By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– It was a decisive win for the West High Trojans Friday, Jan. 3, as the Mustangs of Dubuque Hempstead rode into town. The winning streak continued for West. Yet coach Steve Bergman was not the happiest man on Melrose Avenue.
“We’ve played better than we played tonight,” he said in a post-game interview. “It was a game without much flow. We had a tough time staying out of foul trouble.” But, “you’ve got to win them. We didn’t play great and still won, so that’s a good thing.”
The Trojans pounded out a 22-12 lead at the end of the first period and were up a comfortable 40-28 at halftime despite the Mustangs attempting to rally back. West continued to pound away in the third, leading the quarter 14-6 and taking a 20-point lead into the final period.
Wyatt Lohaus led the Trojans with 27 points including eight field goals and a trio of 3-pointers. David Dileo, a junior, had 14 points.
While the goal of a third state championship is front and center for the Trojans, Bergman said there’s still work to do to make it happen. “This team has the potential to be a really, really good team. We just gotta keep getting better. We’re very inexperienced in a lot of positions, and that shows sometimes.” Overall though, the West bench is very deep, a situation Bergman likes. “We’ve got a lot of depth, I really like our depth, and I probably should’ve use some more of it (tonight) than I did.”
As for that streak the media keeps a constant watch on, Bergman and company are less than concerned about it. “It’s something we hardly ever talk about.” Bergman added, “when the guys tied the state record, they didn’t even realize it.”
After a visit to rival City High on Monday, Jan. 6, the Trojans head for Dubuque on Friday, Jan. 10, to face the Senior High Rams. Then, it’s an even longer bus ride the very next day to the Wisconsin Dells to face Sun Prairie, Wis. in the Border Battle. The Trojans are back home Friday, Jan. 17, as the J-Hawks of Cedar Rapids Jefferson visit the West High gym.
From the stats sheet:
Dubuque Hempstead (50)
Iowa City West (67)
W. Lohaus 8-15 2-2 27. Dileo 4-11 3-3 14. Ukah 4-6 0-0 8. McCaffery 2-6 3-6 7. Klein 3-5 3-4 9. T. Lohaus 1-3 2-4 4. Gallagher 2-4 0-0 4. Lane 1-1 0-0 2.
3-point goals: IC West 4-15 (W. Lohaus 3-5, Dileo 1-3).
Rebounds: IC West 35 (Ukah 9, W. Lohaus 7, Dileo 4).
Assists: IC West 19 (McCaffery 6, Dileo 4).