Posted On: 01/1/18 8:30 AM

Bishop Garrigan’s size should give them an edge

TUESDAY (Jan. 2)

Game of the night: 1A No. 5 Bishop Garrigan, Algona at 2A No. 6 Forest City

This is a huge game in the Top of Iowa West, as a Forest City win would give them a two-game lead in the division. For a 1A team, Bishop Garrigan has loads of size with 6-4 Cade Winkel, 6-5 TJ Schnurr and 6-7 Angelo Winkel in the starting frontcourt, and 6-3 Brad Capesius and 6-1 John Joyce making up the backcourt. That size has allowed them to dominate the glass, and while Forest City has a pair of 6-6 players (Ryan Theel and Sam Snyder) in their starting lineup, the overall size of Garrigan will be a load to handle. Forest City is allowing a 2A best 36.3 points a game, and they’ll be looking to slow this game down, with Garrigan averaging 73.6 points a night. In the end, we anticipate the size edge for Garrigan to give them a slight edge, as they should clean up plenty of second chance opportunities and take a lower scoring game than they’d like.
Our pick: Bishop Garrigan, Algona 52, Forest City 48

Others to monitor
3A No. 8 Harlan at Atlantic
Dunkerton at Colo-NESCO
Wapello at Highland, Riverside
West Des Moines Dowling at 4A No. 3 Johnston
4A No. 5 Dubuque Senior at Milwaukee Bay View (WI)
Tipton at Iowa City Regina
Kuemper Catholic at 1A No. 9 Council Bluffs, St. Albert
3A No. 2 Sioux City Bishop Heelan at 2A No. 8 Unity Christian
Charles City at Waverly-Shell Rock


Ryan Schmitt


Game of the night: 2A No. 1 Van Meter at Des Moines Christian

The top ranked Bulldogs of Van Meter have been blasting teams so far this season, winning games by an average of 34 points a game and holding teams to only 37.4 a night, good for 2nd in 2A. They’ll get their stiffest test of the young season on Thursday night when they travel to Des Moines Christian, who is undefeated at 9-0 and is averaging 69.6 points a game, good for 6th in the class. The overwhelming size of Van Meter’s Ryan Schmitt (6-9) should give DMC some major issues on both ends of the floor. Schmitt leads the Bulldogs in scoring, rebounding and blocks, and is shooting 64% from the floor. He’s not alone, as they also have one of the most potent perimeter attacks around, shooting 45.4% from behind the arc as a team. Guard Isaac Prewitt (22.3 points a game) has been great for the Lions but they’ll need to get a huge effort from him if they want to knock off our top ranked team in 2A.
Our pick: Van Meter 63, Des Moines Christian 54

Others to monitor
Martensdale-St. Mary’s at Ankeny Christian
Gladbrook-Reinbeck at 2A No. 9 Aplington-Parkersburg
LeMars, Gehlen Catholic at Sergeant Bluff-Luton


Xavier Foster

FRIDAY (Jan. 5)

Game of the night: 3A No. 4 Norwalk at 3A No. 3 Oskaloosa

The game of the year (so far) is on Friday night in Oskaloosa, when 8-0 Norwalk travels to 9-0 Oskaloosa in a big-time Little Hawkeye Conference tilt. These are two of the three highest scoring teams in 3A, with Norwalk averaging 84.4 points a game, and Oskaloosa putting up 73.8 a night, so expect plenty of fireworks in this one, with an interesting contrast in strengths. Norwalk is led by the guard tandem in Bowen Born and Luke Vaske, who are combining to average 39.7 points a game. Daniel Geistler and Blake Johnson also average in double figures for the Warriors, who have put up 100+ in a pair of games already this season and are shooting 56^ from the floor and 45.5% from behind the arc. Oskaloosa, on the other hand, has loads of size, with 6-11 sophomore Xavier Foster, 6-9 junior Cole Henry and 6-5 Jared Kruse all in the starting lineup alongside guards Spencer Tucker and Tanner DeKock. All but DeKock average in double figures, led by top-30 national prospect Foster, who is averaging 16 points and has already blocked 32 shots on the season. Norwalk’s star guards, who thrive on their ability to get into the paint, should struggle with that size and will have to adjust their game plan. The Indians size should provide the advantage here and move them to 10-0.
Our pick: Oskaloosa 72, Norwalk 65

Others to monitor
Center Point-Urbana at Dyersville Beckman
Winterset at Carlisle
4A No. 7 North Scott at Davenport North
Muscatine at Davenport West
4A No. 10 Dubuque Hempstead at 4A No. 5 Dubuque Senior
3A No. 1 Glenwood at Kuemper Catholic
Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Linn-Mar
Highland, Riverside at New London
Easton Valley at 1A No. 2 North Linn
3A No. 9 LeMars at 4A No. 6 Sioux City East
1A No. 3 Remsen, St. Mary’s at 1A No. 8 South O’Brien
3A No. 8 Harlan at 1A No. 9 Council Bluffs, St. Albert
2A No. 4 Sheldon at West Lyon
Cedar Rapids Prairie at 3A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Xavier


Derrick Diggins


Game of the night: 3A No. 10 Spirit Lake vs. Cedar Rapids Kennedy

This game will be played at Wartburg College as part of the annual Winter Classic and provides another interesting contrast in strengths. Spirit Lake is led by junior big man Owen Coburn, a South Dakota State commit who should give Kennedy some issues. At 6-11, the Cougars don’t have a player who can match up with him, so look for coach Jon McKowen to use plenty of different defenders and switching defenses to mess with their offensive attack. On the other end of the floor, the guard duo of Derrick Diggins (21.7 points a game) and Jackson Foley could give Spirit Lake some issues. Diggins is one of the best players in the MVC, and with his athleticism and ability to score from anywhere on the floor, the Indians will have their hands full. The X-factor in this game will be Kennedy sophomore Jack Wetzel, who has been great this season, averaging 16.1 points a game. Spirit Lake is a really good defensive team (2nd in 3A, allowing 42.1 points a game), and Kennedy has one of the best defensive coaches in the state on their sidelines. He should come up with a way to limit Coburn on the interior and lead the Cougars to a big win.
Our pick: Cedar Rapids Kennedy 56, Spirit Lake 50

Others to monitor
Dyersville Beckman at 2A No. 3 Cascade
2A No. 7 East Marshall vs. Dike-New Hartford
Iowa City Regina at 3A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Xavier