Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
NORTH LIBERTY – A few cracks appeared in the armor of preseason top-ranked West High over the past week.
Following a road loss at Linn-Mar last Friday the Trojans needed a late rally to escape at home against Cedar Rapids Washington on Tuesday.
The defending 4A runner-up, West High gave a rousing reminder of what it is capable of looking like in its final game of 2018.
Class 4A fifth-ranked West High shot nearly 70 percent from the field and had four players in double figures in a 77-30 win over Liberty High (4-4) in North Liberty in the first meeting between the new rivals.
“Coach (Stu) Ordman and I have coached against each other for 20 some years and I told him we can’t play better than that, we just can’t play better than that,” West High coach Steve Bergman said. “We did a lot of really good things.”
Coming of a school-record 42-point outburst against Cedar Rapids Washington on Tuesday senior Patrick McCaffery led West High with a game-high 27 points on Friday.
Unlike on Tuesday when the rest of the Trojans combined for just 26 points in the one-point win McCaffery got plenty of help on Friday.
Even Brauns, Nick Pepin and Marcus Morgan all scored in double figures as the trio combined to make 12-of-14 field goals.
West High (6-1) shot 68 percent from the field, including 8-of-15 from 3-point line Friday while putting up a season-high 77 points.
“I like when my teammates are playing well because I feed off that energy,” McCaffery said. “I like it when I can drive and I can kick and I know Pepin is going to hit or Marcus is going to hit it or Brayden (Adcock) is going to hit it. It just helps the team morale and it brings up everybody’s confidence and I have more space to do what I do.”
Liberty High fed of the energy of a loud home crowd while taking a 3-0 lead two minutes into the game.
Adcock buried a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game and started a 16-0 run that helped West High take a 22-8 lead after one quarter.
“It was big to hit some shots early,” Adcock said. “We have a lot of people that are inexperienced so just to go out and hit some shots it feels good, it gets everybody going.
West High hit 7-of-11 field goal attempts in the first quarter and was just getting warmed up.
The Trojans went 8-of-11 from the floor in the second quarter while pushing the lead to 39-15 at the half.
West High then put the game away with a 28-point third quarter in which it made all nine field goal attempts, including four from beyond the 3-point arc.
“They hit any open outside shot which they hadn’t done in some other games but part of that is because we turned the ball over and then they had a break and they got wide open looks and a few went down and then they got loose,” Liberty High coach Stu Ordman said. “I thought unfortunately we lost our poise and could never really regain it and credit the West defense for some of that.”
Morgan and Pepin each hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter as part of a 22-0 West High run.
Pepin and Brauns each had 12 points on perfect shooting from the field.
Brauns made all five of his field goal attempts while Pepin was 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
“We turned it over a little bit the first half that was probably the most frustrating things but the rest was all good,” Bergman said. “We moved the ball and we took good shots.”
Meanwhile West High turned in its best defensive effort of the season according to Bergman forcing 19 Liberty High turnovers and holding the Lightning to a season-low 30 points on 35 percent shooting.
“We definitely got after them and disrupted them,” Adcock said. “Defense is the key, it is the key whenever we get on big runs it leads to offense.”
Andre Brandon led Liberty High with 10 points and five rebounds as the Lightning dropped their third straight game following a three-game winning streak.
Our guys are going to get a lot better and I believe in them,” Ordman said. “I believe that they will come really ready to go to work over the break.”
Liberty High 8 7 9 6 – 30
Liberty High (30) – Grayson Tyler 0-2 1-2 1, Isaac Bender 0-1 0-0 0, Bo Gryp 1-3 0-0 2, Kelby Telander 1-2 0-0 3, Ethan O’Donnell 3-6 0-1 6, Ben Houselog 1-3 0-0 2, Andre Brandon 3-8 4-6 10, Sam Funke 2-7 0-0 4, Corey Baldwin 1-2 0-0 2, Team 12-34 5-9 30.
West High (77) – Jacob Klein 0-2 0-0 0, Brayden Adcock 3-5 2-2 9, Tate Crane 2-3 0-0 5, Joey Goodman 1-2 0-0 2, Nick Pepin 4-4 0-0 12, Marcus Morgan 3-5 2-2 10, Patrick McCaffery 10-13 7-8 27, Ben Vander Leest 0-1 0-0 0, Even Brauns 5-5 2-2 12, Cole Mabry 0-1 0-2 0, Team 28-41 13-16 77.
3-point field goals – ICL 1-7 (Tyler 0-1, Bender 0-1, Gryp 0-2, Telander 1-1, Brandon 0-2), ICW 8-15 (Klein 0-2, Adcock 1-2, Crane 1-1, Pepin 4-4, Morgan 2-4, McCaffery 0-1, Mabry 0-1). Rebounds – ICL 15 (Brandon 5), ICW 25 (McCaffery 8). Turnovers – ICL 19, ICW 11. Total fouls – ICL 15, ICW 11. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.