Boys State Basketball: West Wins Second Straight 4A Title

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

The Iowa City West starters run onto the court to celebrate the Trojans victory over Bettendorf in the Class 4A championship at the 2013 State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, March 9, 2013. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

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By Grant Burkhardt

DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s insignificant now. It really always has been.

But if you remember, the vagaries of the IHSAA’s seeding system for the boys’ state basketball tournament had Iowa City West behind Bettendorf. Seems pretty laughable at this point, doesn’t it?

Inpenetrable defense and the offense of Wyatt Lohaus, among many other things, lifted West past Bettendorf, 54-36, in the Class 4A championship game Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, a battle of unbeatens that wasn’t close to a battle at all. West (26-0) was just that dominant in securing its 52nd consecutive victory and second consecutive unbeaten season.

There will be a reception for the team Monday night at 6:30 at West’s Little Theatre.

If you’re looking for the next potential milestone for this program, it’s Ames’ mark of a 4A-record 54 straight wins. That was Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott, of course.

This is Lohaus and Jeremy Morgan, UNI recruits who were named to the 4A all-tournament team. Morgan was selected the captain.

Point guard Lohaus led Bettendorf (25-1) at one point in the third quarter, 20-17. He finished with 22 points, including 14 of his team’s final 17 of the first half, taking over after Morgan picked up his second foul and sat the final 5:17.

This is West’s fifth boys’ state basketball championship, four under coach Steve Bergman, “Bergy” is now second behind legendary Davenport coach Paul Moon for most big-school titles.

Moon has seven. Can Bergman, 54, eventually catch him?

West certainly won’t be favored next season, though it will be in the “serious sleeper” category with Lohaus and key reserve pieces Chike Ukah and David DiLeo coming back. The mantle of 2014 favorites belongs to Bettendorf, considering it started four juniors.

But that’s the future. The here and now is what’s important, and West owns that.

The Trojans took a 28-13 lead into halftime, holding Bett to 25-percent shooting and forcing nine turnovers with overwhelming man-to-man defense that took the Bulldogs completely out of their triangle offense. It was an extension of the second half of West’s semifinal win over Dubuque Senior, in which it limited the Rams to 13 second-half points.

West overcame the in-season loss of Division I signee Dondre Alexander and West Des Moines Dowling in overtime in the quarterfinals. There was no suspense or drama Saturday night, just great basketball - and another gold trophy.
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