Posted On: 11/26/18 9:00 AM

Angelo Winkel

MONDAY (Nov. 26)

Game of the night: 1A No. 9 St. Edmond, Fort Dodge at 1A No. 2 Bishop Garrigan, Algona

The season starts off with a bang, with a pair of top 10 teams in Class 1A taking the floor on opening night. These teams met in postseason play last year, with Bishop Garrigan knocking off St. Edmond 73-66 in the district semifinal. This is an interesting contrast, as St. Edmond has the best duo of shooters in the class (Andrew Gibb, Jackson Kochendorfer), while no team outside of Grand View Christian has the size that Bishop Garrigan can put on the floor with 6-8 Angelo Winkel, 6-6 TJ Schnurr and 6-5 Cade Winkel. Gibb and Kochendorfer combined to make 108 3-pointers last season, and if Bishop Garrigan wants to get off to a hot start this season, they’ll need to defend the 3-point line like they did in that district semi, when the Gaels were just 5-22 from the arc. The Golden Bears bring back every player from last year’s team, are playing at home and should be able to control the paint and glass en route to an impressive opening win.
Our pick: Bishop Garrigan 75, St. Edmond 67

Others to monitor
1A No. 1 Grand View Christian at Earlham
3A No. 2 Sergeant Bluff-Luton at Sioux City West
Western Dubuque at 3A No. 10 West Delaware


Jack Kelley

TUESDAY (Nov. 27)

Game of the night: 1A No. 6 Don Bosco at Dunkerton

This is a huge early season game in the Iowa Star North, as these two teams plus Janesville look like a clear cut top three in that division. These two split their meetings last year, with each winning at home. Dunkerton won the first meeting, 59-55, while Don Bosco took the later game 62-39. The Dons have a great backcourt in Jack Kelley and Zach Huff who should control the game just about every time they step on the floor this year. If there is a team that can push them in the backcourt in the Iowa Star, it’s Dunkerton, with their top two scorers returning in Zach Johnson and Brady Happel, who combined to average over 30 points a game last year. Neither team has a ton returning outside of their top two, so this one could come down to which role players are more ready to step up.
Our pick: Don Bosco 58, Dunkerton 54

Others to monitor
4A No. 4 Iowa City West at West Des Moines Dowling
Lynnville-Sully at 1A No. 7 Montezuma
Tipton at Iowa City Regina
Durant at West Branch


Dylan Peeters (Photo credit NY2LA)

THURSDAY (Nov. 29)

Game of the night: Dubuque Wahlert at Davenport Assumption

This is always an interesting tilt between a pair of parochial 3A powers from the MVC and the MAC. The Golden Eagles lost a lot of experience and will be pretty small, but bring back a really solid pair of guards in Jacob Schockemoehl and Cael Schmitt. Schockemoehl may be among the leading scorers in the MVC this year, while Schmitt is a tough, albeit undersized, lead guard who makes plays. Assumption will be significantly bigger and more experienced, with four players with starting experience returning. They’re led by the Peeters brothers, Dylan, a wing, and Sean, a big man. They should control the glass and the painted area in this game and notch a victory for the MAC here.
Our pick: Davenport Assumption 62, Dubuque Wahlert 54

Others to monitor
Aplington-Parkersburg at Charles City


Ty Anderson

FRIDAY (Nov. 30)

Game of the night: 4A No. 10 Cedar Rapids Prairie at 4A No. 3 North Scott

This is another big MVC-MAC matchup, and this one has a bit more juice to it as both as inside our top 10 in 4A to start the year. The Lancers return four starters to a team that is always disciplined and tough on the defensive end, while Prairie returns a lot of firepower in the form of the Murray twins, Kris and Keegan, who combined to make 91 3s last year. Prairie looks like they’re going to have a pretty big starting five, with projected starters Logan Burg, Harrison Cook, Kris Murray, Gabe Burkle and Keegan Murray going 6-0, 6-5, 6-7, 6-7 and 6-8, with plenty of shooting to boot. They’ll be a difficult team for North Scott to match up with. North Scott’s Ty Anderson will need to be a major presence in the paint on both ends of the floor here to keep that Prairie size at bay. This likely comes down to which team can dictate the pace. North Scott wants this to be a slower game, while Prairie wants to get up-and-down and use their shooting to spread the floor. Playing in The Pit, we give North Scott the slight edge here in what should be a great game.
Our pick: North Scott 59, Cedar Rapids Prairie 57

Others to monitor
2A No. 6 Camanche at 2A No. 7 Cascade
4A No. 1 Dubuque Senior at Davenport Central
3A No. 3 Norwalk at Indianola
Danville at 1A No. 5 New London
3A No. 8 Pella at Pella Christian
West Des Moines Dowling at 4A No. 8 West Des Moines Valley
Northeast, Goose Lake at West Branch


Aidan Vanderloo


Game of the night: 2A No. 1 Western Christian at 4A No. 9 Sioux City East

The opening Saturday is filled with great games, including a pair of interesting small school vs. big school tilts. Typically in that style of game, you’d anticipate the big school being the one with the size, and the small school being the one trying to speed things up and use their guard play to win. That’s the opposite of this game, as Western Christian has the dominant big man here in Jacob Vis, while Sioux City East has a plethora of guards and wings (Aidan Vanderloo, Jack Peterson, Sayvion Armstrong, Jaleque Dunson, Javonte Keck) who will apply pressure on both ends of the floor all evening. The athleticism and speed of the Black Raiders backcourt should get them the win here at home, but it’ll be a great experience for the Wolfpack, one to build on moving forward.
Our pick: Sioux City East 82, Western Christian 72

Others to monitor
1A No. 1 Grand View Christian at 4A No. 4 Iowa City West
Bettendorf at Linn-Mar
2A No. 3 South Hamilton at West Marshall