Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – If there was any notion that Saturday’s meeting between perennial 4A powerhouse West High and two-time defending 1A champ Grand View Christian was a mismatch Patrick McCaffery wasn’t buying it.
“I don’t care if it’s 1A, 2A, 3A that team is legit,” McCaffery said of Grand View Christian. “They are good, that team with those guys they could compete in 4A and I don’t think that’s a secret.”
Grand View Christian proved McCaffery right but the West High senior proved why he’s one of the best in the state.
McCaffery had a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds to help West High pull away for a 64-54 win over Grand View Christian at West High.
“We knew they were going to one of the more athletic teams that we play all year,” McCaffery said. “They are going to be one of the more talented teams that we play all year. If you look on paper they are 1A and we are 4A so we should blow them out but really it doesn’t come down to that because they have guys and we have guys.”
McCaffery scored 15 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as West High broke open a two-point halftime game.
West High improved to 2-0 while Grand View Christian dropped to 2-1 with just its third loss in the past three seasons.
“I’ll give them credit they weren’t intimidated,” West High coach Steve Bergman said of Grand View Christian. “They are a good team. They’ve won every game almost in two years so they expect to win.”
Grand View Christian used a 12-0 run that spanned nearly four minutes at the end of the first and start of the second quarters to take its biggest lead of the game at 20-14.
West High battled back and closed the first half on a 7-2 run to take a 29-27 lead into the locker room.
It was tied at 34-all before a layup by senior Brayden Adcock gave West High a 36-34 lead it would never give up.
West High closed the third quarter on a 17-5 run and never led the Thunder get closer than eight points in the fourth quarter.
“We defended a little better, turned them over a little bit and they had few makes so they couldn’t set up their pressure,” Bergman said. “They switched defenses so much and it’s so early in the year that we sort of struggled to get into stuff in the first half.”
West High used a 7-0 spurt over the final 50 seconds of the third quarter to take control.
The run started with a Ben Vander Leest bucket, featured a jumper by McCaffery and ended when sophomore Marcus Morgan beat the third quarter buzzer with a corner 3.
“What it really came down to was our guys made shots when it mattered,” McCaffery said. “Marcus hit a bit shot at the end of the quarter, Ben Vander Leest hit a big shot and that’s what really separated us for the rest of the game.”
McCaffery put the game away scoring the first four West High points in the fourth quarter.
West High ran much of its offense through the 6-foot-9 senior in the second half as McCaffery pulled players away from the basket and then beat them off the dribble baskets.
After hitting three of his 10 first-half field goal attempts McCaffery was 5-of-8 from the field in the second half.
“I’ve always been really good with the ball in my hands and past years we have been so talented so I haven’t been able to do that,” McCaffery said. “This year it’s really nice to have that extra freedom to play out in space and make plays for myself and make plays for others.”
Junior Even Brauns added 10 points for West High while Morgan had eight off the bench.
Drake commit Issa Samake led Grand View Christian with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Arturo Montes had 12 points and Bryce Crabb and Harouna Sissoko each had 10.
West High (64) – Jacob Klein 0-3 0-0 0, Tate Crane 1-2 3-4 5, Nick Pepin 1-5 1-2 4, Marcus Morgan 3-6 0-0 8, Patrick McCaffery 9-17 7-10 26, Ben Vander Leest 2-6 0-0 5, Brayden Adcock 2-4 2-3 6, Even Brauns 4-6 2-3 10, Team 22-49 15-22 64.
Grand View Christian (54) – Kong Neyail 3-3 3-4 9, Issa Samake 6-13 1-2 13, Andrew Gatto 0-1 0-0 0, Arturo Montes 5-11 1-2 12, Bryce Crabb 4-4 1-2 10, Harouna Sissoko 3-13 2-2 10, Team 21-45 8-12 54.
3-point field goals – ICW 5-17 (Klein 0-3, Crane 0-1, Pepin 1-3, Morgan 2-4, McCaffery 1-2, Vander Leesea 1-2, Adcock 0-2); GVC 4-12 (Samake 0-2, Montes 1-4, Crabb 1-1, Sissoko 2-5). Rebounds – ICW 27 (McCaffery 13); GVC 32 (Samake 12). Turnovers – ICW 11, GVC 17. Total fouls – ICW 8, GVC 23. Fouled out – GVC (Montes, Crabb, Sissoko). Technical fouls – none.