By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – West High wasn’t as efficient on offense Friday as it had been throughout most of is current winning streak.
It didn’t matter much because the Trojans were as good as ever on defense.
Top-ranked West High stymied No. 5 Cedar Falls and all-state guard AJ Green for three quarters, limiting the Tigers to their second lowest scoring output of the season in a 62-50 win in a Mississippi Valley Conference showdown at West High.
The win was the seventh straight for West High (12-1, 9-1 MVC) which is holding opponents under 49 points per game during its winning streak.
Cedar Falls dropped to 9-5 on the season and 7-4 in MVC play with its second straight loss.
“The defense was good, it was really good, our offense was a little frustrating,” Bergman said. “We just didn’t have very good offensive flow a lot of the times but the defense was good.”
West High shot 43 percent and scored less than 70 points for just the third time this season but did more than enough on defense to make up for any lack of offensive production.
The Trojans held Green to six points on 3-of-14 shooting in the first three quarters while building a 46-30 lead.
Sophomore Patrick McCaffery drew the assignment of attempting to slow Green, who entered the game averaging 22.6 points per game.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore used his length to help West High hold the explosive Green to just two points in each of the first three quarters.
“I definitely pride myself on being a versatile defender and being able to guard all five positions on the floor.,” Patrick McCaffery said. “When coach told me yesterday I was guarding AJ I was really focusing on that and looking forward to the challenge because I knew it was going to be a tough one.”
While Green and the Tigers struggled to get going offensively, West High did enough on that end to build a lead.
West High closed the first half on a 10-2 run to snap a 14-14 tie.
Devontae Lane had seven of his team-high 20 points in the second quarter, including the final four of the half.
Lane twice came up with steals that turned into two points, first converting a layup then hitting two free throws as West High took a 24-16 halftime lead.
“Our defense really picked up tonight,” Lane said. “AJ we all know is a great point guard and we just wanted to keep him playing at our pace and not let him going early in the game. If you let him get going early he can be hard to stop so you just have to try to slow him down.”
West High put the game away in the third quarter.
After shooting 33 percent from the floor in the first half the Trojans made 10-of-13 field goals in the third quarter to build a 16-point cushion.
As West High got hot the Tigers still couldn’t get anything going on offense.
Green took just three shots in the third quarter, hitting one as West High put the game out of reach.
“We were just trying to keep a hand up,” Connor McCaffery said of defending Green. “He is going to get his points, he is obviously one of the best players that we have played against and he is a good shooter so you just try to keep a hand up and I thought Patrick played good defense on him for most of the game.”
Green showed in the fourth quarter how dangerous he is, scoring 16 of his game-high 22 in the final 7:21.
He finished 9-of-24 from the field and 1-of-6 from the free throw line after entering the game 37-of-37 on the year at the charity stripe.
“We made him struggle and that was good,” Bergman said. “We had one possession where we kind of let up and he got one and then he got pretty hot and you just don’t want to do that with a guy like him.”
Connor McCaffery finished with 17 points and Patrick McCaffery had 12 points and seven rebounds for West High.
West High 9 15 22 16 – 62
Cedar Falls 6 10 14 20 – 50
Cedar Falls (50) – AJ Green 9-24 1-6 22, Logan Wolf 1-3 0-0 2, Ben Gerdes 3-7 0-0 6, Daniel Martinson 1-1 0-0 3, Sam Gary 0-1 0-0 0, Isaiah Johnson 4-11 0-1 8, Reese Gardner 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Frericks 3-5 0-0 7, Jack Campbell 1-1 0-0 2, Team 22-54 1-7 50.
West High (62) – Devontae Lane 7-17 6-8 20, Seybian Sims 3-3 1-2 8, Evan Flitz 0-2 0-0 0, Hakeem Odunsi 0-4 2-2 2, Nate Disterhoft 0-1 0-0 0, Patrick McCaffery 5-9 1-2 12, Connor McCaffery 4-8 8-8 17, Izaya Ono-Fullard 1-2 0-0 3, Team 20-46 18-22 62.
3-point field goals – ICW 4-16 (Lane 0-4, Flitz 0-1, Sims 1-1, Odunsi 0-1, Disterhoft 0-1, P. McCaffery 1-3, C. McCaffery 1-4, Ono-Fullard 1-1), CF 5-12 (Green 3-6, Gerdes 0-1, Martinson 1-1, Gary 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Frericks 1-2). Rebounds – ICW 34 (P. McCaffery 7), CF 29 (Gerdes 7). Turnovers – ICW 9, CF 11. Total fouls – ICW 10, CF 17. Fouled out – CF (Wolf). Technical fouls – None.