STATE TOURNAMENT: 4A Tournament Preview

High School
Iowa

Posted On: 03/4/18 3:58 PM

 

 

 

No.1 Seed Iowa City West (19-4)

About the Trojans: They come in as the top seed despite uncharacteristically losing four games this season. The thing is, of those four Ls, two of them came at the hands of elite out-of-state powers. The only teams in Iowa to beat them were Cedar Falls and Dubuque, Senior. So, Patrick McCaffery and Co. have fewer losses to in-state teams than anyone in the field.

Why They Can Win it All? Size and length: McCaffery is the top-ranked player in Iowa’s 2019 class, the future Hawkeyes wing is 6’8 and possesses an incredible high hoops IQ. His elite play is complimented well by rangy and athletic forward Seybian Sims.

Chances They Win it All? 25%

 

No. 2 Seed North Scott (20-3)

About the Lancers: The Seales brothers, Cortaviuas and Corvon, will try and follow in older brother Cortez’s footsteps and bring home a state title for North Scott. Cortez, who now plays at D1 North Dakota, accomplished the feat in 2015. There’s a bevy of underclassmen ready to show what they’ve got, led by 6’4 sophomore wing Ty Anderson.

Why They Can Win It All? Top seed Iowa City West has certainly shown themselves to be vulnerable this season, even losing to two Iowa teams is a bit of a disappointment for the Trojans. Therefore, this field is as wide-open as we’ve seen in a few years.

Chances They Win it All? 10%

 

No. 3 Seed Cedar Falls (18-5)

About the Tigers: AJ Green is on the Tigers, so that automatically makes them a must-watch team. The future Northern Iowa Panthers point guard has been torching defenses for the better part of four years at Cedar Falls, and tends to have a flare for the dramatic. But the Tigers are more than just Green, fellow Iowa Barnstormers product Logan Wolf is a nice complimentary player, the junior wing is averaging 12.8 points this season.

Why They Can Win it All? November 16th, 2017, the Cedar Falls Tigers knocked off Iowa City West 55-54, proving that West wasn’t unbeatable, and boosting their own confidence in the process. Cedar Falls is 9-2 since that big win, each loss by just one point.

Chances They Win it All? 13%

 

No. 4 Seed Waukee (19-4)

About the Warriors: We expected this Waukee team to be here, though it certainly wasn’t easy; the Warriors had to get by a very tough Dowling team in their Substate final to get here. They have a star-studded cast that features definitely two, maybe three Division I prospects (Nathan Johnson, Dylan Jones, Noah hart). Jaxx Rittman can get hot at any given time, and Hawkeyes football commit Nathan Johnson is crafty in the paint.

Why They Could Win it All?  Their starting five is certainly as talented as any other in the field. Noah Hart and Dylan Jones make up one of the better junior duos in the state. They’ll have to get hot and stay hot to get through this loaded bracket.

Chances They Win it All? 10%

 

No. 5 Seed Johnston (20-3)

About the Dragons: Johnston might have had the biggest test in a Substate final, they had to play an extremely talented Des Moines North Squad. And thanks to some overtime heroics from senior leading scorer Boston Grimes, they were able to win that one in overtime. Now, the 4A field’s most prolific shooting team will rely on a trio of sharpshooters, (Bo Sandquist, Camden Vander Zwaag and Boston Grimes) to help navigate them them through the field. In the post is junior Peyton Williams; he’s unusually bouncy for a guy of his size.

Why They Could Win it All: It’s like the old hoops saying goes, ‘you live by the 3, you die by the 3.’ No team in the field has made as many triples as Johnston has this season. If they’re hitting the 3s like they’ve been,  the Dragons will be very tough to beat.

Chances They Win it All? 15%

 

No. 6 Seed Sioux City East (19-3)

About the Black Raiders: For the second straight March, Aidan Vanderloo and Van Rees have carried Sioux City East into the tourney. Last season, they lost in the quarterfinals to a very, very talented Valley team. This season, they’ll need to get by Cedar Falls if they want to advance to the semifinals. Vanderloo is the best shooter in the field, he’s made 50 3s at a whopping 55 percent clip this season. Rees will fight and usually win in the paint.

Why They Could Win it All? Rees and Vanderloo make up one of the better duos in the 4A field, and they compliment each-other very well, as an inside/outside threat. If the two of them play exceedingly well, then the Black Raiders will certainly have a shot to bring home some hardware.

Chances They Win it All? 10%

 

No. 7 Seed Valley (16-7)

About the Tigers: Probably the most interesting of cases in the 4A field, Valley has enjoyed a massive turnaround in their season to get here. They started with high hopes, and we had them ranked in our Preseason 4A top-10. But they started the season 6-7, and many were wondering what the problem might be. That problem was fixed, and now Valley is living up to its potential, winners of 10 straight, including a hard-fought 34-31 win over Des Moines Hoover in a Substate final.

Why They Could Win it All? The Tigers certainly have adequate talent on their roster to play right along with the higher seeds. Trayvon Williams and Blake Brinkemyer are both Division I prospects. They’ve added a 6’3 wing from Australia, Dennis Emilifeonwu, who has been a huge difference-maker since becoming eligible the team in January. And there’s a stable of senior guards that can get the job done. Valley is a scary 7-seed.

Chances They Win it All? 12%

 

No. 8 Seed Muscatine (16-8)

About the Muskies: The Joe Wieskamp-led Muskies advanced to the state tourney after getting by Linn-Mar, 58-55 in a Substate final. Wieskamp, who is the 4A field’s scoring leader, poured in just over his season average in that win, going for 36 points. The future Iowa Hawkeyes wing has a senior-laden starting lineup to play with. And any team with a player the caliber of Wieskamp leading the charge, certainly has a chance to win.

Why They Could Win it All? Joe Wieskamp is the undisputed best player in Iowa, and he’s definitely the best player we’ve covered at Prep Hoops Iowa since we started in 2014. That’s reason enough to convince us that the Muskies got a shot.

Chances They Win It All: 5%

 

STAFF PICKS

Tony

Quarterfinals: Iowa City West, Johnston, North Scott, Cedar Falls

Semifinals: Johnston, Cedar Falls

Finals: Cedar Falls

 

TJ

Quarterfinals: Iowa City West, Johnson, Valley, Cedar Falls

Semifinals: Johnston, Cedar Falls

Finals: Johnston

 

Travis

Quarterfinals: Iowa City West, Waukee, North Scott, Cedar Falls

Semifinals: Iowa City West, Cedar Falls

Finals: Iowa City West