West High’s Wali Parks guards Dubuque Wahlert’s David Wedewer during their game on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.
David DiLeo looked at West High’s battle with defending 3A state champion Dubuque Wahlert as its toughest test of the season.
The Trojans seemed to have all the answers to that test on Tuesday.
Class 4A top-ranked West High shot 58 percent from the field and had five players score in double figures for an 80-66 win over 3A No. 5 Dubuque Wahlert in a Mississippi Valley Conference showdown at West High.
“We were definitely looking at this as a big test with them coming in to our home court,” DiLeo said. “Every conference game it is important to protect your home court so we definitely knew it was going to be hard test, they have some really good players and we stepped up.”
DiLeo had a team-high 17 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as West High improved to 10-0 on the season and 7-0 in MVC play.
Sophomore guards Connor McCaffery and Devontae Lane each had 15 points and Wali Parks added 14 points and six rebounds as West High avenged a 67-64 loss to the Golden Eagles last season in Dubuque.
“They are a really good team and they beat us last year so we wanted to get some revenge from last year,” Parks said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game and I think we were ready.”
Dubuque Wahlert (5-5, 3-3 MVC) was up to the task early.
Senior Josh Carter had 11 of his game-high 26 points in the first quarter and gave Dubuque Wahlert a 17-13 lead with a jumper in the paint with 43 seconds left in the opening quarter.
West High ended the quarter with a 5-0 spurt in the final 38 seconds and took an 18-17 lead when DiLeo banked in a pull-up 3-pointer from the top of the key that just beat the first-half buzzer.
The second quarter was all Trojans.
West High opened the quarter with an 11-4 run to push the lead to 29-21.
A 9-3 run that featured five points from Parks gave West High a 38-26 lead and Dubuque Wahlert never trimmed the lead to single digits the rest of the game.
“We really decided to lock down on defense,” Parks said of the second quarter. “Carter was having a nice first half so we had to try to contain him and then keep (Cordell) Pemsl out of his game.”
West High hit 9-of-14 field goal attempts during its 26-point second quarter and committed just one turnover.
Meanwhile, West High forced the Golden Eagles into five turnovers in the second quarter several of which led to easy West High baskets in transition.
“The second quarter we defended better,” West High coach Steve Bergman said. “I didn’t think we played great defense but we played good defensively and that got our break going and we got some layups out of our break.”
Dubuque Wahlert never got closer than 11 in the second half.
West High closed out the game hitting 7-of-8 field goal attempts in the second half.
Tanner Lohaus had eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to become the fifth West High player in double figures.
“We have a little bit of everything which is nice,” DiLeo said. “We have drivers, we have shooters, we have passers, we have balance. No one cares if they are scoring two or 20 as long as we outscore teams we are happy.”
Pemsl, the 6-foot-8 Iowa commit, finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting but was held to five points in the first half while battling foul trouble.
Carter and Pemsl finished with 45 of the Golden Eagles 66 points as only five Wahlert players.
Nolan Timp and Riley Till each had 10 points for Wahlert.
West High will face its second consecutive ranked MVC team on Friday when it travels to 4A No. 8 Linn-Mar.
“They (Wahlert) are the best team we have played so far and we feel like until you play somebody good your kids aren’t going to be exposed,” Bergman said. “Every time you play somebody good that is good that is going to challenge you and you find out some things that you need to work on.”
Reach Ryan Murken at 339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.
West High (80) – David Pederson 0-0 0-0 0, Wali Parks 6-9 2-3 14, Alex Henderson 2-4 0-0 4, Devontae Lane 5-11 5-7 15, Tanner Lohaus 5-7 2-2 12, Connor McCaffery 5-9 4-6 15, Nate Barnes 1-2 1-2 3, David DiLeo 6-10 3-3 17, Team 30-52 17-23 80.
Dubuque Wahlert (66) –David Wedewer 0-5 0-0 0, Nolan Timp 3-7 4-4 10, Austin Kluck 0-2 0-0 0, Josh Carter 9-16 8-11 28, Riley Till 5-6 0-0 10, David Iwowari 0-0 0-0 0, Cam Adams 0-2 1-2 1, Cordell Pemsl 6-8 4-4 17, Team 23-45 17-21 66.
3-point field goals –West High 3-9 (Henderson 0-1, McCaffery 0-1, DiLeo 2-5), Dubuque Wahlert 3-9 (Wedewer 0-3, Timp 0-1, Kluck 0-1, Carter 2-3, Pemsl 1-1). Rebounds – West High 22 (Parks 6), Dubuque Wahlert 28 (Pemsl 7). Turnovers – West High 8, Dubuque Wahlert 15. Total fouls – West High 18, Dubuque Wahlert 17. Fouled out – None. Technical Fouls – None.