West High Matches State Record With 79th Straight Home Win

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Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – There was a little confusion before and even after the game on Tuesday as to exactly how many consecutive games West High has won on its home floor.

What was crystal clear on Tuesday is that the Trojans home winning streak doesn’t appear likely to end any time soon.

Class 4A Top-ranked West High used a 13-0 second-quarter run to break open a tight game and cruised to a 69-42 win over Linn-Mar (5-4) to match the state record with its 79th consecutive home win.

“That many wins in a row, that’s very impressive and it’s not just on us it’s past years, past teams going back seven years,” West High senior Seybian Sims said. “It’s amazing.”

The Iowa High School Athletic Association had West High tying Palmer for the state record with 79 straight home wins last Friday.

West High officials said that Tuesday’s win was the 79th straight for the Trojans at West High.

Either way West High hasn’t lost a home game since December 21 of 2010 and didn’t come close to a home loss on Tuesday.

“It’s so many different teams that’s what is cool about it,” West High coach Steve Berman said of the record. “It shows that we have had a lot of good talent and we’ve had good consistency over the last seven years. And a little luck because I remember about five times where I thought we just lost and somehow we won.”

West High players hadn’t reached junior high the last time the Trojans lost at home but Bergman remembers it well.

It was a 65-46 loss to Cedar Falls in the final game before the holiday break. It was the first of a three-game losing skid for the Trojans that season that was followed by 16 consecutive wins and a state semifinal appearance.

“We got crushed by Cedar Falls and the week before we played Linn-Mar here and they crushed us. The first two games back after break we played in Cedar Rapids and got beat at Washington by a half-court shot at the buzzer. Led the whole game. Then we played at Jeff and got beat by (Jarrod) Uthoff. Led the whole game. I thought ‘Oh my god, we just lost three in a row.’ And we didn’t lose again until the state tournament.”

On Tuesday the current version of West High looked like a team that could rattle off a winning streak of its own.

West High trailed once at 6-5 on Tuesday but outscored Linn-Mar 22-8 in the second quarter rolled to its ninth straight win to open the season.

The Trojans led just 17-15 after a Nolan Ruff bucket with 7:16 left in the second quarter but Sims scored in transition five seconds later to ignite a 13-0 West High run.

West High forced eight Linn-Mar turnovers in the final seven minutes of the second quarter while closing the first half on a 19-4 run.  

“Our defense definitely picked up a lot,” Sims said. “We followed the scouting report really well the first half, they didn’t have a three so we definitely followed the scouting report.”

Linn-Mar went 5-of-6 from the field in the opening quarter but shot just 35 percent the rest of the way as West High ratcheted up its defense.

The Trojans forced 10 turnovers in the second and third quarters with many resulting in easy transition opportunities as West High outscored Linn-Mar 40-19 during that span.

“The defense got really good, we put Brayden (Adcock) in and he did not let their point guard get comfortable and our wings got out and denied passes,” Berman said. “We gave up a few layups but that’s part of the equation is we will give up an easy one now and again but that defense got us 10 layups.

Patrick McCaffery scored a game-high 23 points and Sims added 15 points and eight rebounds as West High finished with a 30-15 rebounding edge.

McCaffery had 11 of his 23 points during the 19-4 run to end the first half that gave West High a 36-19 halftime edge.

West High opened the third quarter with a 12-3 run that pushed the lead to 48-22.

“The defense picked up in the second half a lot,” Sims said. “We came out much stronger.”

Linn-Mar got 16 points from junior Trey Hutcheson but went 0-of-5 from 3-point range and didn’t have another player with more than six points.

“In our league that could almost be the scouting report for everybody that you play, they all have three or four 3-point shooters and they are another one,” Bergman said. “They all shoot 3s, I don’t mind shooting the three but I think we can win without making threes and that’s how we want to be built.”

West High      14  22  18  15  –  69

Linn-Mar        11   8   11  12  –  42

West High (69) – Dante Eldridge 3-4 0-0 8, Evan Flitz 3-4 0-0 8, Seybian Sims 6-7 3-3 15, Jake Anderson 0-3 0-0 0, Hakeem Odunsi 2-4 2-2 7, Dadrian Hoambrecker 2-4 0-0 4, Patrick McCaffery 8-14 7-8 23, Paul McGee 1-2 0-0 2, Cole Mabry 0-0 2-2 2, Dawhawn Willis 0-1 0-0 0, Team 25-43 14-15 69.

Linn-Mar (42) – Tyler Oberbroeckling 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Robertson 1-3 4-4 6, Jaren Nelson 0-2 0-0 0, Cole Martin 2-3 0-2 4, Nolan Ruff 3-8 0-1 6, Trey Hutcheson 5-10 6-8 16, Hayden Passmore 2-3 0-0 4, Cam Nelson 1-1 0-0 2, Jack Gertsen 0-3 0-0 4, Nate Annis 2-3 0-0 4, Team 16-37 10-15 42.

3-point field goals – ICW 5-10 (Eldridge 2-3, Flitz 2-2, Anderson 0-2, Odunsi 1-1, Hoambrecker 0-1, McCaffery 0-1); LM 0-5 (Nelson 0-2, Martin 0-1, Ruff 0-1, Hutcheson 0-1). Rebounds – ICW 30 (Sims 8); LM 15 (Nelson, Passmore 3). Total fouls – ICW 17, LM 16. Turnovers – ICW 16, LM 16. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.