State boys' basketball: Cedar Falls cruises past top-ranked Iowa City West for Class 4A title
Friday night’s Class 4A state title game between Iowa City West and Cedar Falls had plenty of buzz.
The two best teams from the Mississippi Valley Conference, arguably the state’s best league … two of the best players and college prospects in the state in West’s Patrick McCaffery and Cedar Falls’ AJ Green … a rematch of a thrilling, 55-54 Cedar Falls win in January.
It turned out to be a blowout.
Third-seeded Cedar Falls beat top-seeded West 65-45 to claim its first state boys’ basketball title in its first-ever state boys' basketball title game. Green led the Tigers with 24 points. Logan Wolf had 14 and Ben Gerdes added 12.
"They always believed," Cedar Falls head coach Ryan Schultz said.
Green walked into the interview room with his championship hat on backwards and a huge smile on his face.
"It was defense," Green said of why Cedar Falls won. "We just had to lock down, continue to get stops. One stop after another and then go down, be patient on offense, take what they give us and just slowly build that lead up. We were able to do that. It’s just a great feeling to get this win.
"This means everything."
McCaffery paced the Trojans (21-5) with his 13 points. Seybian Sims had 12 and Evan Flitz added six. This was West’s third consecutive 4A championship game appearance and its sixth in the past seven seasons.
The Tigers (21-5) led wire to wire, beginning with a quick 9-0 run, outscoring West 38-24 in the second half. Despite having a size advantage, West got outrebounded 34-19.
"We just didn't guard anybody in the second half," West coach Steve Bergman said. "It was a lay-up drill, which isn't normal for us."
West returns McCaffery and starting point guard Dante Eldridge next season. Cedar Falls returns Wolf, Jack Campbell and Jackson Frericks.
Waukee over Valley in consolation final
Waukee beat West Des Moines Valley 61-47 in Friday's consolation final to take third place at the state tournament.
Noah Hart led the Warriors (21-5) with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Derek Emelifeonwu led the Tigers (17-9) with 11 points and Trayvon Williams added 10.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.