By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Connor McCaffery and Devontae Lane were a part of a lot of wins during their four-year varsity careers at West High.
It was win number 92 that the senior duo will never forget.
McCaffery and Lane combined for 32 points as West High (23-3) claimed its second state title in four seasons with a 64-50 win over fifth-ranked West Des Moines Valley in the 4A state title game at Wells Fargo Arena.
“It means everything,” Connor McCaffery said. “This has been our goal since the beginning and it couldn’t have been any better form the start to the finish. It was everything we could have hoped for.”
McCaffery had a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Lane had 13 points despite battling foul trouble as West High avenged a 46-39 loss to West Des Moines Valley in last season’s 4A title game.
Lane scored eight of his 13 points in the second half and McCaffery had 11 of his 19 in the final two quarters as West High put the game away.
“I can tell you the exact feeling I had last year,” Lane said. “Walking to the locker room and I saw the seniors heads down and everyone was crying and I my senior year I didn’t want to have that feeling of that sadness, going home and crying and not being able to say I went out on top.”
The title game win gave the West High senior backcourt duo a 92-12 career record that includes a 10-2 mark at the state tournament and a pair of state titles.
It was the sixth state title for West High coach Steve Bergman who led the Trojans to 4A crowns in 1998 and 2000 and then three straight titles from 2012 to 2014.
“I just wanted to win one with these guys,” Bergman said. “We won one when they were freshman and then we have been disappointed for two years and we knew why we were disappointed and we went about fixing that.”
Top-ranked West High (23-3) trailed 7-6 early by went on a 10-0 run that gave the Trojans a 16-7 lead it would never give up.
McCaffery scored the final five points of the 10-0 spurt with a 3-pointer and a layup following a Lane steal.
“Devontae has been a guy on defense that just gets the big steal all the time,” Bergman said. “He’s usually kicking it ahead to one of these guys for a steal or a dunk.”
West High led 28-22 with 1:10 left in the first half when Connor McCaffery went to the bench after picking up his second foul.
Lane had already been on the bench for most of the quarter after picking up his second foul.
With its two leaders on the bench West High closed the half on a 6-2 run, scoring four points in the final 13 seconds as Izaya Ono-Fullard beat the halftime buzzer with a layup .
“I told them you two were out of the game that was probably the key,” Bergman joked. “We made some good plays without our two best players in the game and that was a real big boost going in.”
West Des Moines Valley got as close as 47-42 on a Charley Crowley 3-point play with 7:08 left but West High answered with a 13-2 run that sealed the game.
Connor McCaffery started the game-clinching spurt with four straight free throws.
Patrick McCaffery added 12 points in the game and had a big 3-pointer during the 13-2 run.
“It means everything,” Patrick McCaffery said. “That has been our goal since we started playing together. We want to win two but at least we won one.”
Quinton Curry led Valley with 15 points and eight rebounds.
West High shot 55 percent from the field for the game and had seven players score at least four points.
Evan Flitz had six and Nate Disterhoft, Ono-Fullard and Seybian Sims all had four.
“We had a lot prepared for them and I could tell they really didn’t want to listen to it they just wanted to play so we gave them the bare minimum and they played,” Bergman said.
West High 16 18 11 19 – 64
West Des Moines Valley 9 15 15 11 – 50
West High (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, Team 21-38 16-20 64.
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, Parker Jensen 1-2 0-0 2, Carter Frey 2-4 3-3 7, Luke Suppel 0-0 0-0 0, Team 18-40 11-14 50.
3-point field goals – ICW 6-17 (Lane 1-4, P. McCaffery 1-4, C. McCaffery 2-5, Ono-Fullard 0-1, Flitz 2-2, Odunsi 0-1), WDV 3-13 (Hinkle 3-8, Skinner 0-2, Dennis 0-2, Frey 0-1). Rebounds – ICW 22 (C. McCaffery 8), WDV 20 (Curry8). Assists – ICW 16 (P. McCaffery 5), WDV 6 (Sueppel 2). Turnovers – ICW 9, WDV 13. Total fouls – ICW 14, WDV 16. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.