Posted On: 03/26/19 11:05 AM
You could make strong arguments for any of the top three on this list as the player of the year in 4A, but we’ll give the edge to the future Ohio State lead guard. He led the Bulldogs to a #1 ranking this season and was the team’s leader in every major category except blocks. An explosive athlete, he’ll contribute across the board next year for the Buckeyes.
Another player with a strong POY argument is McCaffery, who set single-game (42) and career (1,550) scoring records at tradition-rich West High. A hyper efficient scoring forward, the 6-9 senior provides all sorts of versatility on both ends of the floor. He led the Trojans in scoring, rebounding and steals, and helped take them to their state record-tying ninth straight state tournament. He’ll play college ball for his dad at Iowa next year.
One of the most decorated careers in Iowa high school history came from Locure, who finishes his career with 2,281 points, 655 assists and 345 steals, which rank 13th, 11th and 13th all-time, respectively, regardless of class, and 2nd, 2nd and 1st all-time in 4A. The electrifying lead guard will play his college ball at Division I South Alabama, and he was the leading scorer in 4A this year.
The future Northern Iowa forward is a remarkable story, after potentially losing his leg last year to compartment syndrome, he bounced back and became more explosive than ever. One of the best shooters in the state, regardless of class or position, he showed just how dominant and explosive a scorer he can be in the Rams substate final win over Bettendorf, scoring 16 first quarter points en route to upsetting the #1 Bulldogs. He helped Senior reach the 4A title game, where they narrowly lost to Cedar Falls.
One half of the outstanding Murray twins at Prairie, Keegan led the Hawks in scoring, rebounding and steals, while finishing second in assists and blocks. An efficient, 6-8 scoring wing, he also turned up the defensive effort this season, showing that he can be a high-level defender and scorer that Division I programs should be coveting. He and twin brother Kris will take an official visit to Western Illinois this coming weekend.
Aidan Vanderloo, Sioux City East (2019)
Stats: 22.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 52.5 FG%, 51.6 3P%, 81.0 FT%
The 6-2 senior guard is one of the most efficient shooters the state has seen, knocking in over 50% of his 3-point attempts and helping lead the Black Raiders back to the state tournament. He’ll continue his basketball career at Iowa, as he recently accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Hawkeyes.
Logan Wolf, Cedar Falls (2019)
Stats: 15.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 52.7 FG%
One of the most clutch players in the state, Wolf helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back state titles this season, delivering big play after big play on both ends of the floor. A long, athletic, 6-4 wing, he’ll play both football and basketball at Northern Iowa next season.
Evan Gauger, Indianola (2019)
Stats: 27.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.9 blocks, 56.8 FG%, 73.5 FT%
Another player who will be joining the crew in Cedar Falls at Northern Iowa, Gauger finished second in 4A in scoring this season, and did so at a remarkably efficient clip, posting shooting splits of 57-35-74. He led the Indians in every major statistical category and carried them to their most successful season in years.
Cliff McCray, Sioux City West (2019)
Stats: 20.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 59.8 FG%, 84.0 FT%
Few players in the state posted better stats than the future Southwest Minnesota State lead guard, who posted four triple-doubles this season, and fell just short a handful more times. Had he been able to lead the Wolverines to the state tournament, he probably would’ve landed on the first team. A big, physical, athletic point guard, he can defend either perimeter spot on the defensive end, and is a menace on the offensive end, using his supreme athleticism and skills to score efficiently.
Kris Murray, Cedar Rapids Prairie (2019)
Stats: 18.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.4 blocks, 55.3 FG%, 76.6 FT%
The other half of the Murray twin combination at Prairie, Kris ranked second on the team in scoring and rebounding, while leading the team in blocked shots. Also an efficient 6-8 scoring wing, the lefty can score from anywhere on the floor and has the size and length to be a versatile option on both ends of the floor. He and Keegan helped lead the Hawks to their first conference title since 2001.
Trey Hutcheson, Linn-Mar (2019)
Stats: 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 blocks, 43.2 FG%, 81.4 FT%
Tamin Lipsey, Ames (2022)
Stats: 17.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.2 steals, 52.3 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 72.2 FT%
Ty Anderson, North Scott (2020)
Stats: 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks. 59.1 FG%, 76.6 FT%
Dylan Jones, Waukee (2019)
Stats: 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 73.7 FG%, 78.8 FT%
Tyrese Nickelson, Waterloo East (2019)
Stats: 24.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 49.1 FG%, 81.9 FT%
Keshawn Pegues, Davenport Central (2019)
Noah Hart, Waukee (2019)
Jack Wetzel, Cedar Rapids Kennedy (2020)
Japannah Kellogg, Ames (2019)
Trayvon Williams, West Des Moines Valley (2019)
Honorable mentions: Cortaviaus Seales, North Scott (2019); Matt Stilwill, Dowling Catholic (2019); Mick McCurry, Cedar Rapids Washington (2019); Peyton Williams, Johnson (2019); Adam Jackson, Des Moines Hoover (2019); Gatdoar Bijiek, Des Moines North (2019); Hosea Treadwell, Des Moines Hoover (2019); Jaleque Dunson, Sioux City East (2020); Quinn Vesey, Indianola (2019); Willie Guy, Cedar Rapids Jefferson (2019); Sam Glenn, Southeast Polk (2019); Michael Duax, Dubuque Hempstead (2021)