Conference Preview: North Central

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Posted On: 11/5/18 12:24 PM

The Teams (2017-18 record in parenthesis)

 

Algona (13-9)

Wyatt Wegener was the best player on a 13-win team a season ago, and great news for the Bulldogs, he’s back and better than before, ready to prove he can be one of the state’s most productive juniors. Other juniors Collin Bleich and Jason Cecil are poised for big, impact seasons.  

 

Clarion-Goldfield (13-11)

There will be a completely new starting five for the Cowboys, all five starters last season were seniors. As a result, we don’t exactly know what we’re going to get out of this team this winter. Avery Harrington was slated to be the leading returning scorer, but he’ll be playing for Ames this winter. As a result, Brier Boyd, who averaged 1.4 points per game last season is the leading returning scorer. 

 

Clear Lake (17-5)

One of the most prolific guys in the state, Zack Lester, graduated last season from Clear Lake. And the Lions will have to replace the athletic point guard’s whopping 30.2 points per game. Drew Enke is a guy who looked good this offseason when we saw him, he’s a senior now, and will be a capable leader for this team. Other seniors Tate Storbeck and Jared Penning will have increased roles. 

 

Hampton-Dumont (1-20)

It was a rough one for the Bulldogs last season, winners of just one game, a 49-47 triumph over Grundy Center. They’ll return a core of contributors from that team, but the two best scorers graduated. Wyatt Sutter is a junior who’s the returning leading scorer. But it could be another rough winter for Hampton-Dumont.

 

Humboldt (7-15)

There’s reason to be optimistic for any team embarking into a fresh season, but especially for this Humboldt squad. The three top scorers from a season ago are back, that’s Calvin Carlson, Jamsion Heinz and Owen Terwillinger. Can those three get this team over .500? We think so. 

 

Iowa Falls-Alden (8-13)

Iowa’s 2nd-ranked 2021 resides on this roster, giving the Cadets a bonafide superstar with Karson Sharar. He’ll be worth the price of admission alone, but guys like Logan Aldinger and Luke Haverkamp will be pillars of this team’s success, too. Expect the Cadets to be much-improved from a season ago.

 

St. Edmond (12-11)

The conference’s preseason player of the year is Gaels sharpshooter Andrew Gibb, and that’s saying something considering D1 prospect Karson Sharar is in the mix. Another sharpshooter, Jackson Kochendorfer, is going to help out, and those two could make more 3s than any other duo in the state. 

 

Webster City (14-9)

After nice season last winter, it’ll be a bit of a new-look Lynx squad this year. Their top two scorers, Jordan Tanner and Cameron Moen have graduated, and that leaves a big opportunity for a big guy, Henry Hoversten. A 6-foot-7 center, Hoversten is the leading returning scorer and rebounder, he’ll be the main-man in Webster City. 

 

Projected Order of Finish 

1 St. Edmond

2 Algona

3 Humboldt

4 Iowa Falls-Alden

5 Clear Lake

6 Webster City

7 Clarion-Goldfield

8 Hampton-Dumont

 

Analysis

This is not an easy conference to pick, and there’s certainly no clear-cut favorite here. St. Edmond has the conference’s preseason player of the year, and the best shooting duo, so we gave them the nod. Iowa Falls-Alden has some serious outside threats, too; them along with Humboldt and Algona are all viable candidates to bring home a conference crown. 

 

Preseason Player of the Year

Andrew Gibb, St. Edmond— 2019

Known as one of the best shooters in Iowa, there’s a lot more to Gibb’s game than just an elite jumper. He’s adept at getting the rim, and his extraordinary length is something that benefits him both from beyond the arc and when he gets into the lane. He had a monster junior season with the Gaels, and could be one of the more prolific guys in Iowa this winter. 

 

Biggest Sleeper

Logan Aldinger, Iowa Falls-Alden — 2020

As a sophomore he was really good, averaging 10.7 points and connecting on 47 3s. But he was still playing in the shadow of freshman standout Karson Sharar, a 6-foot guard who holds a Drake offer. This year will be no different, all opposing defenses will be ultra keyed in on Sharar, but that will leave Aldinger — who we saw can six straight 3s in a summer league game at Drake — to go of. We think he’ll have a monster season. 

 

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE (Click Here)