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Posted On: 02/20/18 4:27 PM
Postseason play in Class 3A tipped off on Monday night, and we were in Cedar Rapids to take in an opening round doubleheader featuring Benton Community, Center Point-Urbana, Grinnell and the two-time defending champions, Cedar Rapids Xavier.
These two games couldn’t have been more different. The opener between Benton Community and Center Point-Urbana was played within two possessions pretty much the entire evening, with Benton ultimately prevailing 56-51 to move into Thursday night’s substate semifinal. They’ll play Xavier, who rolled over Grinnell 80-40, getting to a running clock with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. The Saints were clicking on all cylinders throughout the night, quickly dispatching the Tigers, who finished the season 1-21.
Below, we take a look at eight interesting prospects from the double header. You won’t find Xavier’s Matt Mims or Jackson Joens on this list, as they’ve been written about plenty and are already off the board to South Dakota State and Upper Iowa, respectively.
6-6 PF Grant Dirks (Center Point-Urbana, 2018)
The best prospect on this list, Dirks is a big, physical forward who is still making his way back from a foot injury. He’s capable of scoring inside and out, with great footwork and touch around the rim, and a jumper that has come a long way throughout his high school career. There are rumblings that he might be giving up the game and heading to Iowa State to pursue engineering, but if he wants to continue playing basketball, he could be a good fit at an NAIA level school as a stretch-four. He closed out his high school career with a 17-point, nine rebound and four block performance.
6-4 PF Cody Westcott (Center Point-Urbana, 2019)
The junior is an undersized four, but he’s highly active around the rim and does a great job on the offensive glass. Finishes well in the paint, and battles and competes on the glass on both ends of the floor. Will need to improve the range on his jumper if he wants to play at the next level, but his activity, effort and rebounding will translate to the next level. Will be worth keeping an eye on for Iowa Conference schools. Had 13 points and seven rebounds (four offensive) in the loss.
6-3 G Nathan Michels (Benton Community, 2019)
A long, rangy combo guard, Michels handles the ball fairly well and made some huge shots down the stretch for the Bobcats to preserve the win. Has some versatility on both ends of the floor and showed a willingness to post up smaller defenders. Rebounds effectively from his guard spot (nine rebounds), keeps the ball moving on the offensive end and is a creative finisher around the rim. Another Iowa Conference look. Finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists.
6-1 SG Dylan Spina (Benton Community, 2019)
Came off the bench to provide a major spark for the Bobcats in their win with 15 points (11 first half) to go with five rebounds and two assists. Can score from all three levels and is a creative finisher around the rim. Moves really well without the ball and is ready to shoot on the catch. Good length. Like Westcott, another player to monitor as he will get a larger workload next year with Touro gone.
6-0 PG Spencer Touro (Benton Community, 2018)
Headed to play college ball at Wartburg, and played probably the worst game I’ve seen him play on the offensive end. Finished with just six points on 3-12 shooting, but didn’t let the poor shooting game impact the rest of his game. Had a team-high four assists, getting others involved, and didn’t force up shots in the second half when it was clear he didn’t have it going. Big, physical guard who handles it well and can really fill it up when he gets going; just didn’t get it going here.
6-1 SG Ethan Mitchell (Grinnell, 2018)
Lights out shooter who doesn’t need much space to get his shot off, but would benefit greatly from playing alongside a more talented supporting cast. Had 17 points in Grinnell’s loss and was 4-5 in the first half from the arc. Has a quick release, showed the ability to shoot both off the dribble and the catch, and he competes on the glass. Will need to tighten up his handle at the next level, but his shooting will translate.
6-3 GF Kyle Moeder (Cedar Rapids Xavier, 2019)
Perhaps the most intriguing player on this list, Moeder had 11 first half points as Xavier rolled to a win. He’s long and athletic, moves well without the ball and can score at all three levels. Needs to speed up the release on his jumper, but has good form and rotation and can knock down 3s. Will provide some versatility on the defensive end with his length, and will rebound on both ends of the floor. Versatility on both ends of the floor provides major upside, and he’ll be one of the focal points for next year’s Saints. Could turn into an scholarship-level player if he keeps developing.
6-1 G Quinn Schulte (Cedar Rapids Xavier, 2019)
Future is probably on the football field, but he’s a natural winner on both ends of the floor who keeps the ball moving and defends. Big guard who will hold his own against bigger ball handlers and has the quickness to stay in front of smaller ones. Finished with eight points, five assists, five steals. Knows his limitations on the offensive end and doesn’t try to play over them.
Center Point-Urbana: Grant Dirks 17, Cody Westcott 13, Dylan Harris 8, Brandon Moore 6, Caleb Andrews 4, Mitchell McCauley 3
Benton Community: Dylan Spina 15, Nathan Michels 14, Luke Wiebel 13, Parker Nolan 8, Spencer Touro 6
Grinnell: Ethan Mitchell 17, Eli Ivanov 7, Jacob Hull 5, Nicholas Popp 4, Tristan De Serano 4, Trey Gohlmann 2, Andrew Wilkins 1
Cedar Rapids Xavier: Jackson Joens 18, Matt Mims 16, Kyle Moeder 13, Quinn Schulte 8, Jacob Hines 4, Aaron Bartels 4, Matt Jordebrek 4, Gabe Lux 3, Davis Wagner 3, Ryan Keating 3, Bryson Bastian 2, Jack Scott 2