Posted On: 12/7/18 4:41 PM
Harrisburg is coming off one of their best seasons in Class AA, while Western Christian Hull looks to continue to be one of the top teams in Class 2A in Iowa.
Harrisburg opens their season after a runner-up finish a season ago. The Tigers do lose some key players from last years run but do return their leading scorer in Nick Hoyt.
The Wolfpack had a rare season last year as they were upset in the final substate game and didn’t make the state tournament for the first time in several years.
Harrisburg plays host to Western Christian Hull at 7:45 p.m. tonight
BREAKING DOWN WESTERN CHRISTIAN HULL & HARRISBURG
TOP PLAYER WESTERN CHRISTIAN HULL
No. 34 G/F Jacob Vis 6-6, Sr.
Last year Vis lead the Wolfpack in scoring at 18.5 points a game, rebounds with 8.5 a game and field goal percentage at 70 percent.
Vis has been a part of some of the successful Wolfpack teams of late. He’ll hope to not have a repeat of last years team that missed the state tournament.
At 6-6 he uses his height extremely well. He’s able to bring the ball up the court and will break down the defense and hammer it home. He’s also not afraid to pull up from deep and expand his range. Last year he was 4-10 from deep.
This year so far he averages 10 points on 33 percent from the field.
TOP PLAYER HARRISBURG
No. 2 G Nick Hoyt 5-10, Sr.
Last season Hoyt led the team in scoring with 13.3 points a game on route to a second-place finish. This year he is the only returning starter for the Tigers. He has been in the gym non-stop this summer working on the ins and outs of his game trying to improve for his last season as a Tiger. He shot 53 percent from the field and was nearly automatic from the line shooting 87.5 percent. He has quick hands on the defensive side of the ball, 26 steals a season ago.
SUPPORTING CAST WESTERN CHRISTIAN HULL
No. 30 G Clay Vantol 6-2, Sr.
Vantol averaged about four points a game last year and was a key role player. This year he hopes to step into a new role. So far this year he has been leading the team in scoring with 16. He has been white-hot from deep as he hit four three’s against Spirit Lake and was a big part in their 17-0 against Spirit Lake late in the game. The Tigers better keep an eye out for him on the three-point line.
No. 5 G Dyson Kooima 5-10, Jr.
Kooima played in 13 games last year averaging about 2 points a game. He also contributed to that 17-0 run against Spirit Lake with his defense and his three-point shooting. This year he’s been one of the best passers on the team with five assists. Watch out for him driving and dumping into the big guys for the layup.
No. 25 G/F Carter Broek 6-5, Sr.
Broek saw action in all 24 games and netted 9 points a game on 55 percent shooting from the field. He was also deadly from deep as he shot 39 percent from downtown. This season so far he averages about 6 points a game. He also has been active on the other side of the ball disrupting the opposing players consistently.
SUPPORTING CAST HARRISBURG
No. 1 F Blair Slaughter 6-4, Sr
Slaughter was one of the top reserves of the bench a season ago. This year he will most likely crack the starting lineup alongside Hoyt. Last year he averaged 6.3 points a game on 54 percent shooting from the field. He was very active on the defensive side getting 22 steals a game.
ONE THING WESTERN CHRISTIAN DOES WELL
It is no secret that Western Christian is big, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they score inside all the time. The Wolfpack are a pretty good shooting team from mid-range and deep. This year they have shot 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. They are also prone to go on long runs throughout the game. They had a 17-0 run against Spirit Lake late in the game that helped put them away for good.
ONE THING HARRISBURG DOES WELL
Harrisburg is a team that can score and score in bunches. Last year they averaged 64 points per game on 45 percent shooting. They were also really good on the defensive side of the ball.
ONE AREA WESTERN CHRISTIAN STRUGGLES
Rebounding. I know it’s odd because of how big they have been in the past and currently are. But in their game against Spirit Lake, they only outrebounded them by three, 27-24. If they are able to control both sides of the boards in games then that will help them tremendously.
ONE AREA HARRISBURG STRUGGLES
This one is probably a little more evident. The Tigers only return one starter from last year and one player off the bench that played a significant role from their state tournament run last year. It will be interesting to see who else starts and become Hoyt’s supporting cast this season.
Prediction: Overall it should be a great game. Two teams that are usually in the rankings in their respective classes. But I think Western Christian pulls this one out and defeats a Harrisburg team who returns only one starter from last season.