Top-ranked Iowa City West Thumps Xavier

By Douglas Miles, Reporter


By Sam Louwagie

IOWA CITY – Despite a new floor leader and some new faces, clearly West is still West.

Senior Wyatt Lohaus poured in 18 points, while junior David Dileo added 15 as 4A top-ranked Iowa City West thumped Cedar Rapids Xavier for its 58th straight win, 75-41, in an MVC boys’ basketball game last night at West High School.

“If not the Cedar Falls game (Tuesday’s 70-40 West win), that was our best overall game,” Lohaus said afterwards. “I thought that was our most complete game, definitely.”

It might be hard to differentiate between wins during a 6-0 start with no margin of victory closer than 23 points, but what is easy to see is that West is benefiting from a turn in leadership to Lohaus and the emergence of some new faces.

“He just makes us a better team,” West Coach Steve Berman said of the versatile Lohaus. “He’s doing the right thing. He’s helping this team get better.”

West jumped on the Saints from the start, leading 25-6 after the first quarter and by 25 at halftime.

The scorching start to West’s season has been additionally gratifying with the emergence of Dileo, a 6-foot-6 wing who is averaging 14.2 points per game after having a much smaller role last season.

“Oh, it’s great,” said Lohaus, who has signed to play at Northern Iowa next season. “He’s a really good player, and any time you have a guy that shoots that well, that’s just a great asset to have.”

West (6-0, 3-0 MVC) continues to also receive valuable contributions from underclassmen, at least the ones lucky enough to see the floor given the team’s depth. Wyatt’s younger brother Tanner, a 6-foot-6 sophomore post, chipped in seven points while freshman guard Connor McCaffery started the game and drilled a couple of three-pointers.

“They’ve all worked really hard in the offseason,” Bergman said. “They’ve all put a lot of time into basketball. You can see that.”

Xavier junior Adam McDermott played very composed given the early deficit and finished with a team-high 17 points. Still, the Saints (4-2, 1-2 MVC) lack some scoring punch and cohesion due to five players missing the first week of preseason practice while competing for the state title in football.

“We’re a little behind,” Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann said. “We knew it was going to take time, and we have to be patient with that.”

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