Boys basketball falls short in their regular-season finale

Steve Bergman’s boys basketball team faced off with Western Dubuque in their last regular season home game of the year on Feb. 17.


Owen Aanestad

Pete Moe ’22 gets fouled on his way to the hoop against Western Dubuque on Feb. 17.

Krisha Kapoor, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief

After honoring seniors Noah DeSaulniers, Pete Moe, Christian Barnes and John Conrads, the boys final regular-season game tipped off. 

The Trojans had a quick start with three from Jacob Koch ’24, two from Pete Moe ’22 and three from Kareem Earl ’24, all in the game’s first two minutes. The Bobcats started to press to slow the offensive down, but the Trojans kept the tempo by forcing turnovers and a quick five points from Earl. Shortly after, the Bobcats had a run and stuck with the Trojans with a score of 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. 

Due to some miscommunication on defense and quick threes by the Bobcats, Dubuque led at the beginning of the second quarter 19-24. Head Coach Steve Bergman was forced to call a timeout to try and regroup, but the Trojans could not connect on threes or finish at the rim. The Bobcats held the lead going into the second half with a score of 23-31. 

After an entertaining boy-girl dance by the West High Poms team during halftime, the Trojans looked to close the gap. The Bobcats came out scrappy on defense and held the Trojans to 26 in the first half of the third, but Koch stayed aggressive from the three-point line and, with back-to-back threes, closed the gap to 32-37 with three minutes left in the quarter. The Trojans cut the lead to 34-40 by the end of the third.

The Trojans carried their third quarter momentum into the fourth quarter. With a swift post move by Moe and free throws from Moe and Brady Simcox ’23, the Trojans finally regained their lead 41-40 with five minutes left in the fourth. Both teams were neck and neck for the next three minutes of the game, forcing a gritty end to the fourth quarter. Freshman Jack McCaffery got on the free throw line and extended the lead 45-43 with 1:30 left in the fourth. On the other side of the court, the Bobcats scored with a shift layup to tie the game 45-45 with a minute left in the game. After a Trojan miss, the Bobcats held possession with 34 seconds left. Solid Trojan defense ran the clock to 14 seconds and forced the Bobcats to call a timeout to draw a final play. The Bobcats were unable to get to the hoop, and the Trojans forced the game into overtime with a score of 45-45. 

After being fouled on a breakaway layup, Earl started the four-minute overtime with a free throw make. After a Bobcat free throw on the other end, Moe quickly responded with a two, and the score was 48-46 with a minute left in overtime. The Bobcats stayed aggressive and got up a three with 40 seconds to regain a 48-49 lead. With the Bobcats in foul trouble, Barnes could knock down a free throw to tie the game at 49-49. Similar to the fourth quarter, the Bobcats called a timeout with 20 seconds left to plan a final shot. Earl fouled with four seconds left to force another Bobcat out of bounds play, with the score still at 49-49. The Bobcats got the last shot up with a fade-away floater but could not finish. The tight game moved to double overtime. 

Moe got possession of his third jump ball of the game, and Koch scored a quick pull-up jumper to get the lead to 51-49. Moe’s back-to-back fouls gave the Bobcats a free throw and the gap shortened to 51-50. Dubuque jumped a pass for steal and layup for a score of 51-52 with two minutes remaining. On offense, the Trojans couldn’t hit a shot, and the Bobcats scored a layup after running the clock to 20 seconds to increase their lead to 51-54. After a foul, Earl hit two free throws to force a one-point game. This time, Coach Bergman called a timeout with 20 seconds left to plan a final defensive and offensive possession. The Trojans came out of the timeout with a press, and a quick foul gave the Bobcats two free throws and a lead of 53-36 with 16 seconds left. The Trojans were unable to get a shot to drop in their final possession of the game, and the Western Dubuque Bobcats took the win with a final score of 53-56.

Moe ended the night with 15 points and McCaffery with 13 points. Earl and Koch had 11 points each.  

The Trojans ended their season with a 14-8 record and will play at home in the regional semifinals on Feb. 25 against either Muscatine or Burlington.