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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 14, 2013
West whacks Linn-Mar to end another perfect regular season

CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn-Mar is hot and playing well, but Iowa City West is Iowa City West. At another level.

“That’s clearly, without a doubt, the best team in the state,” said Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson after a 57-37 West win Thursday night “They know how to play, and all five guys can hurt you.”

And hurt you, and hurt you. West finished another perfect regular season (21-0) with another beatdown, this time of a team that came in winning seven of its last eight games.

A 15-2 run to start the game essentially was all the Trojans needed to secure their 47th consecutive victory. You wondered how this team would respond to the absence of recently suspended guard Dondre Alexander, and the answer has been with wins of 33, 35, 35 and 20 points.

The state title appears to be West’s to lose — again.

“I think you’ve seen a lot more guys who have been able to step up and hit shots,” said West guard Austin Swank. “I don’t know, I think we’ve just really come together as a team the past couple of weeks. Perfect timing for that.”

What continues to impress about West, other than its usual strong defense, is the way it shares the basketball. The Trojans shot 54 percent, led by Wyatt Lohaus’ 17 points and Swank’s 14.

Lohaus and Jeremy Morgan, both UNI recruits, could seemingly score big in any game but are content to move the ball to the open guy, whoever he might be. Morgan set a school record last week for assists, with Lohaus likely topping it by the time he’s done in two years.

“The middle of the year we talked about ‘How about we try to get 20 assists a game?’” said West coach Steve Bergman. “I don’t know how many we had tonight, but we’ve been averaging darned near 20 for at least the last month … When your Division I guys who can score are also passing, that’s a great thing.”

Linn-Mar (12-9) continued to compete after the big early deficit, trailing by 11 at halftime and 14 after three. Jimmy Roth had a team-high 12 points.

“If we play with the energy and competitiveness we played with tonight, I like our chances going forward,” Robertson said. “We’re not (at West’s level), but I think we’re in the mix with a lot of other people. We’re playing well right now.”

Both teams’ next games are opposite substate semifinals next Friday night: Linn-Mar against Dubuque Hempstead and West against either Cedar Rapids Prairie or Iowa City High.

Here is the game boxscore:

AT LINN-MAR

IOWA CITY WEST (57): Jeremy Morgan 4-9 0-0 9, Myzeah Batie-Gaddy 5-7 1-5 10, Jason Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Wyatt Lohaus 7-12 2-2 17, Austin Swank 4-7 4-4 14, Mark Lowe 0-0 0-0 0, David DiLeo 1-3 0-0 3, Chike Ukah 2-2 0-2 4, Nick Gallagher 0-0 0-0 0, Justin Fleming 0-1 0-0 0, Garrett Grimsman 0-0 0-0 0, Nicholas Spiess 0-0 0-0 0, Cutler Simpson 0-2 0-0 0, Marquise Yarbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Harley Shear 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 7-13 57.

LINN-MAR (37): Jimmy Roth 5-10 1-2 12, Derik Gogg 2-7 0-2 4, Matt Lassen 3-8 2-2 8, Zach Martins 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Meier 1-4 0-0 2, Jordan Bohannon 3-4 0-0 6, Jon Schlotterback 0-2 0-0 0, Nic Uhlir 1-2 0-0 3, Kyle Mortensen 0-0 0-0 0, Nate Dick 1-1 0-0 2, Caleb Nelson 0-3 0-0 0, Jack Strellner 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-43 3-6 37.

Halftime — Iowa City West 31, Linn-Mar 20. 3-point goals — Iowa City West 5-14 (Morgan 1-4, Lohaus 1-2, Swank 2-5, DiLeo 1-2, Fleming 0-1), Linn-Mar 2-12 (Roth 1-4, Lassen 0-2, Meier 0-2, Bohannon 0-1, Uhlir 1-2, Strellner 0-1. Total fouls — Iowa City West 9, Linn-Mar 10. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Iowa City West 8, Linn-Mar 13.

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