Posted On: 03/4/19 9:34 PM
Bryce Crabb (Grand View Christian) – This guy comes out and does the splits before every game when his name is announced, so it’s no surprise he plays with some swag on the floor. He left it all out there in the Thunder’s narrow win over a tough St. Albert squad. The senior guard scored a game-high 17 points (his ultra athletic put-back lay-in was impressive), and was 4-5 down the stretch from the free-throw line (10-11 in the game) to help secure the win.
Harouna Sissoko (Grand View Christian) – Just one look at Sissoko and you can see, he’s a little bit different than the other guys on the court. A physical specimen, the Mali-born 6’7 forward is an athletic marvel for his age, and has more of a college body right now than an Iowa high school body. He used it well in the Thunder’s 58-51 win over St. Albert, going for 14 points, and showcasing a smooth 3-ball in the process. He was also the leading rebounder with nine. No big dunks for Sissoko today, the Falcons had the basket defended well, but expect some show-stopping jams throughout the week from him.
Trey Shearer (Montezuma) – Up to that point in the day, Shearer was far and away the most electric player at the state tourney. My colleague Tony Roe and I were talking about how he reminded us of Gladbrook-Reinbeck guard and 2017 Iowa Mr. Basketball recipient, Joe Smoldt. Shearer is small, 5’10, but is a skilled and dominant scorer, able to get his shot off whenever he wants, off the bounce, or with a blow-by. He was as efficient as possible from deep, going 5-5. And finished with a game-high 25 points in his first-ever game at state.
Angelo Winkel (Bishop Garrigan) – His team may have been ousted in the first round, but not before the sophomore big-man did some things that stood out. A 6-foot-9 power forward, Winkel came away with two big slams in the loss, the first one from a standstill. Also impressive (although it was a questionable call), was the goal-tend he committed in the third quarter. You’ve got to get way up to goal-tend, something you don’t typically see at the high school ranks; Winkel’s hops were in fine form today. He scored 18 points on 9-17 shooting for the Bears.
Spencer Schorg (St. Mary’s, Remsen) – After a quiet first half, this veteran guard poured in 13 critical points in the second half to help keep his Hawks ahead, albeit barely. This was his third-straight year playing in the 1A quarterfinals, and his experienced showed when he canned three second half 3s and some seriously clutch free-throws down the stretch. He made free-throws with 45 seconds left which put St. Mary’s up one, and they would never trail again. Now, for the third year in a row, the Hawks will play in a 1A semifinal, where they lost to Grand View Christian each of the last two seasons.
Hunter Caves (Alburnett) – The first true breakout star of the tourney, Caves looks like a true star and certainly bona-fide college hoops prospect. He came into the game averaging 13.9 points, so it’s not like he came completely out of nowhere. But with a strong 6’1 frame and some sweet handles he shined brightly in this one. Oh and there was the game-winning shot he banked in with 12 seconds to go. Caves was the game-high scorer in an Alburnett upset win over Sioux Central, going for 19 points. He was also terrific from the free-throw line, making 9-10, and he was the co-team leader in rebounds with eight. He’s fun to watch.
Beau De Jongh (Boyden-Hull) – On a team full of guys that can get it done, no one gets it done better than this lengthy and tough senior forward. De Jongh, a 6’4 senior, came into the state tourney as the team’s leading scorer (14.5), and it didn’t take long for us to see why. He led his to a win over Iowa City Regina while pouring in what was a tournament-high up to that points, 25 points. He shot it well, too, going 7-12 from the floor and 10-14 from the free-throw line.
Conner Hill (South Hamilton) – He was perhaps the best player we saw in the 2A games today, and was getting it done from all over the floor, with great efficiency. It was clear that the senior guard felt right at home on the Wells Fargo Arena court, it is his third-straight season playing here, after-all. He torched Rock Valley for 16 first half points, helping the Hawks build a nine point lead. He finished the game with a game-high 22 points, he was 8-14 from the floor and 3-4 from deep.
Jaxon Rus (Rock Valley) – His team may have lost, but Rus proved himself to be one of the better shooters we’ve seen down here at the state tourney. We were eager to see what his shot looked like after seeing he made 75 3s at a 43 percent clip prior to state, and let us tell you, it’s beautiful. He’s got plenty of range and a high-arching shot, when he misses, it’s not by much. The 6-foot shooting guard poured in a team-high 18 points and made four 3s in a loss to South Hamilton. Look for him to be one of Iowa’s best scorers and shooters next season.
Anthony Pothoff (Van Meter) – Van Meter did not look great in the first half, and saw themselves trailing 18-13 at the break. Things changed in a hurry when Potthoff came out red-hot in the third quarter, he canned two quick 3-balls and helped spur what was a 12-0 run to start the second half. It only took the Bulldogs 3 minutes to score 12 points during the Potthoff-catalyzed outburst. A 6’3 senior, Potthoff finished with a team-high 12 points.