IOWA CITY – They witnessed the scene time and time again. Jeremy Morgan, Dondre Alexander and Myzeah Batie-Gaddy sat consecutively on the home side of the court, inside the gym at Iowa City West High School.
The trio watched the final minutes tick off the clock of the Trojans’ 73-36 win over Cedar Falls Tuesday from the sideline. With a –now—31 game win streak, they’ve experienced this routine quite bit.
Morgan and Batie-Gaddy enjoyed the sideline after well played games. Much like the last three Trojan games, Alexander was forced to sit there. The senior fouled out of the game with 6:25 left in the game. After serving a three game suspension, Alexander finished with three points, an assist, a rebound and two turnovers.
“You saw some rust,” Iowa City head coach Steve Bergman said. “He didn’t practice for a week and it showed a little bit. He’ll get better. He’s just got to dig in there and working on the things we’ve talked about. He’ll get back to playing good. He’s a great player.”
Just like it did in the three previous games in his absence, the Trojans’ supporting cast picked up the slack. It helps when you have a couple college prospects in addition to Alexander.
Morgan had his presence felt in every aspect of the game. He finished with nine points, six rebounds and led the team with four assists.
“Yeah, (scoring) isn’t my main objective,” Morgan said. “Our main objective is to come out here and get a win every day.”
The only player on the court with more rebounds than Morgan was Batie-Gaddy, who pulled down seven – five in the third quarter. He also scored seven of his team-high 15 during that eight minute stretch.
“Just wanted to come out aggressive,” Batie-Gaddy said. “As a team we’ve been coming out of the half kind of slow, so I just wanted to try to set the tone for my team.”
The 6-foot-4 senior scored half his team’s points out of the locker room. The seven he put up in the third came up one shy of his season average per game of eight. The five rebounds he corralled tied his season average.
Fans are accustomed to his work in the paint. He turned heads Tuesday by lighting it up from the perimeter, including a 3-pointer.
“He made shots. He’s a good shooter,” Bergman said. “People have said, well who’s going to take Jake Gylten, he can do a lot of things that Jake Gylten did for us last year; make the 3 once and while, take inside, rebound. So that’s the first time he’s shown that in a game, but we’ve seen that all summer.”
The debut of a perimeter game came from confidence built from the success in the summer and during practice.
“It’s kind of been a confidence thing in the past,” Batie-Gaddy said. “Coach definitely has given me the green light, and I’ve been working on it a lot.”
The big third quarter sprung the Trojans on a 14-7 run to go up by 24 at the end of three. That cushion grew by another 12 with a big fourth quarter that saw eight Iowa City West players score.
After the game, three of those eight stood on the court talking to representatives from area colleges. Morgan and Wyatt Lohaus, who finished with 14 points had a conversation with a man in a grey Northern Iowa jumpsuit.
Grey must be in style, Batie-Gaddy found himself in a conversation after the game with a man wearing the same style jumpsuit with a red “Kirkwood Basketball” logo stitched into the upper left side of the jacket.
The fans in attendance weren’t the only witness to the senior’s shooting performance.
“They were leaving me open, kind sagging off,” Batie-Gaddy said. “I have a pretty good jump shot and I utilized it tonight.”
IOWA CITY WEST 72, CEDAR FALLS 36
At Iowa City West
Cedar Falls 11 7-16 36: Kalehl Brown 3-6 0-3 6; Isaac Boettger 3-6 3-7 14; Zach Harvey 0-4 1-2 1; Kalund Brown 0-3 0-0 0; Brandon Bardal 1-2 0-0 3;, Durrell Jackson 2-4 1-2 5; Keeon Johnson 0-0 2-2 2; Durrell Jackson 1-2 0-0 3; Luke Heindl 1-2 0-0 2.
Iowa City West 25 10-12 72: Wyatt Lohaus 5-9 3-4 14; Jeremy Morgan 4-6 0-0 9; Austin Swank 3-4 2-2 10; Myzeah Batie-Gaddy 6-6 2-2 15; David Dileo 1-2 0-0 2; Chike Ukah 1-2 2-2 4; Dondre Alexander 1-4 1-2 3; Mark Lowe 3-6 0-0 7; Jason Stewart 1-3 0-0 2; Nick Gallagher 0-1 0-0 0; Justin Fleming 0-0 0-0 0; Austin Withrow 0-0 0-0 0; Nick Spiess 0-0 0-0 0; Garrett Grimsman 3-3 0-0 6;
Halftime: Iowa City West 39-23. 3-point Field Goals: Cedar Falls 3-8 (Boettger, Nichols, Bardal) West 5-12 (Swank 2-3); Rebounds: Cedar Falls 12 (Kalehl/Kalund Brown 4); West: 21 (Batie-Gaddy 7); Assists: Cedar Falls 5 (Jackson 2); West: 10 (Morgan 4).