The Favorite: North Scott is led by the senior duo of UNI recruit Ty Anderson (18.8) and Sam Kilburg (15.3). These two are known for their scoring, but they’ve found ways this season to impact the game in multiple ways. Teams will try and contain them, but Landon Eiland, Trent Allard, and freshman Cole Kilburg are all more than capable of stepping up and picking up some of the production on offense. North Scott is one of the best defensive teams in the state, but the tempo they play at allows opponents to stay in games. If North Scott’s offense is not efficient on any given night, that could result in a loss. The Lancers are 6-1 in games decided by double digits, but anything can happen in March.
Biggest threat: Waterloo West has been one of the hottest teams in the state over the past few months. Since losing at Iowa City West by 20 in January, the Wahawks have won nine straight games, including victories over legitimate contenders like Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, and Cedar Falls. The leading scorer for Waterloo West is senior guard Daquavian Walker (13.6). Walker is the floor general for West, and he loves to help push the tempo and get looks in transition. He can shoot the ball a little, but his best game is attacking the rim and getting into the lane to either kick it out or finish at the bucket. Isaiah Johnson is the other double-digit scorer for West, and there are four other Wahawks, including Upper Iowa recruit Caleb Haag, averaging between 8.0 and 7.0 points per contest. Balance will be the key for this West team. If they can compete on both sides of the floor for 32 minutes, they can beat anyone.
Darkhorse: Cedar Rapids Kennedy has had an up and down season. The Cougars have beat the teams they’re supposed to be, but have been blown out by the likes of Iowa City West, Waterloo West, and Dubuque Senior. Kennedy has one of the best big men in the state in junior Caleb Schlaak. The versatile big man is averaging 18.7 points per game, but the question is who can be the main scorer if Schlaak isn’t performing. Forward Brantley Koske and freshman guard Kenzie Reed are averaging 8.5 and 7.8 points per game, respectively. Josh White can get hot from 3. Kennedy should take care of Washington in the first round, but North Scott will be a tough out.
Players to Watch
2020 Daquavion Walker, Waterloo West
2020 Isaiah Johnson, Waterloo West
2021 Ramir Scott, Waterloo East
2022 Trevion Labeaux, Waterloo East
2020 Ozzie Meiborg, Cedar Rapids Jefferson
2022 Brayden Kindhart, Cedar Rapids Jefferson
2020 Ty Anderson, North Scott
2020 Sam Kilburg, North Scott
2021 Caleb Schlaak, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
2020 Campbell Mitvalsky, Cedar Rapids Washington
2020 Quincy Underwood, Cedar Rapids Washington