Posted On: 03/7/19 11:09 PM
The team-high 20 points for the Lions was nice, but the real reason that the 6-1 senior wing is on this list is the work he did against Norwalk star guard Bowen Born. Born ended up scoring 32 points, but it took him 31 shots to do so, and Enke’s defense was a major reason why. A versatile defender with great length, he contested every shot that Born took and made Born really work for those points. On the offensive end, he had some key buckets to keep Clear Lake in the game and displayed a solid stroke from the perimeter. He has been really good this week for the Lions.
Formanek came off the bench and really provided Clear Lake with a boost, scoring 13 points on 5-6 shooting and finishing through contact on a few occasions to draw the foul. He showed off some solid footwork on the low block, carving out space and finishing on either side of the rim. He even popped out and knocked down a 3 for good measure. And his length allowed him to create some issues on the defensive end as well, blocking a pair of shots and swiping a few steals. Just a sophomore, he’ll be a key piece for the Lions moving forward.
The senior guard scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first half, showing off a little bit of everything in his arsenal while doing so. A physically strong guard, he’s always been at his best when he was attacking the rim and playing downhill, and that hasn’t changed. He likes to get to the rim, where his strength allows him to finish through the contact. But he displayed an improved stroke from deep, and he competes on the glass on both ends of the floor. A solid playmaker, his ability to break down a defense was key for the Huskies throughout the year.
There were a few questionable shot choices late in the game in Oskaloosa’s win over Winterset, but there’s no denying the impact that Foster makes on any game he plays in. The 6-11 junior is the epitome of the modern day with his ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim. He showcased that elite athleticism and length late in the game when he took one of those ill-advised 3s, but made up for it by sprinting down the court and making a game-saving block.
The talented playmaking forward was back to doing what he does best on Thursday afternoon, playing in the high post and making plays for himself and others. The high-low look that Henry and Foster can give the Indians against the zone is really difficult to defend because of Henry. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim for finishes with his great footwork, and he’s one of the best passers in the state. When he’s playing like this, attacking and distributing, the Indians are tough to beat.
In a game that lacked much on the offensive end, Anderson scored a game-high 15 points and displayed a little bit of everything in his steadily developing arsenal. A long, athletic lefty, his footwork is improving and he looked to score on the block throughout the evening. He popped out and knocked down a 3, and he showcased a silky stroke at the line, knocking down all six of his attempts. As he continues adding range to his jumper, and adding strength to make himself more of a physical presence on the block, the sky is the limit for Anderson. He dominated the glass and is a versatile, switchable defender.
It wasn’t an eye-popping night in terms of efficiency like it generally is with the future UNI football and basketball player, but Wolf delivered some huge plays at the right time for the Tigers, who advanced to the 4A championship, where they’ll have a chance to defend their title. A long, athletic wing with the ability to guard just about any spot at the high school level, he’s one of the more clutch players we’ve seen in the last few years, with the ability to deliver big play after big play late in games, on either end of the floor, as he did with his huge block on Tavi Seales at a key moment in the fourth quarter.
Sandfort has established himself as one of the best players in the 2021 class around the state, but it’s been mainly on the strength of his offensive abilities, namely his shooting. But he was really good in the semifinal loss to Senior on the defensive end. For a good chunk of his minutes, he was assigned the Noah Carter role, which is no easy task. And the 6-5 sophomore rose to the occasion, holding Carter to 5 points on 2-7 shooting in his possessions on him, including a block on a Carter 3. Those 5 points came on Carter’s last two shots with Sandfort on him, so he started 0-5 with an airball. Sandfort has great length and uses his high IQ to make up for a slight lack of quickness. The future is really bright for this young wing. And, of course, he also contributed on the offensive end, including a pair of pretty 3-balls.
The future Upper Iowa big man is the model of consistency and despite battling foul trouble for much of the second half, he contributed in a big way for the Warriors. He’s a smart defender with the versatility to switch onto guards for an occasional possession, and is generally a smart and sound interior defender. On the offensive end he’s really efficient, getting lots of his buckets by slipping screens and getting to the rim as a roll man. He’s got great form on his jumper, and should become a quality stretch-4 at the next level, as his free throw stroke is pure.
Carter got off to a rocky start, but he took over in the fourth quarter, scoring eight straight points for the Rams and showing every bit of his offensive arsenal in the process. He’s a fantastic shooter with a quick release and great range, and he’s capable of scoring from all sorts of angles on the block. The emotional leader of the Rams, he helped carry them into the title game, battling through some adversity and delivering when Senior really needed some buckets.