Posted On: 06/14/18 3:40 PM
Last Saturday in Indianola was eventful, these June team camps usually are. There’s fresh faces that emerge, established standouts eager to show their improvements and soon-to-be winter-time rivalries can bud. All of that occurred at the Simpson Team Camp, here’s five of the best story-lines from the event.
Valley vs North, Official Rivalry
Well this one was interesting. North wasn’t even in the gym until a minute before the game was going to start. And it didn’t take long once the game started for things to get testy between star players Trayvon Williams and Tyreke Locure; the two had to be talked to by a ref after a couple small quarrels early on. Later, the coaches had a not-so-small squabble of their own. The game was tightly contested for the most part, had two key North players not fouled out in the second half, it probably would have come down to the wire. But Valley ended up winning by 20 instead. It’s clear that there’s no love lost between the two programs, maybe stemming from the epic state tourney quarterfinal final match from two seasons ago. Both teams will be good next season, and when they meet up, it will be must-watch hoops.
Carlisle’s Dynamic Duo
We knew Collin Lister could light it up, and there was no doubt that he’d have a big game against Clear Creek-Amana. He did just that, scoring 33 points and bullying the opponent in a blowout win. But he wasn’t even the leading scorer on his team. Trenton Beck, who averaged a little more than three points per game last season as a junior, notched a legit 34 points. He’s an athletic 6’3 guard who makes up the second part for what looks to be one of the more dynamic duos in Class 3A next season.
This team is fun. There’s an endearing uplifting demeanor with this squad, a positivity that starts with rising senior Felix Gallagher, that makes them really likable. Whether winning or losing, the team’s sunny disposition never wavered. And after trailing at halftime against Urbandale, they came out in the second half with guns blazing, taking the lead within mere moments. It really seemed like the team’s lively attitude is what carried them past some hardships in the first half, and into a second half of cohesion and success. Then there’s the talent on the floor. Josiah Conkrite will be one of the more dynamic guards in the CIML next season. Rising junior Nate Feller brings some nice size and skill to the table, and his classmate Maiwut Jock is a 6’7, long and bouncy big-man who could spell trouble opponents the next two seasons. the Rails are certainly on the up and up.
There’s a handful of teams in the state that are always good, they never seem to have down years. And for the better half of a decade now, Valley has been one of those programs. Next winter that trend will continue. Trayvon Williams, a Division I prospect who might be the best slasher in the state, is back after a strong junior season. Agueck Deng is an athletic 6’7 combo-forward who could be a top-5 dunker in the state; he’s been biding his time, and will finally get a chance to flourish next season as a senior. Will Berg is a top-5 2020 in Iowa, and will be a big-time factor next season in the post, his classmate Jake Auer looks like a guy who can step in as a junior and make an impact as a sharpshooter. Expect Valley to again be a state tournament caliber squad.
We’re not going to pretend that we’re aficionados on the pros and cons of small college campuses, but it really seems like Simpson is nice little spot to go to school. Coming into Indianola — Iowa’s 29th biggest city — southbound from Highway 69, you’ll see a striking Simpson College sign before you even see the “Welcome to Indianola” one. A Simpson sign which proudly and clearly states “Founded 1860.” The school has been around for 158 years (!), so it kind of knows what it’s doing. The campus is stately, the high lamp posts, each with big colonial-looking bulbs perched on top are a strewn throughout. The campus is well-maintained and quiet, but just a couple blocks from the town’s main artery, Highway 69. Indianiola is lucky to have this gem of a school.