Young boys basketball team falls short against City

After graduating their full starting lineup last year, the boys basketball team had a lot of ground to make up in a short amount of time. After not being able to work out in the offseason together and most recently not being able to start practicing together until Dec. 12 there were more than a few obstacles for Steve Bergman’s squad to get to the point they wanted to be at when their season opener rolled around.

The boys basketball team showed a lot of potential in their season opener against cross-town rival City but some costly turnovers late in the game led the Trojans to fall short in overtime 71-77. With the help of junior transfer Pete Moe’s 41 points, West put up a good fight against a City High team filled with varsity experience.

Point guard Christian Barnes ’22 settled into his new role early on after the Little Hawks went up 7-3 early into the first quarter. Barnes’ quick drives to the hoop for layups and dishes was about all that was working for the Trojans offense throughout the first quarter. As they struggled to find an answer for City High’s Jamari Newson’s ’22 three-point shooting West found themselves down 13-19 at the end of the first.

As the boys basketball team still tried to find their new identity the second quarter was filled with a lot of the same, including struggles to find a rebound on the defensive side of the floor. Barnes finished the half leading the team with 10 points as the team went into the half down 26-32.

The Trojans scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 34-32 lead and somewhat of an offensive grove. Newcomers Kareem Earl ’24 and Savion Taylor ’23 made their Trojan debuts count with some big blocks from Earl and a game-opening three from Taylor. Moe got his first taste of the West High rim after he slammed one home with 2:44 left in the third quarter to cut the Little Hawk lead to one, 40-41.

City High’s quick and aggressive offense then went on a 15-5 run to end the third quarter and thought they had sealed the deal on their second win over the Trojans in the past 11 years. Moe had other ideas, the 6-foot-8 playmaker knocked down two big three’s and an and-one to tie the ball game at 62 with 3:11 to go. As time winded down, the two teams put together some defensive stops and missed some possible game-clinching free throws but found themselves tied at 65 at the end of regulation.

Brennan Swayzer’s Little Hawks came into overtime ready to play as they scored seven straight to go up 67-72 with 1:46 left in overtime. Moe’s three to make it 71-75 wasn’t enough. West fell to 0-1 on the year after losing 71-77 to City High. The two teams will meet again Jan. 22 at City High.

As for Steve Bergman’s squad, they will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Linn-Mar in hopes of finding some better team chemistry to match the scoring abilities of Pete Moe.