Saturday, March 11, 2017

Iowa City West Too Much for Valley


Well, the McCaffery brothers--Connor and Patrick--sure had a better week than their dad.
Their dad, of course, is Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery, whose team was crushed by Indiana, 95-73, a couple of nights ago in the Big Ten tournament.
No such mishap [some would label it an embarrassment] was experienced tonight by Connor and Patrick.
They combined to score 31 points and totaled 13 rebounds in a 64-50 victory by Iowa City West over Valley of West Des Moines in the championship game of the class 4-A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
Connor will be a freshman on his dad's Hawkeye team in the 2017-2018 season.
Tonight's state title was the seventh for West, and it came in fairly easy fashion over a Valley team that had won 11 consecutive games and hoped to win the championship for the second straight season.
But West, which lost to the Tigers in last season's title game, had far too much talent, far too much power on both offense and defense this time.
The McCaffery brothers weren't the whole show, but they definitely had a strong influence on how West controlled the game at Wells Fargo Arena.
Connor was named captain of the all-tournament team. Valley players joining him on the squad were Quinton Curry and Charley Crowley, the senior twin towers who were defended well all night by West.
Crowley, who was a standout in Valley's victories over Des Moines North and Sioux City East earlier in the tournament, was limited to 7 points by West.
He attempted only 5 shots, and made 2 of them.
"The guards couldn't get the ball into me," he told me after the game.
Curry scored 15 points and had eight rebounds to end a season that didn't go the way he wanted it to go.
He suffered a serious knee injury last summer and didn't play a game for the Tigers until February.
West finished the season with a 23-3 record. Valley was 21-5.
Valley had a get-together of West Des Moines city and school officials, fans, players, coaches, student managers and cheerleaders following tonight's game.
It was held on the basketball court at the Bill Coldiron Fieldhouse where the Tigers play there games.
The state tournament runnerup trophy was prominently displayed in the center of the gym. Fans, players or anyone else could take or pose for pictures. Many did.
Curry spoke emotionally about what he went through this season.
"My team welcomed me with open arms when I came back," he said, fighting back tears.
Valley coach B.J. Windhorst said, "We've got something special going in this program," which means he expects the Tigers' success to continue in future seasons.