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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

Trojans fall to the Bulldogs in nail-biting substate final

The boys basketball team played the Bettendorf Bulldogs at Alliant Energy Powerhouse on Feb. 27, in the substate final
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Zoe Smith
Jacob Koch ’24 looks to shoot a three-pointer as Bettendorf’s Cole Odefey ’25 tries to defend the shot during the game on Feb. 27.

The air at Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids was anything but calm on Tuesday night as the boys basketball team looked to continue their journey to the Wells Fargo Arena for the State tournament.

Coming off a dominant 40-point win against Davenport North in the substate semifinal, Bergmann’s boys were looking to make their mark on the Bettendorf Bulldogs, who defeated Davenport West 76-56 to make it to the finals. Seniors Jacob Koch, Kareem Earl and Canaan Barnes made their last start as Trojans. Jack McCaffery ’25 and Julian (Juju) Manson ’26 also took the court.

West was first on the board after McCaffery took the tip and immediately took it to the paint. The Bulldogs quickly answered, a preview of the battle that would become the game. Earl forced himself in for a layup, tying the game up 4-4, quickly after he got an and-1, pulling the Trojans to a three-point lead.

The Bulldogs brought the defensive pressure in the last five minutes of the first quarter, and slow offense from the Trojans put the boys in a six-point deficit heading into the second quarter. The Bulldogs leading 15-9.

West answered with a McCaffery and Barnes combining for six points early in the second to put the Trojans and Bulldogs 15-15 with six minutes left in the second quarter. The back and forth continued, and the Trojans had a one-point lead, 25-24, heading into the locker room.

With points from Earl, McCaffery and Barnes early in the third quarter and an airball from Bettendorf, West had a five-point lead that was quickly answered with a three-pointer from Bettendorf. The boys were able to stay ahead with 40 points on the board heading into the last quarter, the bulldogs with 35.

Junior Jack Wallace was able to get some points on the board for the Trojans early in the fourth quarter. But foul trouble was catching up to West, as leading scorer McCaffery drew his third personal foul with five minutes left. This caused an uproar from both sides of the stadium.

Another Bulldog three forced a West timeout, the Trojans leading 44-42 with four minutes left. A turnover from Bettendorf puts the Trojans up 48-42, shorty after McCaffery draws his fourth personal foul, and the Bulldogs call a timeout with two and a half minutes left. A West turnover and another Bulldog three-pointer tie the game 49-49 with under a minute left. Everyone in the arena was on the edge of their seat. Both teams were able to convert another possession, and the game headed into overtime, with both teams at 51 points.

The four-minute overtime started, and no baskets were made for two minutes. A bulldog possession left McCaffery fouling out of the game, a game-changing situation for both teams. With a minute left, Bettendorf went to the line and took the lead at 53-51. Earl went to the line and was able to make one. A one-point game with 40 seconds left. With ten seconds left, another foul was called, and Bettendorf went to the line, scoring two. West was unable to convert, and their season ended after 44 minutes of intense basketball, with the final score being 52-55. The Bulldogs will be heading to the state tournament next week.

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About the Contributor
Zoe Smith, Editor-in-Chief
(she/her) Zoe Smith is a senior and entering her third and final year on staff. She is so excited to be this year's Web Editor-in-Chief. Although you can usually find her in the newsroom; you may also find her on the soccer field either playing or coaching, working at Maggie's Farm Pizza, hanging out with friends and much more. If you can't find her she is probably petting a dog somewhere.
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