Prep Basketball

Steve Bergman of Iowa City West notches 600th career victory

Trojans brush past Cedar Rapids Prairie, 59-47

Iowa City West head coach Steve Bergman. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa City West head coach Steve Bergman. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — He was not completely amused. Go figure, right?

Steve Bergman was doused by all kinds of water from the squeeze bottles of his players as he walked off the court and toward the locker room Tuesday night. It was his guys celebrating the hall of fame basketball coach’s 600th career victory.

Only Bergman has been battling sickness. That, and, well, you know, Bergy is Bergy.

“I got a cold and the flu, and they’re doing that,” Bergman said, in a raspy voice, following a 59-47 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie. “Morons.”

He meant that in the nicest way possible, of course.

The guy is notoriously tougher than tough on his players, but the results he gets do not lie. Bergman is the 15th coach in state history to reach the coveted 600 mark, a pretty astonishing 600-193 in 33 years.

That includes winning 555 games and six big-school state championships in 29 years at West. Bergman has led the Trojans to the state tournament 18 times, including the last nine years.

“He’s a pretty special coach,” said West’s Marcus Morgan. “I’ve known him my whole life. Being a part of something like this tonight is pretty special.”

“He tells it like it is,” said West’s Even Brauns, who transferred last school year from Iowa City Regina. “There’s a reason he’s got 600 wins. It’s not that he’s doing stuff other guys are doing. Clearly, we do stuff differently here. Coming from a different program, I know. It’s definitely the hardest route to get there, but, obviously, it has worked, so you can’t complain.”

A dominating second quarter moved West from three down to 15 up here. Four Trojans scored in double figures: Brauns and Nick Pepin 13 points each, Morgan 12 and Tate Crane 10.

Jake Walter had 16 points for Prairie (14-6).

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“At this point, I am going to (continue to) coach unless something changes,” said Bergman, 61, who is retired from teaching. “If I could go somewhere nice and warm, that’d be tempting, but I can’t. My family situation is I need to be here. And that’s OK. This is what I’ve done, I don’t think I’m forgetting how to do things, yet. I still watched three hours of film for this game. No, actually, four, and I enjoy that. I have more time to do that now.

“It’s full steam ahead. Gonna have to work really hard this year and in the future if we’re going to keep being successful.”

AT IOWA CITY

C.R. PRAIRIE (47): Jackson Nove 2-4 3-4 7, Max Lampe 1-7 0-0 2, Gabe Burkle 4-7 1-2 10, Elijah Ward 1-5 2-2 4, Jonathan Mullins 2-6 0-0 4, Caden Stoffer 1-2 2-2 4, Jake Walter 2-6 11-11 16, Garrett Pientok 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-37 19-21 47.

IOWA CITY WEST (59): Tate Crane 4-6 3-5 11, Benjamin Vander Leest 3-7 0-0 6, Even Brauns 6-9 1-1 13, Nick Pepin 2-8 8-10 13, Joey Goodman 0-1 1-2 1, Marcus Morgan 4-7 2-2 12, Christian Barnes 1-2 0-0 3, Charlie Moreland 0-0 0-0 0, Nikolas Zamora 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-40 15-22 59.

Halftime — West 33, Prairie 19. 3-point goals — Prairie 2-8 (Lampe 0-2, Burkle 1-2, Mullins 0-1, Stoffer 0-1, Walter 1-2), West 4-14 (Vander Leest 0-2, Pepin 1-6, Morgan 2-4, Barnes 1-2). Rebounds — Prairie 20 (Lampe, Burkle 5), West 29 (Brauns 8). Total fouls — Prairie 17, West 14. Fouled out — Lampe. Turnovers — Prairie 11, West 11.

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

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