Dubuque Senior Outlasts West High in 4A Quarterfinal Slugfest


Photo by Jeff Yoder / 4A state quarterfinal photo gallery

Your Prep Sports

DES MOINES – In a state tournament matchup that featured two of the top scorers in Class 4A it was a reserve averaging less than three points per game that came up with the biggest basket of the game.

Daquon Lewis scored what proved to be the game-winning basket on a steal and layup with 42 seconds left as seventh-ranked Dubuque Senior outlasted West High in a 4A quarterfinal on Monday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“It was the best feeling of my life,” Lewis said of his go-ahead basket. “I knew he was going to pass right there so I used my speed and I got the steal and I just took it on the fast break.”

Noah Carter and Patrick McCaffery each entered averaging better than 22 points per game and ranked in the top seven in 4A in scoring.

Carter had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds but it was the late basket by Lewis, that entered averaging 2.4 points per game, that sent Dubuque Senior (18-3) to its first state semifinal since 2013.

With Dubuque Senior trailing 36-35 in the final minute Lewis intercepted a West High pass and converted the transition layup on the other end to give the Rams the lead for good.

Lewis hit all three of his field goals and finished with six points, none bigger than his layup in the final minute.

Cooper Medinger converted two free throws with 20.6 seconds left and West High missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final seven seconds as the Rams advanced to take on No. 4 Waukee (21-2) in the 4A semifinals on Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

“We all have roles,” Lewis said. “We all play a big part of the team.”

McCaffery scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds but it wasn’t enough as West High (17-5) saw its string of eight straight state semifinal appearances come to an end with its first quarterfinal loss since 2009.

West High had reached the state title game six times during its string of eight consecutive semifinal apperances including each of the last three years.

“It’s a good streak, a lot of good players, Marcus Morgan’s brother was on the team that started it,” West High coach Steve Bergman said. “We stressed that all week to get ready so that we could play three games we just didn’t finish the deal.”

West High jumped to a 14-5 lead just more than five minutes into the game on a layup by McCaffery and led 18-12 after one quarter.

The Trojans hit their first three field goal attempts and went 8-of-13 in the opening quarter but struggled offensive for much of the final three quarters.

West High made just six of its final 25 field goal attempts over the final three quarters on its way to a season-low point total.

“We took some bad shots and then we missed some easy shots by guys who have been making those shots but that’s how you lose,” Bergman said. “I thought we really, really in a lot of ways out played them but we didn’t make any shots and we took some bad shots.”

West High led 23-29 with under four minutes to play in the first half but the Rams closed the quarter on a 5-0 run.

Lewis started the spurt with a layup and Sam Link gave the Rams their first lead of the game at 24-23 with a 3-pointer with 2:19 left before the half.

West High was held scoreless for the final 3:28 of the first half.

“It was some of them but that five-minute stretch in the first half when we had them in foul trouble we didn’t run any offense it was one guy going one-on-one and then pass to another guy going one-on-one and that’s not us,” Bergman said. “That’s what had me frustrated.”

Neither team led by more than three points in a second half in which the teams shot a combined 26 percent.

West High pulled ahead on a pair of McCaffery free throws with 2:29 left and had the ball after a Senior turnover.

That’s when Lewis came up with the biggest play of the game to put the Rams back on top.  

“We spend a lot of time on defense,” Dubuque Senior Coach Wendell Eimers said. “The seniors they know how to play defense, a lot of these guys have been with me for four years and they were locked in.”

Even Brauns added eight points for West High but was limited by foul trouble for much of the game.

West High shot 37 percent for the game and was just 3-of-17 from the 3-point line including 1-of-8 from beyond the arc in the second half.

“We had good shots,” Bergman said. “We did take some ones that weren’t good shots and as a coach that’s what you want to control you can’t control if you make or miss good shots and I have no complaints about all the good shots we took we just struggled.”

West High used sophomore Marcus Morgan on Carter holding the Norther Iowa recruit who entered averaging 22.6 points per game to 12 points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Sam Link had nine points and Medinger scored eight points for Senior which shot 38 percent from the floor.

“Marcus was great, we had a good plan we brought him a lot of help I thought he was great. He’s been getting better every week and he can really guard,” Bergman said. “I thought that if we made Noah struggle we were going to win but I didn’t realize how bad we would be on offense.”

West High                  18   5   7  6  –  36

Dubuque Senior       12  12  7  8  –  39                   

West High (36) – Brayden Adcock 1-4 0-0 2, Nick Pepin 2-11 0-0 5, Marcus Morgan 2-5 1-1 5, Patrick McCaffery 5-11 2-2 14, Even Brauns 4-4 0-0 8, Jacob Klein 0-1 0-0 0, Tate Crane 0-1 2-2 2, Joey Goodman 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 14-38 5-5 36.

Dubuque Senior (39) – Cooper Medinger 2-8 3-4 8, Sam Link 4-6 0-0 9, Landon Hermsen 2-7 0-0 4, Nick Timmerman 0-1 0-0 0, Noah Carter 3-11 6-7 12, Daquon Lewis 3-3 0-0 6, Jim Bonifas 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 14-37 9-11 39.

3-point field goals – ICW 3-17 (Pepin 1-7, Adcock 0-2, Morgan 0-2, McCaffery 2-3, Klein 0-1, Crane 0-1, Goodman 0-1), DS 2-11 (Medinger 1-4, Link 1-3, Hermsen 0-1, Carter 0-3). Rebounds – ICW 17 (McCaffery 8), DS 29 (Carter 10). Assists – ICW 8 (Adcock 5), DS 3 (Medinger, Link, Timmerman 1). Turnovers – ICW 7, DS 9. Total fouls – ICW 12, DS 12. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.

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