STATE TOURNAMENT: 2A Tournament Preview

High School

Posted On: 03/1/18 10:05 PM














No. 1 Seed Treynor (24-0)

About The Cardinals: One of two undefeated teams in the 2A field, Treynor nabs the top seed after not only going the entire season without a loss, but winning by an average of 28 points per game in the process. They got it all; shooters, size and versatility. That coupled with the fact that Treynor always brings it when they play Wells Fargo Arena, makes them a worthy top-seed and a very real threat to win their second state title in four years.


Why They Can Win It All? The balance is great, and there’s really nothing Treynor won’t be able to do basketball-wise out on the floor. The fact that they’re guaranteed to be one of the tougher and more well-disciplined teams in the field just increases their already decent chances.


Chances They Win It All? 15% These are pretty poor odds considering they’re the top-seed, but the field is so balanced, they’re actually the second best odds.


No. 2 Seed Sheldon (21-3)

About the Orabs: We could see this one coming as early as last offseason, when 6’6 big-man Kyle Boerhave started picking up some D2 interest and even an offer from Wayne State. But it’s not just him, senior guard Jaden Kleinhesselink has enjoyed a tremendous season, and has shot the ball extraordinarily well. Plenty of size, senior leadership and sharpshooting make this team dangerous.


Why They Can Win It All?: Boerhave and Kleinhesselink can take over any game, and there’s a stable of additional seniors ready to help them make this state title possible.


Why They Can Win It All?: 11% Any team with a duo as good as Boerhave and Kleinhesselink has, at the very least, a shot.


No.3 Seed Van Meter (23-1)


About the Bulldogs: Coming into the season, the Bulldogs were the team that had all the buzz in in 2A. And for the most part, they lived up to the hype. They suffered just one loss, to Des Moines Christian back on Feb. 6th, but other than that, they were sterling. The senior-laden squad led by junior Ryan Schmitt mostly dominated their opponents, winning by an average of 30 points. They’re just as dangerous as any other team in this wide-open field.


Why They Can Win It All?: Size can make a big difference in basketball, obviously, and the Bulldogs have plenty of it. Schmitt goes 6’8 and senior Grant Johnson does, too. Couple that with a bevy of talented senior guards and you have a legit state title contender.


Why They Can Win It All?: 18% This is our favorite to win it. And this is also the lowest percentage we’ve ever tagged as a favorite. The parity in 2A is no joke.


No. 4 Seed South Hamilton (24-0)


About the Hawks: The other unbeaten, South Hamilton, played a relatively tough schedule (35th out of 96 according to (, and won ‘em all by an average of 18 points. They were maybe unfairly placed, but probably mostly a testament to the strength and parity of the 2A field. Another team who we could see winning it all, Marco Balderas is the electric point guard, Conner Hill is the skilled shooting guard. While Logan Peeters brings some length and versatility. We feel like a broken record, but the Hawks have as good a shot as anyone of winning this thing.


Why They Can Win It All?: Probably the best backcourt in the field, Balderas and Hill can flat-out fill it up, and each play an exciting brand — if anything else, the Hawks will be fun to watch.


Why They Can Win It All?: 14% They haven’t lost a game yet, that’s saying something. These are the third-best odds.


No.5 Seed Aplington-Parkersburg (23-1)

About the Falcons: An impressive win over G-H-V catapulted Carter Cuvelier and Co. into the state tourney; their second in four years. The Falcons led by as much as 21 in that Substate win over the Cardinals, and they come into the tourney with just on loss, a 70-66 late-January setback against Dunkerton. They’ll provide a stiff test for the Hawks in what promises to be a tightly contested quarterfinal match.


Why They Can Win It All?: The dynamic duo of Cuvelier and do-it-all 6’5 guard Alec Oberhauser can do a lot of damage, and they have some very solid role players to boot. The dominant win over G-H-V in the Substate final speaks volumes. Watch out for the Falcons.


Why They Can Win It All?: 10% They got decent shot, but there’s a lot of other really strong teams, including opening-round opponent South Hamilton.


No. 6 Seed Cascade (23-1)

About the Cougars: State tourney mainstays, Cascade is making its fifth-straight appearance in the tourney. However, the Cougars have been unable to capture a championship in any of the previous four trips. It’ll be tough this season; but with a well-balanced, senior-laden squad leading the charge, you never know.


Why They Can Win It All?: They’re due. Maybe that’s not the most insightful of reasons, but if you make a state tourney so many times, you’re bound to win one. This may not be the most talented team they’ve brought down to state. But we think they could pull this off.


Why They Can Win It All?: 10% A senior-laden squad, with some players that have already been here twice before, the Cougars want to get the taste of an early exit at state out of their mouths. They got a shot.


No. 7 Seed Kuemper Catholic (15-8)

About the Knights: Parker Badding is without a doubt one of the very top players in this bracket, and it’s not just him, Sam Auen was a starter on last season’s state-qualifying squad. Five seniors start for Kuemper, that’s never a bad thing. Also, they beat 1A’s top-squad and defending champs Grand View Christian just two weeks ago, then defending 2A champs Western Christian just last week. So, the Knights are fully confident.


Why They Can Win It All?: Badding and Co. played one of the tougher schedules in all of 2A, and of those eight losses, five of them came to 3A opponents. Also, they’re peaking at the right time. That’s the key.


Why They Can Win It All?: 12% They get a little bump in percentage compared to their lower half-seeded counterparts because they’re red-hot and beaming with confidence (see above)


No. 8 Seed Wapello (23-1)

About the Indians: Trenton Massner is by all accounts a fantastic player, and he’s the leading scorer in the 2A field. The athletic combo-guard is complemented by a force in the paint, Keaton Mitchell. They are a dangerous 8-seed, and if the Indians can get by Treynor in the opening round, anything is possible from there.


Why They Can Win It All?: How many eight-seeds do you see with a 23-1 record? Not many. That’s why this 2A field is particularly wide-open. They might have the best player in the field with Massner, that alone is a huge difference-maker.


Why They Can Win It All?: 10% Massner and Mitchell are a dynamic duo, and they’ve only lost once this season. They definitely have a great shot, considering they’re an eight seed.


Staff Picks



Quarterfinals: Treynor, South Hamilton, Kuemper, Van Meter

Semifinals: South Hamilton, Kuemper

Champion: South Hamilton




Quarterfinals: Treynor, South Hamilton, Kuemper, Van Meter

Semifinals: South Hamilton, Van Meter

Champion: Van Meter




Quarterfinals: Treynor, South Hamilton, Sheldon, Cascade

Semifinals: South Hamilton, Sheldon

Champion: Sheldon