DUBUQUE – The answer to the trivia question is no longer Ankeny. It’s Dubuque Senior.
That should be SENIOR!!, with all capital letters and a couple of exclamation points.
The third-ranked Rams led from beginning to end in a decisive 68-47 victory over No. 1 Iowa City West Friday night before a near sellout crowd of 2,000 at Nora Gymnasium. So ends West’s win streak at 60 games, an impressive big-school state record.
The Trojans’ previous loss was in the 2011 Class 4A state tournament consolation game, in overtime to Ankeny. That one had a dramatic ending, obviously, but this one did not.
“It was a great thing, obviously, to win 60 in a row,” said West’s Wyatt Lohaus, who kept his team relatively in the game with 32 points, 24 in the second half. “One bad game, and it’s over. But we don’t really talk about it much. We’re focused on the end of the season, our end goal. It’d be nice to win every game, but we’re realistic and know that’s not going to happen.”
Lohaus scored an astonishing 23 straight points for West (8-1) in the second half but had to leave the game four times in the first because of his nagging heart arrhythmia. Without their “rock” – as Coach Steve Bergman called the Northern Iowa signee – on a regular basis, the Trojans fell behind 7-0 early and 17-6 after a quarter.
It was a 31-15 Rams lead at the break. Senior (8-0) continuously pounded the basketball inside to take advantage of a starting lineup that includes two 6-foot-9 players, 6-7 and 6-5 guys.
That length bothered West when it had the ball, too.
“The first half, we played very, very well,” said Senior Coach Wendell Eimers. “Our defense was just outstanding, and that built us up the lead. We feel like we’re a good defensive team. And I thought we did a good job on the boards all night, too.”
“We just got started poorly,” Bergman said. “We turned it over and played horrible defense. We have two guys that played a lot last year, and I think we kind of panicked. We didn’t run our offense. I thought we had a plan that would work, but we didn’t give it a chance. Our typical possession in the first half was two passes and a jump shot, or a turnover. I don’t think that’s going to work.”
Senior point guard Kyle Haber was superb in this big game, brushing off high picks to penetrate the lane time after time after time for buckets or fouls. The 6-7 Brown University commit had 29 points, 19 in the first half.
When Senior did miss a shot, which didn’t seem to happen often, Seth Bonifas, Luke McDonnell and Iowa football commit Lucas LeGrand were there for putbacks. The 6-9 Bonifas had 11 points and nine rebounds, 6-9 McDonnell nine points and 11 boards and LeGrand 11 points and five rebounds.
“They’ve been a great team the last three or four years. That (streak) is incredible, crazy,” Haber said. “It feels great to finally get one against them.”
“We didn’t come ready to play,” Lohaus said. “That was from me to the last guy, no one was ready to play. We didn’t follow our game plan at all. So that’s what you get. It wasn’t great in the second half. It was better, but we didn’t put ourselves in the position to win.”
West’s inexperience showed, as no one stepped up offensively to complement Lohaus. In fact, he had 13 of his team’s 16 field goals, with the Trojans’ next leading scorer (Adam Klein) having just four points.
A bad night all around for West, which plays Sun Prairie (Wis.) Saturday afternoon in a game at Wisconsin Dells, Wis. No time to feel sorry for yourself.
“I’ve always told you that I don’t care about the streak,” Bergman said. It’s a neat thing for our program, but I don’t care about it. I never have cared about it … We knew we had some things that we had to work on. Senior exposed them all tonight. It’s up to our guys to work and get better.”
Here is the game boxscore and short video interview with Lohaus:
IOWA CITY WEST (47): David DiLeo 0-4 0-0 0, Chike Ukah 1-5 0-2 2, Connor McCaffery 0-6 2-2 2, Garrett Grimsman 0-1 0-0 0, Wyatt Lohaus 13-22 2-3 32, Adam Klein 1-1 2-2 4, Nick Gallagher 0-2 0-0 0, Tanner Lohaus 0-0 3-4 3, Devontae Lane 1-1 0-0 2, Wali Parks 0-1 0-0 0, Marquise Yarbrough 0-0 1-2 1, Nicholas Spiess 0-0 1-2 1, Alex Henderson 0-2 0-0 0, Harley Shear 0-0 0-0 0, Malik Williams 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 11-17 47.
DUBUQUE SENIOR (68): Luke McDonnell 3-10 3-5 9, Seth Bonifas 4-9 3-3 11, Lucas LeGrand 5-10 0-2 11, Kyle Haber 11-16 7-8 29, Sam Noel 0-0 0-0 0, Parker Hammel 1-1 0-0 2, Jayden Davis 2-6 0-0 4, Keaton Hermsen 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Donner 1-2 0-0 2, Cody Kieffer 0-1 0-0 0, Eric Holdridge 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Psihoyos 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-56 13-18 68.
Halftime - Senior 31, West 15. 3-point goals - West 4-17 (DiLeo 0-2, McCaffery 0-4, Grimsman 0-1, W. Lohaus 4-6, Gallagher 0-1, Henderson 0-2, Williams 0-1), Senior 1-4 (McDonnell 0-1, LeGrand 1-2, Haber 0-1). Rebounds - West 24 (DiLeo 4), Senior 35 (McDonnell 11). Total fouls - West 17, Senior 17. Fouled out – None. Turnovers - West 8, Senior 8.