Prep Basketball

Iowa City West pulls away in 4th quarter to overcome Muscatine, Joe Wieskamp, 62-50

Trojans back to Class 4A semifinals for 8th consecutive year

Iowa City West's Evan Flitz (4) steals the ball away from Muscatine's Joe Wieskamp (21) as Iowa City West's Dante Eldridge (2) tries to reach for it during the fourth quarter of their quarterfinal game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa City West's Evan Flitz (4) steals the ball away from Muscatine's Joe Wieskamp (21) as Iowa City West's Dante Eldridge (2) tries to reach for it during the fourth quarter of their quarterfinal game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The champs are still defending. Class 4A’s all-time leading scorer ended his prolific prep career in an appropriate manner.

Iowa City West pulled away from a tight game in the fourth quarter and brushed past Muscatine, 62-50, Tuesday night in a state tournament quarterfinal played before a large crowd at Wells Fargo Arena.

Everyone wanted to see the individual matchup between Muscatine’s Joe Wieskamp and West’s Patrick McCaffery, a University of Iowa signee and commit, respectively. Neither kid disappointed.

Wieskamp scored 29 points and almost single-handedly willed his underdog team to a big-time upset. McCaffery had 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to help prevent that from happening.

West (20-4) plays Waukee (20-4) in a semifinal Thursday night at 6:30.

“I was Snapchatting with him all day,” McCaffery said. “Just talking smack. It was a lot of fun. We’ve gotten really close, and I’m really happy for that friendship.”

“He’s a great player, a great person,” Wieskamp countered. “He’s on a great team with a great coach. I hope they go on and win it all.”

West built a 10-point lead at the half, getting 11 points from guard Evan Flitz and keeping Wieskamp at bay with a rotating coterie of defenders. But the 6-foot-6 forward became determined in the second half to simply go right at his opponent.

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Successful drive after drive pulled Muscatine (16-9) within 38-37 after three quarters. It was suddenly anyone’s game.

But West scored 10 straight and 14 of the first 16 points of the fourth to grab the game by the throat.

“For us, a lot of our offense is defense,” said Flitz, who finished with 14 points, eight over his season average. “You get steals, you get run-outs. We had some excellent ball pressure, we were able to get a few run-outs. It’s also about being patient, trying not to do too much. Let the offense work, take open shots and knock them down.”

“We really pressured the ball when we had to,” said West Coach Steve Bergman, who has led the Trojans to the 4A semifinals for an eighth consecutive year. “We took it four or five times, and three or four of those, we scored. That’s really what (turned the game). It’s no secret that when we play good defense, we have a chance. We were a little shaky on offense at times, but our defense was really good tonight.”

Wieskamp ended as Iowa’s sixth all-time leading scorer, accumulating 2,376 points, an amazing total considering he generally didn’t have much help offensively in games. He came into this tournament averaging 33.7 a game.

“This has prepared me,” Wieskamp said. “I think I faced basically any defense possible this season. Obviously it’s frustrating at times. But it’s going to make me a better player in the long run, especially at the next level.”

“He seems so humble,” Bergman said, when asked if he was happy Wieskamp got to show his wares at the state tournament. “He’s just awesome, a hard worker, the best demeanor I’ve ever seen. So, yeah, it was good. But I didn’t want him to play more than one game, though. That was my goal.”

AT DES MOINES

MUSCATINE (50): Lex Hahn 6-8 0-1 12, Joe Wieskamp 13-24 3-3 29, Jose Melendez 2-4 1-2 5, Jackson Foulk 0-3 2-2 2, Josh Hutton 1-5 0-0 2, Bryce Howard 0-1 0-0 0, Cooper Zeck 0-1 0-0 0, Tyree Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Jose Martinez III 0-0 0-0 0, Gabriel Mulder 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Diercks 0-0 0-0 0, Bryce Owen 0-0 0-0 0, Drew Logel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 6-8 50.

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IOWA CITY WEST (62): Hakeem Odunsi 3-8 4-4 11, Seybian Sims 3-3 2-2 8, Patrick McCaffery 5-10 6-8 17, Dante Eldridge 3-7 4-4 12, Evan Flitz 5-6 1-2 14, Jake Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Paul McGee 0-1 0-0 0, Brayden Adcock 0-0 0-0 0, Dadrian Hoambrecker 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Klein 0-0 0-0 0, Jayson Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Mabry 0-0 0-0 0, T.J. Hillberry 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-35 17-20 62.

Halftime — West 29, Muscatine 19. 3-point goals — Muscatine 0-11 (Melendez 0-1, Hutton 0-3, Foulk 0-2, Wieskamp 0-4, Zeck 0-1), West 7-12 (Eldridge 2-3, Flitz 3-4, Odunsi 1-3, McCaffery 1-2). Rebounds — Muscatine 20 (Wieskamp 11), West 22 (McCaffery 9). Total fouls — Muscatine 16, West 12. Fouled out — Hahn. Assists — Muscatine 6 (Melendez 4), West 11 (Odunsi, McCaffery 4). Turnovers — Muscatine 9, West 9.

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

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