Iowa Playoffs: Class 2A, Substate 3 Preview

High School

Posted On: 02/17/16 8:30 PM


Collin Hill
Collin Hill is among the top players in the 2017 class

The favorite: South Hamilton holds a season sweep over Roland-Story, by 31 and 16 points. They’ve got the best player in the district in junior wing Collin Hill (20.4 points), and a solid group of talent around him that really grew up last season playing without Hill (broken leg). Marco Balderas (10.2) has a dazzling 97-36 assist-to-turnover ratio, and they take great care of the ball as a team.

The biggest threat: Despite having been swept handily by South Hamilton, Roland-Story is still the second best team in this district. The trio of John Barclay (130 3PA), Tyler Hovick (114) and Colin Greene (181) take a ton of 3-pointers, so if they’re able to get hot they could upset SH.

The dark horse: Hampton-Dumont has a solid scorer in Coleton Barz (18.2) and a shooter in Spencer Clark (38.5 3P%) who could get hot.

Players to watch
Collin Hill, South Hamilton, 2017
Marco Balderas, South Hamilton, 2018
Coleton Barz, Hampton-Dumont, 2016
Tyler Hovick, Roland-Story, 2016


Ben Latusak
Ben Latusak is Dike-New Hartford’s leading scorer and rebounder

The favorite: Dike-New Hartford is one of only two undefeated teams left in the state, regardless of class, and they’ve used a deep, balanced attack to roll through their competition by an average of 26 points a game. Eight players average at least four points a game, led by big man Ben Latusak (11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds). They play an aggressive, pressing style on defense, aren’t afraid to go to their bench and have a tendency to wear the opposition down with their style and depth. One of the most efficient offenses in the state thrives off of forcing turnovers and getting out in transition.

The biggest threat:¬†Two of Aplington-Parkersburg’s three losses this year have come to D-NH (the other to Jesup), and they own a season sweep over semi-final opponent Sumner-Fredericksburg. The Falcons have a very talented trio of players who contributed on last year’s team in Nick Waller (16.7 points a game), big man Nick Ellis (16.0) and Cade Alberts (12.0). They’ve added some solid new pieces that to mix, but they’ve got a tall task ahead of them.

The dark horse: Connor Schult (18.0) and Trevor Wurzel (14.3) lead a Sumner-Fredericksburg team that will be looking to avenge a pair of regular season losses to Aplington-Parkersburg. Both are capable of getting hot from behind the arc and could lead them to a pair of upsets.

Players to watch
Ben Latusak, Dike-New Hartford, 2017
Connor Blough, Dike-New Hartford, 2016
Connor Neuroth, Dike-New Hartford, 2016
Cole Wildeboer, Dike-New Hartford, 2016
Nick Waller, Aplington-Parkersburg, 2016
Nick Ellis, Aplington-Parkersburg, 2016
Cade Alberts, Aplington-Parkersburg, 2017
Connor Schult, Sumner-Fredericksburg, 2016
Trevor Wurzel, Sumner-Fredericksburg, 2017

South Hamilton vs. Dike-New Hartford

This could be the biggest blowout of any of the 2A substate finals. Dike-New Hartford heads to state with an undefeated record. Their balanced scoring and strong defense is too much for South Hamilton to keep up with.