Atypical scorers help boys basketball pass Liberty in second half splurge

Alyssa Skala and Camille Gretter

The Trojans stepped up and solidified yet another win, their seventh consecutive victory leading many to believe the boys may be unbeatable.

In the opening minutes Ben Vander Leest ’20 kept up his constant pattern for hitting threes which gave energy to the bench to hype up the starters. Tate Crane ‘20 also helped start the game strongly and quickly became the team’s top scorer.

Both teams were keeping the crowd in suspense with a tied score throughout the first half. Liberty took the lead 13-11 in the first couple of minutes of the second quarter but couldn’t hold it any longer than that due to strong defensive player Nick Pepin ’20. Pepin made sure the ball was always in West’s possession by being quick on his feet, and making strategic moves. 

After a missed layup on West’s half of the court, Liberty tried to break the tie with a few seconds left on the clock but Even Brauns ’20 got his hands on the ball, keeping Liberty from leading the quarter and giving West a slim 16-15 halftime lead.

As the third quarter came, Christian Barnes ’22 sparked some excitement from the Trojan student section as he hit multiple threes. More clean shots were made by point guard Joe Goodman ‘20 as he stayed low and quick to play extraordinary offense and defense. By the end of the game, Tate Crane ‘20 still controlled the scoreboard with a total of 16 points. Crane and Barnes entered the game averaging less than 10 points between them, but paced the team with a combined 29 points, 20 of those coming in the second half.

The West boys secured the double-headed win by beating Liberty by 19 points, leaving an overall score of 49-30. The boys basketball team plays on Jan. 25 against Rock Island High School from Rock Island, Illinois.

In spite of cancellation of all ICCSD classes, the student sections still hyped up the Trojans. The team likely expects another strong gathering on Jan. 31 when West takes on cross town rivals City High at home for another doubleheader.