hirsche Henstrom 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Van Roekel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-38 16-20 64.

Halftime — West 34, Valley 24. 3-point goals — Valley 3-13 (Hinkle 3-8, Skinner 0-2, Dennis 0-2, Frey 0-1), West 6-17 (Lane 1-4, P. McCaffery 1-4, C. McCaffery 2-5, Ono-Fullard 0-1, Flitz 2-2, Odunsi 0-1). Rebounds — Valley 20 (Curry 8), West 22 (C. McCaffery 8). Total fouls — Valley 16, West 14. Fouled out — None. Assists — Valley 6 (Sueppel 2), West 16 (P. McCaffery 5). Turnovers — Valley 13, West 9.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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