Posted On: 03/13/18 11:31 AM
While Hilmer didn’t post the eye-popping numbers that he did during the regular season, he was still the best player on the floor at the 1A State Tournament, leading the tournament in scoring, assists and steals while leading the Lynx to a runner-up finish. His 20-6-9-8 stat line in their opening win over Edgewood-Colesburg showcased to the state exactly what he’s capable of on a nightly basis.
The presence of the 6-7 athletic freak with the 7-4 wingspan completely altered the championship game, as Samake’s ability to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble (after fouling out in each of GVC’s first two games) was the difference maker, changing the way North Linn’s offensive operated. For much of the first half he was on pace to shatter the single-game state tournament rebounding record (he finished with 18, nine shy of the mark), and his highlight reel dunks changed momentum to GVC’s favor throughout the week. Seeing a player with this type of size and athletic ability doesn’t happen very often at the 1A level, and he made a massive impact on each game the Thunder played throughout the week.
Hilmer’s primary running mate had a rough shooting week from the 3-point line, where he usually excels (went just 4-21), but he found plenty of other ways to impact games, finishing second only to Hilmer in scoring for the week, and contributing in other categories across the board. His fearlessness finishing around the rim is unmatched by most guards in the state, and he was a perfect fit into the Lynx’s pressure defensive system, routinely playing passing lanes correctly and coming away with steals.
The 6-4 forward was really solid all week for the Hawks, but his standout performance was a 20-point, 12-rebound outing in their quarterfinal win over Lynnville-Sully. He was the team’s fourth leading scorer throughout the regular season, but he led the team in scoring, and was second in the tournament field in rebounding behind only Samake, during the tournament, helping lead the Hawks to their second straight fourth place finish.
DeMeulenaere struggled badly with his shot in the first two Thunder wins, going a combined 8-38 from the floor in games against St. Albert and St. Mary’s, but he was clutch down the stretch, and in particular, at the free throw line, in those games. Then he finally broke out of his shooting slump in a big way in the championship win over North Linn, going 7-15 from the floor, knocking down three big 3s, and helping to deliver GVC their second straight state title. He wasn’t great all week, but he was when it mattered the most – late in games, then on the biggest stage.
Mach Nyaw, Grand View Christian (2019)
Arturo Montes, Grand View Christian (2019)
Jack Kelley, Don Bosco (2019)
Zach Nie, Don Bosco (2018)
Zach Huff, Don Bosco (2020)
Honorable mentions: Brody Ricke (Remsen, St. Mary’s, 2018), Bryce Crabb (Grand View Christian, 2019), Trevor Boge (North Linn, 2019), David Seber (North Linn, 2019), Caleb Terhark (George-Little Rock, 2019)