STATE TOURNAMENT: Previewing Thursday’s Action

High School

Posted On: 03/8/18 10:59 AM

3A Semifinal: No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier (19-6) vs Glenwood (23-2) — 2:00

Analysis: Glenwood is undoubtedly still riding high after their unlikely come-from-behind win over Norwalk. The Warriors had been pulverizing Glenwood, and at its worse, it was 34-14 in the second quarter. But then Glenwood stormed back, it got hot and stayed hot in the second half. They won that one by nine. Xavier comes in after getting by a pesky Marion squad. The Saints didn’t look as sharp as we’ve seen them before, but standout point guard Matthew Mims poured in a tourney-high 32 points in the 67-60 win. This one should be a good.

Players to Watch: Jackson Joens (11th in 2018), Matthew Mims (9th in 2018), Nathan Mohr (21st in 2018)

Our Pick: Xavier 64, Glenwood 61



3A Semifinal: No. 3 Oskaloosa (22-3) vs Waverly-Shell Rock (19-6) — 3:45

Analysis: After a sluggish first half against Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Oskaloosa came out on fire in the second half and never let up. That’s what Oskaloosa can do, they come at you like a bag of bricks. The most talented team in the field, there’s reason to believe the Indians can win this tourney, but Waverly-Shell Rock stands in the way. Led by inside/outside duo of Mosai Newson and Luke Velky, the Go-Hawks look  more like a football team than a basketball team at times. They’ll look to use their strength and grit to to help them upset the title-minded Indians.

Players to Watch: Xavier Foster (1st in 2020), Cole Henry (13th in 2019), Jarad Kruse (49th in 2018), Luke Velky (96th in 2019), Mosai Newson (105th in 2019)

Our Pick: Oskaloosa 77, Waverly-Shell Rock 56



4A Semifinal: No. 1 Iowa City West (20-4) vs No. 4 Waukee (20-4) — 6:30 

Analysis: Two teams that come in with identical records, we expect Waukee and West to play one of the more tightly contested games of the day. West has the best player in Iowa’s 2019 class, Patrick McCaffery, but Waukee has a pair of Division I prospects from the same class, Dylan Jones and Noah Hart. Nathan Johnson is a super bouncy 6’6 wing for Waukee who had a huge game (and a huge dunk) against Johnston in the quarterfinals, Seybian Sims is a 6’6 athletic post for Iowa City West. These two teams match up very evenly, and it’ll be interesting to see how this one unfolds.

Players to Watch: Patrick McCaffery (1st in 2019), Dante Eldridge (72nd in 2019), Seybian Sims (22nd in 2018), Hakeem Odunsi (23rd in 2018), Evan Flitz (65th in 2018), Nathan Johnson (7th in 2018), Noah Hart (10th in 2019), Dylan Jones (11th in 2019)

Our Pick: Waukee 66, Iowa City West 65



4A Semifinal: No. 3 Cedar Falls (19-5) vs No. 7 Valley (17-7) — 8:15

Analysis: Valley is not your typical 7-seed, they’ve won 11 straight coming into this one after a 6-7 start to the season, its last two against top teams Des Moines Hoover and North Scott. Trayvon Williams and Blake Brinkemyer are athletic D1 prospects, and a stable of talented guards and wings bring a ton of experience to the Valley lineup. But the Tigers have the unenviable task of matching up with the state’s second-best player and one of the nation’s best point guards, AJ Green. Green lit up Sioux City East for 28 points in the quartefinals, and it wasn’t even close to as well as we’ve seen him perform in the past. He’s got help this season, too. Logan Wolf is a formidable 6’4 wing who can do a ton of damage if the Tigers try and load up on Green. Cedar Falls looked like the best team in this entire tourney during a shellacking of the Black Raiders on Tuesday.

Player to Watch: AJ Green (2nd in 2018), Logan Wolf (25th in 2019), Trayvon Williams (8th in 2019), Blake Brinkmeyer (3rd in 2018)

Our Pick: Cedar Falls 51, Valley 47