STATE TOURNAMENT: Friday’s 10 Who Impressed

High School
Iowa

Posted On: 03/9/18 10:03 PM

Logan Wolf (Cedar Falls)

6’4 SF, 2019

He played just as well, if not better than superstar Cedar Falls legend AJ Green for a good chuck of the game, and Wolf’s stock has risen considerably over the course of the week. His finest moment in this one was  a baseline two-hand monster flush; we knew Wolf was big and could get up, but we didn’t know he could get way up like that. No wonder he’s such a dominant wide-receiver on the football team. That’s the question, though: will he be a football or basketball player? He’s a very good hoopster, that’s for certain. And he’ll likely pick up a slew of offers this summer while playing with the Iowa Barnstormers’ 17U unit.

 

Issa Samake (Grand View Christian)

6’7 F, 2019

The Mali-born forward was instrumental down the stretch in helping the Thunder secure their second straight 1A state title. He had three dunks in the fourth quarter, all of them when the game was tight; one of them a reverse alley-oop jam which absolutely electrified the crowd (and media, too). He also came away with a timely block in the final minutes of the game, sending away a Lynx shot at the rim that would have brought them to within one point. Samake is a special athlete.

 

Jake Hilmer (North Linn)

5’10 PG, 2018

He fouled out late in the 1A final, and it wasn’t his best game of the tourney, not by a long shot. But it was still clear to everyone watching that Hilmer is a special talent. His speed and basketball instincts alone make him of of the finest players the state has to offer. And his sideways, no-look between the legs dime to teammate Adam Waskow at the end of the first half was an example at how special he can be as a point guard.

 

Grant DeMeulenaere (Grand View Christian)

6’ PG, 2018

For a guy to be in a shooting slump heading into a state title game and then break out of it just in time to lead his team to a W is impressive. That’s what DeMeulenaere did. He had been 8-38 from the floor coming into the North Linn Game. And although he wasn’t shooting the lights out early, he got red-hot late in the third quarter when the game was still very much in question. He finished this one with a game-high 21 points on a much better 7-15 shooting, 3-6 from deep and 4-4 from the line. And if the state title wasn’t enough, DeMeulenaere accepted his academic all-state award immediately after the game, with his jersey still on and his shiny new state champs hat.

 

Luke Clausen (Treynor)

6’4 G/F. 2018

For a while in the 2A title game, when it was 29-20, it seemed as though Treynor was going to win it, and maybe easily. The game was tied 20-20 at the break, and the Cardinals came out of the gates in the third quarter with a 9-0 run, the latter six from consecutive Clausen 3s. His next 3-ball would go in, too. He scored nine points in a span of two-minutes and things were looking up for Treynor. But then Cascade would go on an 18-0 run and eventually win the game. Still, Clausen was good in his final high school game, going for a game-high 20 points, canning five 3s, and adding five rebounds (three offensive) to boot.

 

Brock Simon (Cascade)

6’1 G, 2018

Though his numbers don’t necessarily scream dominance, especially offensively, Simon was the best defender for Cascade on Friday afternoon. And it was the defense during an 18-0 run that was key to helping the Cougars bring home their first boys state state title ever. Simon is one of the best shot-blocking guards I’ve seen; his length and well-above average leaping ability are the cause for that. And he was also responsible for a game-high three steals in the W.

 

Cole Henry (Oskaloosa)

6’9 F, 2019

In front of North Dakota assistant coach Jeff Horner, Henry went for 16 points on 7-11 shooting and co-led his team with four assists. What probably impressed Horner the most, though, was Henry’s absolutely smashing dunk in the second quarter. Everyone here knows Issa Samake and Xavier Foster can get up and jam, but Henry can get up with the best of them, too. He added another more subtle jam later on. But make no mistake, the 6’9 forward has some hops.

 

Jarad Kruse (Oskaloosa)

6’4 SF, 2018

Kruse ended his career with a loss in the 3A title game, but he certainly gave a valiant effort. He started red-hot, 5-5 from the floor and 2-2 from deep en route to 12 first quarter points. And though he cooled a bit later in the game, he still finished with a game-high 20 points on 9-14 shooting. Kruse has college options, most notably local NAIA William Penn. He’ll make for a fine college player.

 

Andrew Blum (Glenwood)

6’2 SF, 2018

Blum was named 3A all-tournament team captain and his performance in the 3A title game was probably the best of three good ones he put together this week. He (and his younger brother Ryan) went ballistic in the third quarter, and the two of them scored 14 straight for the Rams to bridge the third and fourth quarters. Blum is headed to Northwest Missouri State to play football next season; if he wasn’t doing that, he could certainly play college basketball somewhere.

 

AJ Green (Cedar Falls)

6’3 PG, 2018

He just seems to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, and with Logan Wolf having a big first half, Green was picking his moments in the more seldom en route to eight points. But he exploded in the third quarter,  scoring 10 in the frame, and at one point putting in a nifty lefty lay-in and a tightly contested 3-ball in back-to-back possessions. He’s been without a doubt one of our favorite guys to cover since we started Prep Hoops Iowa in 2014; he will be sorely missed. We’ll track him at UNI, and make no mistake, the Panthers got a steal — he’ll dominate there, too. Now we wonder: Who will be the next AJ Green?