West High senior Connor McCafferyBy Pat Harty
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The rivalry between West High and City High in boys basketball has seen better matchups than what occurred on Tuesday.
The top-ranked Trojans used a balanced offense and a suffocating 1-3-1 zone defense to pound City 78-27 at the West High gymnasium.
Senior guard Connor McCaffery led four West players in double figures with 17 points. His younger brother Patrick McCaffery chipped in with 15 points, while senior guard Devontae Lane and junior center Seybian Sims scored 14 points apiece.
The 6-foot-6 Sims nearly tripled his 5.5 per-game scoring average.
“I was trying to be a lot more aggressive because the last few games I haven’t been as aggressive as I was tonight as you can see,” Sims said. “I just hit the boards and took it back up.”
With both of the McCaffery brothers and Lane all averaging in double figures, Sims often gets overlooked on offense.
He scored most of his points in Tuesday’s game on short put-backs near the basket.
“I’m here to play a role,” Sims said. “I’m not here to be a star or anything. So I’m just going to play my part, get rebounds and look out.”
West improved to 4-0 on the season, while the Little Hawks fell to 0-5 under first-year head coach Derek Roberts.
City High, which started two sophomores, faced a huge disadvantage in size and experience against West, which has three starters who stand at least 6-5 led by the 6-8 Patrick McCaffery.
“Obviously, they’re a talented team,” Roberts said of West. “But I thought our guys came out at the beginning of the game and fought hard. It was a close game at the first quarter.
“We faced a little bit of adversity and we didn’t respond. We’ve got young guys out there and that tends to happen. It’s just a learning process that we’re all going through, a brand new coaching staff, a lot of new young guys. Even some of the seniors who do play don’t have a lot of varsity experience.”
City made two of its three 3-point baskets in the first quarter and on trailed 20-16 heading to the second quarter.
West then picked up the pressure on defense, forcing numerous turnovers that led to easy points in transition.
West outscored City 26-2 in the second quarter and 23-7 in the third quarter.
“We’re good in transition,” said West coach Steve Bergman. “We felt like last year that was our best way to score and we didn’t do it enough. So we changed our break a little bit and we’re playing a defense where we can turn people over a little bit.”
Bergman for years has emphasized man-to-man defense, but the 1-3-1 zone is starting to grow on him.
City only made 12-of-43 field-goal attempts and attempted just three free throws, missing all three.
“I’ve learned a lot about that one-three-one,” Bergman said. “I don’t think I ever knew how to really run it. But I’ve kind of figured out how I want to run it and we’re running it with the purpose of turning people over.”
As for Sims, Bergman praised his hustle on both ends.
“He’s really active on the boards,” Bergman said. “He has been all year. He just needs to figure out some things in the half-court defense and half-court offense. But he can really rebound.
The Little Hawks also have to figure things out on both offense and defense. City ended a long losing streak against West last season, but most of those players are gone, as is former head coach Don Showalter.
“At the end of the day, we just have to come tomorrow and get better,” Roberts said. “
City High 16 2 7 2 – 27
West High 20 26 23 9 – 78
City High (27) – Antonio Turner 2-9 0-0 5, Kolbie Clayton 2-5 0-0 5, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 4-6 0-0 8, Vance Dillon 1-3 0-2 2, Louis Craig 0-2 0-0 0, John Paul Rethwisch 1-3 0-0 2, Jaycorde Hickman 1-4 0-0 3, Keshawn Christian 0-1 0-0 0, Gerald Seals 1-2 0-1 2, Keyshawn Trice 0-0 0-0 0, Will McIntire 0-4 0-0 0, Crystion James 0-4 0-0 0, Jeremie Kambomba 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-43 0-3 27.
West High (78) – Connor McCaffery 6-13 2-3 17, Devontae Lane 7-11 0-2 14, Patrick McCaffery 5-7 4-4 15, Seybian Sims 7-9 0-0 14, Izaya Ono-Fullard 2-4 0-0-0 5, Evan Flitz 0-0 0-0 0, Nate Disterhoft 2-2 1-1 5, Dante Eldridge 2-2 0-0 4, Jacob Anderson 1-3 0-0 2, Josh Van Roekel 1-2 0-0 2, Homy Nasr 0-2 0-0 0, Hirsche Henstrom 0-1 0-0 0, Ahmed Idris 0-0 0-0 0, Marsean Rhodes 0-0 0-0 0, T.J. Hillberry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-56 7-10 78.
3-point goals – City (Turner, Clayton, Hickman) West – (Connor McCaffery 3, Patrick McCaffery, Ono-Fullard). Fouls – City 12, West 5.