Girls and boys basketball sweep City High

The girls and boys basketball teams faced off with cross-town rival City High at home Jan. 27.


Ceci De Young

In his first game back since recovering from a back injury that kept him benched for multiple weeks, Kareem Earl ’24 was full of energy against City High Jan. 27.

With West students decked out in white and City High students sporting camouflage, the cross-town rival student sections were packed and ready to witness two intense, back-to-back basketball games in the West High Main Gym Jan. 27. Earlier in the season on Jan. 8, the girls and boys basketball teams both took on the City High Little Hawks in the much bigger Xtream Arena in Coralville. That experience along with many other games and practices prepared the girls and boys basketball teams to face the Little Hawks again.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the girls basketball team stepped into the spotlight. Off to a quick start, Dartmouth commit Meena Tate ’23 made a layup, two free throws and another layup to put up the first six points of the game for the Trojans, making the score 6-2.

With scores from Grinnell commit Carolyn Pierce ’23, junior Melaé Lacy, freshman Grace Fincham, Tate and Carnegie Mellon commit Anna Prouty ’23, plus strong defense from across the team, the first quarter ended with West up 17-4. Although not many points were put up by West in the second quarter, the powerful Trojan defense held steady, producing a score of 24-12 going into the third quarter.

Keiko Ono-Fullard ’23 started off the second half for the Trojans with a three-pointer, putting West up by 15 points 27-12. Prouty led the way in the third quarter with an offensive rebound, layup and two free throws. With a layup from Fincham and two free throws from Lucy Wolf ’24 as well, West ended the third quarter leading dominantly 37-21. Yet, the incredible play-making didn’t stop from there.

The final quarter began with a three-pointer from Pierce. Then, Tate scored two layups in a row, and with an assist from Fincham, made a three-pointer as well, making the score 47-23 with little time to go.

Lacy closed out the game for the Trojans with two free throws, making the final score 49-30. After the game, Pierce commented on what she believed was specifically strong about the team’s performance.

“I think execution went well, and we stayed disciplined on defense,” Pierce said.

Similarly, Wolf shared her view on the key factor that got the team the win.

“I think the team chemistry was really on tonight with the energy, and it really just brought us together so we could get the win,” Wolf said.

During the boys basketball game against City High Jan. 27 in the West High Main Gym, sporting white-out attire, the West High student section chants along with the cheerleaders as the pep band can be heard playing lively music in the background. Video credit: Ceci De Young.

As the attention transitioned to the boys basketball game at 7:30 p.m., the energy continued to be alive in the gym with the West pep band and West cheerleaders amplifying the excitement of the already loud Trojan student section.

Junior star Kareem Earl was finally back on the court, having recovered from a back injury that kept him on the bench for numerous games. Based on Michael Jordan’s famous ‘I’m back’ fax, Earl received a special introduction on the screen in the gym as he was pictured in a Bulls jersey with the quoted words, ‘I’m back,’ next to him.

Earl then scored the first two points of the game for the Trojans. From there, the first quarter was low-scoring for both the Trojans and the Little Hawks. However, with a turnover taken down the court by TaeVeon Stevens ’24 for a layup, another two from Stevens and goaltending from City on a shot from Earl, West took the lead 8-6 to end the first quarter.

The second quarter started with a three-pointer from Earl and then two from Jacob Koch ’24, bringing the score to 13-6. Stevens made the next three shots for West with a two-pointer, three-pointer and a free throw to keep the Trojans in the lead 19-13. The game was then brought to halftime 26-19 with three from Koch, a layup and free throw from Jack McCaffery ’25 and another free throw from Stevens.

Following a performance by Julia Dorale ’26 and Ashley Niemiec ’25, two of West’s baton twirlers, the second half sprung into action. Koch with four baskets and McCaffery with five baskets led the way for the Trojans in the third quarter. Two points from both Stevens and freshman standout Julian (Juju) Manson also aided in West leading 48-31 going into the fourth quarter.

In the final quarter, many players helped secure the win for the Trojans, including Earl, Stevens, McCaffery and senior Ben Hoefer. Another senior Brady Simcox scored the last West basket of the game, making the final score 63-45. Following the win, Earl commented on the significance of the game for him.

“I’m glad to be back out here with my boys,” Earl said. “We had a tough seven-game stretch when I was out, so I’m just glad to be back out here and get the win.”

Likewise, McCaffery expressed appreciation for his teammates.

“I was really proud of my teammates and how they came out with a lot of energy and guarded,” McCaffery said. “It’s always good to beat these guys.”

Heading into the upcoming week, the boys basketball team now has a winning record of 8-7, and the girls team has a winning record of 12-5. Both the boys team and the girls team will face off with Western Dubuque Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. The boys game will take place at home in the West High Main Gym, whereas the girls will be 90 minutes away at Western Dubuque High School. To end off the week, the Trojans will take on their other cross-town rival Liberty High in another sure-to-be exciting doubleheader at home. Make sure to catch both games Feb. 3 — the girls start at 6 p.m., while the boys begin at 7:30 p.m.