Posted On: 11/7/18 5:01 PM
Ar-We-Va, Westside (17-4)
It’s been a good run for the Rockets of late, and it appears their great success will continue through the 2018-19 season. The top two scorers from last season’s 17-win squad are back, that’s Drew Schurke and Keegan Simons. Guys like seniors Derek Oeser and Wyatt Neumann will step up and be big-time players this season.
Boyer Valley (19-4)
Joe Weber had a magnificent career for Boyer Valley, but he graduated last season. That’s 22.3 points per game that will need to be replaced. Sophomore Gavin Reineke is the leading returning scorer for the Bulldogs, he averaged 6.9 points last season; is he up for the challenge?
CAM, Anita (16-6)
The Cougars’ dynamic duo from a season ago is now graduated, that was Thomas Hensley and Nicholas Holste. Another Holste, junior Jacob Holste, is now in line to be the main-main for CAM. Other role players from a season ago, DeShawn Carr and Nathan Hensley will need to step up this year.
Coon Rapids-Bayard (10-12)
The Crusaders have a lot to look forward to this season, not the least of which is the return of preseason conference player of the year, Ben Obert. Isaac Leighty is back for his junior year, he averaged 7.0 points per game last season. Can the Crusaders get over the hump and finish above .500 this year? We think so.
Exira, EHK (15-8)
Oh boy, things are looking good in Exira this season. The four top scorers from last season are back, including big-man Dakota Rold, who is one of the state’s leading shot-blockers.Senior Cole Burmeister is going to be one of the best playmakers in the conference, he averaged a team-best 14.7 points and 6.5 assists per game as a junior.
Brigham Daniel will be one to keep an eye on, the sophomore was one of the better scoring freshman in the state last season, and he’s the leading returning scorer for the Wildcats. The top three scorers from last year, though, are gone, and it could be tough to better the nine win total from last winter.
Jake Berns’ stellar career came to an end last season, that will be 18.8 points per game that need to be accounted for. The Rockets will have some firepower with junior Tyler Miller, he averaged 10.9 points per game a season ago. A group of now-seniors have been waiting their turn to make a major impact, this will be their season to do so.
West Harrison (3-19)
After a rough go last year, West Harrison has a chance to make some noise this season. Just one player from last season’s team is gone, that’s Gage Gustafson, who averaged 3.5 points per game. The rest of the squad is back — including big-time scorers Ty Houston and Nick Rife — and ready to make the Hawkeyes relevant.
It will be the Lane Pryor show this season, and after showcasing himself as one of the state’s elite scoring freshman last season, he’s looking to establish himself as a true top 2021 prospect this season. Including Pryor, the Tigers’ top five scorers return. Could they be ready to make a surge to the top of the standings.
Projected Order of Finish
2 Ar-We-Va, Westside
3 Coon Rapids-Bayard
4 Boyer Valley
6 West Harrison
7 CAM, Anita
It’s tough to pick against Ar-We-Va here, after-all, they won 19 games last season and the Rockets return their top two scorers. But we think this is the year of the Spartan. The best big-man in the conference is Dakota Rold, and Cole Burmeister is a guy that can flat-out make plays. Should Ar-We-Va win this thing again, we’ll be less-than-surprised. But the Spartans are a big hurdle standing in the way.
Preseason Player of the Year
Ben Obert, Coon Rapids-Bayard — 2019
After an absolutely monster junior season, the conference’s leading scorer returns for what should be a very special senior season for him. The Crusaders won 10 games last season, and with Obert back plus two other key scorers, there’s bound to be big expectations in Coon Rapids this winter.
Gavin Reineke, Boyer Valley — 2021
After spending his freshman season learning from the likes of all-time Bulldogs great Joe Weber, Reineke is set to take the reins in Boyer Valley this season. He was very effective as a freshman, going for 6.9 points per game, but with the squad’s top three scorers from last season now graduated, it could be a year where Reineke scores more than 15 points per game.