STATE TOURNAMENT: Previewing Monday’s Action

High School
Iowa

Posted On: 03/5/18 12:41 AM

Jake Hilmer

1A Quarterfinal: No. 1 North Linn (26-0) vs. No. 8 Edgewood-Colesburg (21-4), 9:30 a.m.

Analysis: We’ll keep this one short, as there really isn’t much to say about this one. These teams met twice during the regular season, with North Linn winning those meetings 86-42 and 97-26.

The pressure defense that the Lynx apply will lead to a load of turnovers from the Vikings, and Jake Hilmer, Ryan Miller and company should cruise into the semifinals, as this game is likely pretty much decided before the end of the first quarter. Ed-Co has had a great season, making their first state tournament appearance, but this is just an awful matchup for them.

Players to watch
North Linn: Ryan Miller (No. 86 in 2018), Jake Hilmer (No. 9 in 2019), David Seber (No. 75 in 2019)
Edgewood-Colesburg: Parker Rochford (2021), Preston Rochford (2019)

Our pick: North Linn 92, Edgewood-Colesburg 40

 

1A Quarterfinal: No. 4 George-Little Rock (19-6) vs. No. 5 Don Bosco (22-3), 11:15 a.m.

Analysis: Despite having the second worst record in the 1A field, George-Little Rock earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament because of the difficult schedule they face on a nightly basis in the Siouxland Conference. The Mustangs are incredibly balanced, with seven players averaging between 5.8 and 12.6 points a game. They’re led by the interior duo of Lucas Nagel (12.6) and Caleb Terhark (10.1), and they can put a number of talented perimeter shooters around them. This group is battle tested and will be ready for anyone.

Don Bosco has lost just one game this season with standout junior guard Jack Kelley (14.3) in the lineup. Kelley (108 assists, 42 turnovers) pairs with Zach Huff (127 assists, 57 turnovers) to give the Dons one of the best backcourts in 1A. Sean McFadden (15.3) gives them some size in the paint at 6-5, and he finishes really well around the rim. Zach Nie (14.8, 44.3 3P%) is the primary perimeter shooting option, and if he’s able to knock down some shots, the Dons will be dangerous this week.

The major edge in strength of schedule goes to G-LR, and their balance and defensive versatility should allow them to defend the Dons effectively. This could be the the best first round game in 1A.

Players to watch
George-Little Rock: Jayden Mauldin (No. 126 in 2018), Lucas Nagel (No. 108 in 2019), Josh Haken (2018), Caleb Terhark (2019)
Don Bosco: Zach Huff (No. 56 in 2020), Sean McFadden (2018), Jack Kelley (2019), Zach Nie (2018)

Our pick: George-Little Rock 57, Don Bosco 53

 

Grant DeMeulenaere

1A Quarterfinal: No. 2 Grand View Christian (22-1) vs. No. 7 Council Bluffs, St. Albert (15-9), 1:00 p.m.

Analysis: The defending champions in 1A, Grand View Christian actually gets a really tricky draw here, getting a good St. Albert team that plays mostly 3A schools, in the first round. The Thunder have played this season as an independent school after leaving the Bluegrass Conference, and as a result, they were able to beef up their schedule, playing quality teams such as Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, PCM, Lynnville-Sully and Kuemper Catholic during the regular season. They’re led by senior guard Grant DeMeulenaere (22.3), who pairs with Mach Nyaw (13.0) to give them a fantastic, experienced backcourt. The big story with GVC is the addition of 6-7 forward Issa Samake, who is averaging 11.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and just over three blocks a game since becoming eligible. A super athletic forward with a wingspan of well over seven feet, he’s the ultimate difference maker in the 1A field.

St. Albert doesn’t play any 1A schools until the postseason starts, playing primarily 3A schools in the Hawkeye Ten Conference during the year. The Falcons are led by a trio of players who started in the 1A championship game as sophomores, and will be looking to get back to that game again this year. Jake Carley (14.8) is the team’s top perimeter option, shooting 40.3% from the arc. Tyler Blaha (12.4) is an athletic, slashing wing who contributes across the board, and Matt Fagan (10.8) is a big, physical post player who will not get moved off his spot. Kyle Barnes is the team’s primary ball handler and will need to handle the pressure that GVC likes to throw at teams if the Falcons are going to pull the upset.

Players to watch
Grand View Christian: Grant DeMeulenaere (No. 43 in 2018), Arturo Montes (No. 59 in 2019), Mach Nyaw (No. 86 in 2019), Sam Glenn (No. 93 in 2019), Bryce Crabb (No. 119 in 2019), Issa Samake (2019)
Council Bluffs, St. Albert: Jake Carley (No. 172 in 2018), Tyler Blaha (No. 181 in 2018), Matt Fagan (No. 191 in 2018)

Our pick: Grand View Christian 68, Council Bluffs, St. Albert 57

 

Nicholas Ruden

1A Quarterfinal: No. 3 Remsen, St. Mary’s (25-0) vs. No. 6 Lynnville-Sully (22-3), 2:45 p.m.

Analysis: Don’t expect to see many points scored here, as these are two of the top five defenses in Class 1A. St. Mary’s ranks third in the class, allowing just 39.7 points a game, while Lynnville-Sully is fifth at 44.0.

For the second straight season, the Hawks enter the state tournament with an undefeated mark. They’re led by Nicholas Ruden (14.2), a 6-4 combo forward who is a matchup problem with his ability to score inside and out. He leads three Hawks that average in double figures. Spencer Schorg (13.1, 42.2 3P%) and Brody Ricke (10.9) are the other primary scoring options, while Derrick Schorg (8.9) and Carter Kuchel (8.6) are solid role players.

Four starters returned from last year’s state qualifying Lynnville-Sully team, and they’ve been very good again this season. They’re led by Jesse Van Wyk (14.5), who leads the team in just about every major statistical category. Like Ruden for St. Mary’s, he’s a matchup problem with the ability to score at all three levels and his ability to make plays for others. This is a group that is loaded with shooters with Tanner Foster (12.9, 35.1 3P%), Brevin Hansen (12.0, 42.5%) and Tyson Vander Linden (7.1, 38.2%) flanking Van Wyk and interior player Rylan James.

The key to this game is going to be who better defends the other team’s matchup problem (Ruden, Van Wyk). Van Wyk is probably a bit more important to Lynnville-Sully’s success as he has the ball in his hands a lot, leading the team in assists.

Players to watch
Remsen, St. Mary’s: Nicholas Ruden (No. 87 in 2018), Spencer Schorg (2020)
Lynnville-Sully: Jesse Van Wyk (No. 165 in 2018), Tanner Foster (No. 169 in 2018), Brevin Hansen (No. 173 in 2018), Rylan James (No. 83 in 2019)

Our pick: Remsen, St. Mary’s 49, Lynnville-Sully 44

 

Dillon Faubel

2A Quarterfinal: No. 1 Treynor (24-0) vs. No. 8 Wapello (23-1), 4:30 p.m.

Analysis: Treynor returns to the state tournament after a two-year absence with an undefeated record, and they’ve been dominant. The Cardinals, 2015 2A champions, are beating teams by an average of 70-42, and are the only team in the field with a top five offense (fifth) and defense (fourth). They’re led by a really talented backcourt of Luke Clausen (17.5) and Dillon Faubel (14.5), who are each deadly 3-point shooters and gifted scorers. Faubel has dished out 134 assists on the year, compared to just 51 turnovers, and Jack Stogdill (102 assists, 36 turnovers) is another solid ball handler who they trust to handle the ball and put his teammates in positions to score. 6-8 sophomore Jon Schwarte (9.1) is a difference maker in the paint, blocking nearly three shots a game and shooting 71.6% from the floor.

Wapello is the No. 2 scoring offense in 2A, averaging 74.4 points a game behind the 22.9 of star guard Trenton Massner. An uber athletic guard who can score at all three levels, he’s posted some eye-popping numbers this season and is a load of fun to watch. It’s not often that you see a 6-2 guard dunk as effortlessly as he does, and if he has a chance to make a play in the open court, watch out. Keaton Mitchell, a 6-8 junior, is the team’s primary interior scoring option, averaging 14 points a game. Logan Belzer (13.4, 44.8 3P%) and Gage Witte (10.1, 35.6%) fit in well alongside Massner on the perimeter, giving the Indians plenty of shooting threats.

Treynor is far and away the best defensive team that Wapello has seen this season, and while the Cardinals won’t shy away from running with the Indians, if they can turn it into more of a halfcourt game, the Indians may struggle to score when Treynor is able to dig in.

Players to watch
Treynor: Dillon Faubel (No. 133 in 2018), Luke Clausen (2018), Jon Schwarte (2020)
Wapello: Trenton Massner (No. 89 in 2018), Keaton Mitchell (2019), Logan Belzer (2018)

Our pick: Treynor 63, Wapello 54

 

Marco Balderas

2A Quarterfinal: No. 4 South Hamilton (24-0) vs. No. 5 Aplington-Parkersburg (23-1), 6:30 p.m.

Analysis: This game has the looks of one of the best games of the week, regardless of round or class. The Hawks are one of just four remaining undefeated teams, and have used a dominant defense to get to this point, holding eight teams below 40 points this season. That won’t be very easy this time around, as Aplington-Parkersburg has 2A’s highest scoring offense at 75.5 points a game.

South Hamilton gave last year’s champion Western Christian their toughest game of the tournament last season, and they brought back a good amount from that group. They’re led by the guard tandem of Conner Hill (13.2) and Marco Balderas (14.5), who lead a team that has four players averaging in double figures. This is, by far, the team that is least reliant on the 3-pointer in the 2A field. They’ve attempted just 265 3s on the season, which is 61 fewer than the next lowest, Van Meter, and is 135 fewer than Wapello, which is the next lowest. Instead, they rely on getting to the free throw line (420 attempts, second most in the field) and scoring in the halfcourt. Playing with that type of style could benefit them as teams can struggle to adjust to shooting in the bigger arena.

Aplington-Parkersburg is perhaps the deepest team in 2A, very comfortably going seven deep, and they can stretch that out to 10 players. They’re led by the dynamic duo of Carter Cuvelier (19.1) and Alec Oberhauser (16.2), who both do a majority of their scoring around the rim. Oberhauser is a nightly triple-double threat, and Cuvelier is a really talented slashing wing with a great mid-range game. The Falcons will be looking to push the tempo here, trying to speed up a South Hamilton group that will want to play in the halfcourt, where their outstanding perimeter defenders can really dig in.

Players to watch
South Hamilton: Marco Balderas (No. 51 in 2018), Conner Hill (No. 40 in 2019), Logan Peters (No. 136 in 2019)
Aplington-Parkersburg: Alec Oberhauser (No. 101 in 2018), Carter Cuvelier (No. 28 in 2019)

Our pick: South Hamilton 58, Aplington-Parkersburg 55

 

Parker Badding

2A Quarterfinal: No. 2 Sheldon (21-3) vs. No. 7 Carroll, Kuemper Catholic (15-8), 8:15 p.m.

Analysis: The final game of the day looks like another great one, with a pair of northwestern Iowa teams meeting in an interesting contrast of strengths.

Sheldon is led by their interior duo of 6-6 Kyle Boerhave (13.0) and 6-5 Ryan Van Marel (10.3), who absolutely dominate the glass and score at an eye-poppingly efficient clip. Boerhave shoots 64.6% from the floor and Van Marel is at 67.5%, and the Orabs should have no issues scoring in the paint against a smaller Kuemper Catholic team. Jaden Kleinhesselink (12.7, 44.0 3P%), Tyler Johnson (8.8, 53.4%) and Tyler Merley (7.2, 37.0%) are also really good perimeter shooters who can make teams pay if they try to double Boerhave and Van Marel.

Kuemper Catholic has the worst record in the 2A field, but only one of those losses came to a 2A team. The Knights have a much different look than last year’s post dominated team did, with Parker Badding (22.8. 47.1 3P%), Sam Auen (13.8, 43.6%) and Jared Tigges (9.8, 43.8%) leading the way with some electric shooting performances. The Knights average 70.5 points a game, and they have plenty of state tournament experience, which could play a major role in this game. A team that doesn’t really rely on scoring around the rim, they shouldn’t be too bothered by Sheldon’s size when they have the ball. If Badding, Auen and Tigges are knocking down shots, this team can be the best in 2A, and they’re certainly capable of pulling off the “upset” here.

Players to watch
Sheldon: Kyle Boerhave (No. 26 in 2018), Jaden Kleinhesselink (2018), Ryan Van Marel (2018)
Carroll, Kuemper Catholic: Parker Badding (No. 35 in 2018), Sam Auen (No. 144 in 2018)

Our pick: Kuemper Catholic 68, Sheldon 64