Prep Basketball

AJ Green and a whole bunch of others lift Cedar Falls past Iowa City West for 4A boys' basketball championship

Iowa City West's Patrick McCaffery (22) grabs a rebound around Cedar Falls' Jack Campbell (44) during the second quarter of the 4A Championship game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, Mar. 9, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa City West's Patrick McCaffery (22) grabs a rebound around Cedar Falls' Jack Campbell (44) during the second quarter of the 4A Championship game of the Iowa Boys' State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, Mar. 9, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The first win was all about AJ Green. This one was, too.

Not to mention a whole bunch of other guys.

The all-state guard didn’t have to carry the entire load Friday night for Cedar Falls in the Class 4A championship game. He lifted plenty but got a lot of help as the Tigers beat Iowa City West for the second time this season, 65-45.

The Northern Iowa signee, son of Panthers associate head coach Kyle Green, went off for 36 points as CF edged West in mid-January, 55-54. He had 24 here, two under his average, but this was a complete team effort.

The Tigers never trailed, scoring the first seven points and surprisingly rolling past second-ranked West. Both teams finished 21-5.

“Obviously, I didn’t score 36 this time. I didn’t have to,” Green said. “Other guys stepped up huge.”

It’s the first boys’ basketball title for CF, and it was earned. The Tigers had to play three games in three days because of this tournament’s new five-day format.

West had an extra day’s rest, though it hardly mattered here. Logan Wolf added 14 points and Ben Gerdes 12 for Cedar Falls, which played strong on the interior and passed the ball exceptionally.

“The whole team. Everybody made huge plays that contributed to this win,” Green said.

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Patrick McCaffery had 13 points and Seybian Sims 12 for West, which was seeking its second straight 4A championship and eighth overall.

Sims and McCaffery were part of the 4A all-tournament team, with Wolf, Noah Hart of Waukee and Joe Wieskamp of Muscatine, who played only one game. Naturally, Green was the captain.

He had 28 points in a quarterfinal win over Sioux City East and 25 in the semifinals against West Des Moines Valley.

“I’ve been in both locker rooms. The winning one and the losing one,” McCaffery said, through tears. “I don’t like this one as much. As a team, they just outplayed us. It’s hard.”

“They did their job, and we didn’t,” said West’s Dante Eldridge.

Cedar Falls had all the juice early, as Green hit a lane jumper, Gerdes a baseline drive and 3-pointer. A Wolf dunk off a back-door feed put the Tigers up, 11-4.

West regained most of its bearings from there, closing within four, 16-12, after a quarter. Hakeem Odunsi opened the second quarter with an offensive-rebound putback for West, but Jack Campbell then scored six straight for CF.

He’s a Division I football recruit. That was part of an 11-0 run that moved the Tigers up by 13.

West closed within 27-21 by halftime, but Cedar Falls outscored the Trojans in the third quarter, 20-7.

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“We didn’t guard anybody in the second half,” said West Coach Steve Bergman. “It was a layup drill for them. That’s not usual for us. You get behind, you get a little panicky, we weren’t doing a lot of talking. We lived and died all year with our defense, and tonight it wasn’t very good.”

AT DES MOINES

CEDAR FALLS (65): Ben Gerdes 5-8 1-1 12, Logan Wolf 5-9 4-5 14, Jackson Frericks 1-3 0-0 2, Jack Campbell 4-5 0-0 8, A.J. Green 8-18 4-4 24, Mason Abbas 1-1 0-0 3, Sam Gary 0-0 0-0 0, Reese Gardner 0-1 1-2 1, Jacob Nelson 1-1 0-0 3, Tate Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Ollendieck 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Loughren 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Courbat 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-47 11-14 65.

IOWA CITY WEST (45): Seybian Sims 6-8 0-2 12, Hakeem Odunsi 2-6 0-0 5, Patrick McCaffery 4-9 4-6 13, Dante Eldridge 1-6 0-0 3, Evan Flitz 2-6 0-0 6, Jake Anderson 1-3 1-1 3, Dadrian Hoambrecker 0-0 0-2 0, Jayson Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Paul McGee 0-0 0-0 0, Brayden Adcock 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Klein 1-2 0-0 3, Cole Mabry 0-0 0-0 0, T.J. Hillberry 0-0 0-0 0, Marcus Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-42 5-11 45.

Halftime – Cedar Falls 27, West 21. 3-point goals – Cedar Falls 6-11 (Green 4-9, Gerdes 1-1, Nelson 1-1), West 6-17 (Eldridge 1-3, Flitz 2-4, Odunsi 1-2, McCaffery 1-3, Anderson 0-2, Klein 1-2, Hillberry 0-1). Rebounds – Cedar Falls 34 (Green 9), West 19 (Sims 5). Total fouls – Cedar Falls 14, West 14. Fouled out – None. Assists – Cedar Falls 12 (Wolf 4), West 9 (Odunsi 4). Turnovers – Cedar Falls 8, West 11.

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