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Posted On: 02/9/18 8:30 AM
The favorite: The top two in this district are about as strong a top two as you’ll find in any district in 2A. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura and Forest City split their season series, but we’ll give the edge in the district to GHV, who have won 14 straight games and have a superior blend of offensive firepower and a stout defense. The Cardinals rank 8th in 2A in both offense (68.7) and defense (45.1), and they’ve been dominant during their winning streak, with only two of those games being decided by less than 10 points. The Cards have plenty of size with 6-5 Ryan Meyers and 6-7 James Betz controlling the painted area on both ends of the floor. They combine to average 33.1 points on 55.3% shooting, over 17 rebounds a night and they’ve blocked 56 shots. This isn’t a group that relies heavily on the 3, and their size should put them over the edge in the district.
The biggest threat: Forest City is the second best defensive team in 2A, allowing just 39.7 points a game. The Indians have held GHV’s high powered attack to an average of 48 points a game in their two meetings, and if they’re able to slow the third meeting down again, that would benefit them. Sam Snyder (15.1, 68.4 FG%) is the headliner, but this is a balanced group with six other players averaging between 4.9 and 8.4 points a game. This is a methodical team that likes to play at a slower pace and let their defense win them games, and when they’re able to dig in on that end of the floor, they’ll suffocate you.
The dark horse: Osage guard Drew Olson (18.7) is the best player in the district not on GHV or Forest City, and if anyone is going to upset one of those teams, it’ll be the Green Devils. They have plenty of experience and this is a group that has had a lot of success in recent years.
Players to watch
2019 James Betz, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
2018 Nick Joynt, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
2018 Ryan Meyers, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
2018 Sam Snyder, Forest City
2018 Drew Olson, Osage
The favorite: Aplington-Parkersburg should be an overwhelming favorite in this district, as they’ve swept two-seed Dike-New Hartford by 12 and 16 in the season series. With the exception of New Hampton (who they haven’t played), A-P has swept every team in the district. The highest scoring team in 2A at 76.6 points a game, the Falcons are filled with great length, athleticism and skill. Carter Cuvelier (18.3, 61.9 FG%) and Alec Oberhauser (15.8) are going to be the two best players on the floor in every game they play in this district and as a result, they should have no issues.
The biggest threat: Dike-New Hartford has given A-P two of their toughest games this season, but the Wolverines will need to step it up on the defensive end if they want to stop the Falcons. They’ve allowed 74.5 points a game in those two meetings, and will need to get that number down to the mid-60s if they want to have a chance. The issue is that that will be a chance of pace from the way that DNH likes to play, as they look to push the tempo as well with their talented, but small, guards. They’ll need to have Cade Fuller (16.2, 44.7 3P%) and Tim Koop (8.6, 45.6 3P%) get clean looks from the arc and try to play inside-out with Colton Harberts attempting to get either Cuvelier or Oberhauser in foul trouble.
The dark horse: New Hampton is on a four-game winning streak and has played a largely 3A schedule, which should benefit them. Keagan John (16.7) and Jake Zwanziger (14.8) give them a talented duo of scorers, and junior standout Tristan Sweitzer scored 15 in his first game of the season, back from injury, last week. Him being back could make this a group that could potentially push A-P in the semifinal.
Players to watch
2018 Alec Oberhauser, Aplington-Parkersburg
2019 Carter Cuvelier, Aplington-Parkersburg
2019 Colton Harberts, Dike-New Hartford
2019 Cade Fuller, Dike-New Hartford
2018 Keagan John, New Hampton
2018 Jake Zwanziger, New Hampton
2019 Tristan Sweitzer, New Hampton
2018 Zach Miller, Denver
SUBSTATE FINAL PREDICTION
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura vs. Aplington-Parkersburg
It’s a shame that this game can’t happen in Des Moines, as these are probably two of the top five or six 2A teams right now. GHV has the size, length and athleticism to match up with the Falcons, which is something that few 2A teams have. A big night from the Betz-Meyers tandem carries GHV back to State in what should be an endlessly entertaining game.