By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– After the bump in the road that was the end of their 60-game undefeated streak the week before, the West High Trojans were back in their groove, conducting business as usual on the hardwood Friday.
The Trojans entertained the Cedar Rapids Jefferson J-Hawks Friday night, Jan. 17, and took care of business with a 79-49 victory.
West dominated the contest, taking a 21-10 lead after the first period and holding a 40-26 lead at the half. At the end of three periods of play, the Trojans enjoyed a 62-40 lead. It was almost business casual on the West bench as coach Steve Bergman put nearly everybody in at some point.
“We subbed a lot,” Bergman said. “We dealt with last week (the loss to Dubuque Senior on the road), we worked really hard on boxing out and we worked really, really hard on defense.”
While Jefferson’s Jacob Olson challenged the Trojan defense and led all scorers with 28 points, Bergman was happy with the defensive effort. “Other than the way we guarded Olson, we played pretty good D (defense).” But, “That’s two Fridays in a row we did not guard one particular person well, and that’s a problem.” The coach pointed out, “You have to limit the really good players you’re playing against, and make them earn it all.”
Offensively, Bergman said, “We had a ton of open shots, and we really passed the ball. We’re a good shooting team and if we can figure out our defense, we’re good enough offensively, we’ll be fine.”
In search of a stiff challenge, the Trojans headed for Lacrosse, Wis., the next day to take on nationally-ranked Minneapolis DeLaSalle. “We need a game like we have tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 18) because the last time we played somebody really good (Dubuque Senior), we didn’t handle it real well. We need to be challenged. We need to learn from that.”
On Friday, Jan. 24, the Trojans will again be on the road, this time at Waterloo East for an Mississippi Valley Conference contest. Tuesday, Jan. 28, will see West at Cedar Rapids Kennedy before returning home on Friday Jan. 31, to face Cedar Rapids Prairie.
Wyatt Lohaus and Chike Ukah both scored 15 points. Lohaus put West on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer, Ukah had back-to-back buckets in the fourth period.
Tanner Lohaus scored 10 points, Connor McCaffery had a nine-point night, David Dileo added seven points and freshman Devontae Lane had four.