Boys Basketball: West Overwhelms Jefferson For 36th Straight

By Douglas Miles and Josh Christensen, Reporters

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Last year, Iowa City West needed a basket from star Dondre Alexander with less than 40 seconds remaining to engineer a great escape at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. No such dramatics were needed this time.

Jefferson was held scoreless for the final seven minutes of the first half as Class 4A top-ranked West crushed the J-Hawks, 59-32, in a Mississippi Division boys' basketball game Friday night at Jefferson.

"We talked about it at the half, (and) we talked about it [Thursday] night," West coach Steve Bergman said."In my opinion, we were undefeated last year and won the state title, but two of the toughest games we played all year by far were them.Our guys knew that. They knew they would get fired up for us."

The Trojans' defense was highlighted by a second-quarter steal of an inbounds pass by 6-4 senior Myzeah Batie-Gaddy just inside the midcourt stripe. He raced to the bucket for a dunk, part of a 16-0 run to close the first half that turned a 16-14 tussle into a 32-14 rout.

Batie-Gaddy led all scorers with 14 points, and Wyatt Lohaus added 13 to lead West (10-0, 7-0 MVC) to its 36th consecutive win.

"That's definitely one of the things we've been working on is playing with a lead," Lohaus said."We talked about last year, how we were up big at halftime and they came back.We just wanted to have the same amount of focus and intensity as we did in the first half, just keep up our defense."

Alexander sat out the first quarter with what Bergman termed a "bad leg" suffered this week in practice. He entered to start the second quarter and immediately made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 16-11.He finished with 5 points.

Jefferson point guard Jacob Olson, who entered averaging 17.1 points, was held to 6.Creighton Robinson led Jefferson (6-5, 3-4 MVC) with 9 points.
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