Boys basketball team advances to substate final

The boys basketball team improved to 20-2 on the year after defeating Ottumwa 58-28 in the substate semifinals on Feb. 28.

Owen Aanestad, Assistant Sports Editor

In what seemed to be a sea of red, the boys basketball team started on their road back to Wells Fargo Arena in the substate semifinals on Friday. The Trojans with the help of some big runs defeated Ottumwa 58-28 to have a chance to punch their ticket into the state basketball tournament on Tuesday.

Ottumwa opened up the game falling back into a zone around Even Brauns ’20, West found their way around it in the first quarter with threes from Marcus Morgan ’21 and Nick Pepin ’20 as they went into the second up 12-4. Sophomore Christian Barnes ’22 added a three for himself to start the second quarter before Ottumwa connected from beyond the arch in an 11-0 run to tie it at 17 with 3:50 left in the half. Early foul trouble took the Trojan’s leading scorer Brauns out but with back to back three-pointers from Morgan and Pepin West went on a 7-0 run of their own to go into the half up 24-17.

The Trojans jumped out to a 31-21 lead in the third with yet another three-pointer from Barnes who finished with 8 points on the night off the bench. West High’s full-court pressure sealed the deal in the third as they went on a 17-0 run that included 3 steals for 8 points and a Pepin and Joe Goodman ’20 three-point play to go into the fourth up 43-22. The Trojans held Ottumwa to 6 points in the fourth and as Ben Vander Leest ’20 and Brauns knocked down buckets of their own as the Trojans coasted to their 30 point win. Pepin led with 12 points on the night as Morgan and Vander Leest each had 10 to put West past Ottumwa 58-28.

The boys basketball team will play on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 pm for a trip to Wells Fargo Arena against Pleasant Valley (13-10) at Liberty High School.