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West's Lohaus is 2014 Iowa Mr. Basketball
By: Jeff Johnson
Des Moines -- There's just something about Wyatt Lohaus and ice water.
The Iowa City West senior has it in his veins when he plays basketball. Nothing seems to faze him.
He dunks his face in a tub of it sometimes during games as treatment for a pesky heart condition. The procedure literally shocks his heart back to a normal rhythm so he can catch his breath and resume playing.
Then there are the postgame, post-practice baths.
"If you were around him every day, you would just be amazed at how he is," West Coach Steve Bergman said. "He takes cold baths every day because he thinks it helps him recover (physically). He sits in ice-cold water, doesn't eat certain foods. He is obsessed with being as good as he can be."
He's already really good.
The 6-foot-2 guard led West to a third consecutive Class 4A state championship last weekend, tying a big-school record. As a four-year starter, he was a major part of all three of those titles and a fourth-place finish in 2011.
West went an amazing 95-9 during his career. The University of Northern Iowa signee has accomplished a ton.
Add being the 2014 Iowa Mr. Basketball to his list now. Lohaus is the second West prep to win the award (voted upon by the state's sportswriters), following Glen Worley in 2000.
He is the third prep in four years from the Mississippi Valley Conference to be named Mr. Basketball.
"That's hard to say," said Lohaus, when asked if he feels he is the top player in the state. "I just focus on trying to make my team the best team in the state. The rest will take care of itself."
Lohaus averaged 19.5 points and 4.8 rebounds this season and had over 100 assists, but his most important contributions weren't necessarily numbers related. He helped Bergman piece together a team that had players from each class, including his sophomore brother, Tanner.
West had a 60-game win streak snapped by Dubuque Senior in January, lost a week later in overtime to a team from Minneapolis and in the final week of the regular season to 3A champion Dubuque Wahlert. But it easily won two substate games to get back to Des Moines, rolled past Southeast Polk in the quarterfinals, squeezed past Bettendorf in the semifinals and disposed of Valley, 57-45, for the three-peat.
"He has got my back anytime something happens, which is so important," Bergman said. "My worry this year was chemistry because you've got freshmen, you've got sophomores, you've got juniors. We had a big senior class that couldn't all play. He kept it together. He's unbelievable."
"This year's team wasn't expected to do as well as the last couple of years, so that definitely helped, us having a lot of younger guys who didn't have the experience," Lohaus said. "But you still get everyone's best shot. We were always ready for that ... One thing I really tried to do was lead by example. Try and work as hard as I can and hope the guys follow that. Then these last couple years, I've tried to be more vocal. Try to help the guys learn the system, since I've been in it so long."
Lohaus said he hopes to rest for a couple of weeks, then begin serious preparation for college basketball. That includes strength training and specific work on the parts of his game he feels need improved.
You can bet there will be some ice baths included.
"I really try and take care of myself," he said. "I want to be the best player I can be. If that means putting in extra work before practice or after practice to work on stuff I've been struggling with, so be it. Then also getting enough rest, so when the game comes, I'm able to be in top shape."
"I don't know anything about college basketball," Bergman said. "But I think he's going to be pretty good."