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Posted On: 11/21/18 5:00 PM
Tick tock, the season is almost here. Practice started across Iowa on Nov. 12, and games will start across the state on Tuesday, Nov. 27. That gives us just enough time to bring some quantitative lists, counting down the best returners in a given statistical category. The series continues with us bringing you the best returning rebounders, from 4A to 1A.
10 Gabe Larkin, E-B-F — 8.3
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont is our No. 5 team in 2A’s Way Too Early Top 10 poll, and Larkin is a big reason why. He brings back not only 8.3 rebounds per game, but also 13.2 points and 1.8 blocks. It could be a special season ahead for both Larkin and the Rockets.
9 Brendan Hoyer, Northeast, Goose Lake — 8.7
One of the few guys on any of these rebounding lists who actually wasn’t his team’s leader in the category last season. Luke Empen was the rebounding leader in Goose Lake last season, that means there will be that many more on the table for Hoyer this season.
8 Jacob Vis, Western Christian — 8.8
A remarkably efficient offensive player, Vis connected on 70 percent of his field goal attempts last season. That’s his best strength. But at 6-foot-7, he’s able to man the glass, too. Vis will be not only one of the best big-men in Class 2A this season, but one of the best in the state, regardless of class.
7 Colton Harberts, Dike-New Hartford — 8.9
Whenever you get the football guys onto the hardwood, they tend to be a little more physical than the others. Such is the case for Harberts, who is a standout with the Wolverines football team. He’ll be looking to average double-digit rebounds this season.
6 Keaton Mitchell, Wapello — 9.0
A Truman State commit, Mitchell helped lead Wapello to a 2A state tourney berth last season while averaging nine boards, 14 points and 1.7 blocks per game. Now, Trenton Massner is graduated, and the lengthy 6-foot-8 big is the clear top-dog in Wapello. Mitchell is poised to post some monster numbers this winter.
T3 Andrew Van Ryswyk, PCM, Monroe — 9.5
There’s a lot to be excited about in Monroe this season, they could emerge as a state tourney candidate come February. Van Ryswyk has been at it for a while now, and he heads into his senior season ready to dominate off the heels of a 12.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game junior season.
T3 Joe Halverson, West Marshall — 9.5
A lean but strong combo forward, Halverson averaged just 3.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore and saw that number increase dramatically last season. He’ll be looking for nothing short of a double-double each night out for the Trojans this season as a senior.
T3 Ben Wolgemuth, Mediapolis — 9.5
We spoke with Wolgemuth recently for a prospect spotlight, and he’s eager to get his senior season underway. A do-it-all combo-forward, he’s going to be a handful for opponents this winter, and will especially give them fits on the glass.
2 Ben Heeren, Ogden — 9.6
Here’s a guy who just looks like a player, 6-foot-5 with long arms, Heeren uses his length to get in there and swoop boards on both ends of the floor. Keaton Mitchell and Joe Halverson are the only returners who had more offensive rebounds than Heeren. A true playmaker, he’ll keep possessions alive and will light it up this season for Ogden.
1 James Betz, G-H-V — 9.9
Just one-tenth of a rebound away from averaging a double-double last season for the Cardinals, you can bet that Betz will get there this season. He’s long, strong and ultra-athletic and now that he’s a senior, the team will certainly be his to lead. This Northern Iowa signee is going top have a big-time season, and will be worth the price of admission for GHV- area folks.