Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – A year ago West High entered its final game before the holiday break 5-0 and top-ranked only to be upset by unranked Cedar Rapids Prairie.
The circumstances were similar on Tuesday but the results couldn’t have been much different.
Top-ranked West High shot 53 percent from the floor and trailed for just 22 seconds in a convincing 70-57 win over Prairie in a Mississippi Valley Conference matchup at West High.
“Last year we came in 5-0 with our heads full thinking it was going to be easy and they shot lights out,” West High Seybian Sims said. “We were a lot more alert tonight because of what happened last year.”
In its 80-71 upset for West High 364 days ago Prairie buried 15 3-pointers and shot 56 percent from the field.
Prairie got 27 points from 6-foot-5 junior Kris Murray on Tuesday but shot just 40 percent and was 6-of-18 from 3-point while dropping to 3-3 on the season.
“We brought up last year just because the way they could beat us tonight is exactly the same way,” West coach Steve Berman said. “They are good shooters, and we gave them some open shots but we were better than last year with it.”
Patrick McCaffery had a game-high 28 points to win the personal duel with Murry but the difference in the outcome was McCaffery got plenty of help from his teammates.
Seybian Sims had his second straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as four West High players scored in double figures.
Dante Eldridge added 12 points and Evan Flitz had 10 points all in the first half.
“Dante are Evan are both shooting the cover off the ball and Seybian is playing the best basketball I’ve seen him play,” McCaffery said. “Seybian is finishing almost everything and Dante and Flitz are both shooting almost 50 percent from 3 so it makes my job a lot easier and takes a lot of pressure off me when we’ve got guys playing like that.”
West High was 8-of-11 from the field in the first quarter while taking a 20-15 lead it would never give up.
McCaffery had 10 of his game-high 28 points in the opening quarter as West High improved to 6-0 and 3-0 in MVC play.
McCaffery made four of his first six shots on Tuesday, consistently finding room to operate in the middle of Prairie’s matchup zone.
“They always play that zone and I’m pretty good in that middle spot,” McCaffery said. “In the first quarter they didn’t really have anybody in the middle so we got pretty whatever we wanted as long as we got it in the middle.”
West High used a 9-0 second-quarter run to build an 11-point lead and led 38-27 at the half.
Murray did his best to keep Prairie in the game in the second half, scoring 14 of the Hawks’ 20 third-quarter points as Prairie trailed just 53-47 after three quarters.
“It was really a spurty game,” Bergman said. “We’d get up 12 and then boom it would four, we’d get up 13 and then it would be six and that is a byproduct of bad defense at time. They are going to make shots, you can’t give them wide open shots and there are a lot of teams in our league like that.”
Prairie trailed 56-50 with under six minutes to play but West High put the game away with a 5-0 spurt in less than 20 seconds.
Eldridge hit a corner 3-pointer to push the lead to 59-50 and less than 20 seconds later Sims threw down a two-handed slam that put the Trojans up 61-50.
Prairie never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
“When they make a runs that makes us play 10 times harder,” Sims said. “They make runs you know we are going to have to pick it up because if we don’t it’s ball game.”
West High 20 18 15 17 – 70
CR Prairie 15 12 20 10 – 57
West High (70) – Dante Eldridge 4-7 2-2 12, Evan Flitz 4-6 0-0 10, Seybian Sims 7-10 2-3 16, Jake Anderson 1-3 0-0 3, Hakeem Odunsi 0-2 0-0 0, Paul McGee 0-0 0-0 0, Dadrian Hoambrecker 0-3 1-2 1, Patrick McCaffery 9-16 8-8 28, Brayden Adcock 0-0 0-0 0, Team 25-47 13-15 70.
Cedar Rapids Prairie (57) – Keegan Murray 2-7 0-0 5, Kris Murray 7-15 10-10 27, Griff Clark 2-11 2-2 8, Logan Burg 1-3 1-2 3, Harrison Cook 6-9 2-2 14, Team 18-45 15-16 57.
3-point field goals – ICW 7-15 (Eldridge 2-4, Flitz 2-3, Anderson 1-2, Odunsi 0-2, McCaffery 2-4); CRP 6-18 (Ke. Murray 1-6, Kr. Murray 3-7, Clark 2-5). Rebounds – ICW 30 (Sims 10); CRP 22 (Kr. Murray 6). Turnovers – ICW 7; CRP 7. Total fouls – ICW 14; CRP 14. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.