Posted On: 01/22/21 2:24 PM
Panorama (11-1) at ACGC (9-3)
Panorama won the first meeting this year, 72-64, back on December 18. The Panthers have a balanced attack, with four players averaging between 9.1 and 10.9 points a game, which can make them difficult to defend. Zach Rizzuti Zach Rizzuti 6'2" | CG Panorama | 2021 State IA (10.9) is the leading scorer and paces an attack that features a number of shooting threats.
The Chargers have three players averaging in double-figures, led by senior guard Eli Kading (17.2), a versatile scoring threat who also pulls down nearly 8 rebounds a game. Miles Kading (11.1) and Lucas Marsh (10.1) are the only double-digit scorers, while Ben Marsh (8.9) and Charlie Crawford (8.5) give them a nice, balanced attack. This group pounds the offensive glass, averaging over 12 offensive boards a game.
Waterloo West (6-3) at 4A #1 Cedar Falls (8-0)
After Waterloo West swept the season series last year, Cedar Falls got some revenge with a 54-27 win on December 18. The Wahawks have lost just once since that setback, so they’re playing good basketball. West lost a lot of production off of last year’s team, but they’ve gotten great play from senior forward Amar Kuljuhovic Amar Kuljuhovic 6'6" | C Waterloo West | 2021 State IA (16.2), a throwback big man who loves to score on the block with a wide array of post moves.
Cedar Falls is absolutely rolling teams this season, winning games by an average of 32 points a game. Now, they haven’t played the most difficult schedule yet this year, but their closest game was against Senior, a 13-point win, and no other team has come within 25 points of the Tigers. Landon Wolf Landon Wolf 6'5" | CG Cedar Falls | 2021 State IA (15.3) and Chase Courbat Chase Courbat 6'9" | C Cedar Falls | 2021 State IA (12.5) are the leaders of this group. Both are Northern Iowa signees, and together they form one of the best inside-out tandems in the state. Wolf is a knockdown shooter, shooting nearly 52% from behind the arc, while Courbat is one of the best defensive bigs in the Midwest. Junior lead guard Trey Campbell Trey Campbell 6'4" | PG Cedar Falls | 2022 State IA (12.8) is lightning quick, while senior wing Carter Janssen Carter Janssen 6'5" | SF Cedar Falls | 2021 State IA (11.5) gives them a big, talented playmaker and passer on the wing. Dallas Bear Dallas Bear 6'8" | SF Cedar Falls | 2023 State IA (4.8) is a long, skilled sophomore who already holds a Division I offer from Bryant, and senior big Joe Knutson Joe Knutson 6'8" | PF Cedar Falls | 2021 State IA (6.6) will play Division II ball at Truman State. This team is loaded with talent.
3A #2 Pella (10-1) at Indianola (8-3)
Expect plenty of points in this one, as Pella averages 70.3 points a game, and Indianola isn’t far behind, putting up 69.6 a night. Furthermore, in the last five meetings between these teams, they’re averaging a combined 152 points a game. Pella is coming off their first loss of the year, an upset setback against Des Moines Christian on Tuesday night. The Dutch have three players averaging in double figures in Grant Nelson Grant Nelson 6'1" | SF Pella | 2021 State IA (17.2), Karl Miller Karl Miller 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (16.5) and Noah Allen Noah Allen 5'10" | PG Pella | 2022 State IA (14.3), while Parker Elder Parker Elder 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (8.2), Josh Warner (6.1) and Ryan Mace (5.3) give them solid production as well.
Indianola has been playing great basketball after the break, winning all five games by an average of 28.6 points a game. The Indians are led by sophomore wing Drew Kingery Drew Kingery 6'4" | SF Indianola | 2023 State IA (18.5), a super-talented young player who can score from all three levels. Caden Rehmeier Caden Rehmeier 6'5" | PF Indianola | 2021 State IA (16.6) is a hyper-efficient forward with the ability to score inside and out (50% from 3), and this group does a great job sharing the ball, averaging over 18 assists a game, led by CJ Kuehl (5.3, 6.7 assists).
1A #5 Lake Mills (11-0) at Osage (10-4)
Despite losing some key pieces to graduation, Lake Mills has picked up right where they left off last year, when they were the #1 seed at the 1A state tournament. The Bulldogs are off to a blazing 11-0 start, winning by an average of 30 points a game. Senior guard Dashawn Linnen Dashawn Linnen 6'3" | SG Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (19.7) leads three averaging in double figures, joined by junior Wyatt Helming (13.8) and senior forward Caleb Bacon Caleb Bacon 6'4" | PF Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (12.5, 10.2 rebounds). The ’Dogs do an excellent job sharing the ball, dishing out over 18 assists a game, and, anchored by Bacon, they pound the offensive glass hard (12.3 a game). They aren’t a great perimeter shooting team (outside of Linnen), but they use that physicality to get a lot of easy buckets and second chances around the rim.
The Green Devils have traditionally been one of the best defensive teams in 2A, but they’ve been more of a middle-of-the-pack team this year, allowing 54.9 points a game. Senior guard Eric Bobinet (16.5) and juniors Nathan Havel Nathan Havel 6'2" | PF Osage | 2022 State IA (11.9) and Tyler Oberfoell (11.4) are the leaders for this group, who, like Lake Mills, crash the offensive glass hard (12.4 a game). Controlling the glass could go a long way in this matchup.
4A #3 Johnston (4-1) at 4A #5 Valley (6-1)
Valley won the first meeting this year, 64-61, just 17 days ago. Johnston hasn’t lost since. Both teams shot really well in that meeting, with Johnston shooting 56.5% from the floor and the Tigers clocking in at 51.1%. The difference was that Valley was 11-13 from the free-throw line, and Johnston just 1-1. The Dragons are led by a trio of talented guards in Reid Grant Reid Grant 6'1" | PG Johnston | 2021 State IA (14.8), Steven Kramer Steven Kramer 6'5" | SG Johnston | 2022 State IA (12.4), and Trey Lewis Trey Lewis 5'10" | PG Johnston | 2022 State IA (11.2), who surround efficient big man Max Roquet Max Roquet 6'6" | C Johnston | 2021 State IA (8.0, 8.2 rebounds).
Ty Walker Ty Walker 5'11" | PG Valley | 2021 State IA (21.4) has led a somewhat surprisingly strong start from Valley. Walker has been fantastic, posting 53-47-85 shooting splits to lead a potent Tigers attack. Junior big men Eli Raridon Eli Raridon 6'7" | PF Valley | 2022 State IA (18.4) and Ruot Bijiek (14.4) have been fantastic in the paint and on the glass, giving them a pair of big, physical, and athletic forwards to contend with.
4A #8 Hempstead (7-2) at 3A #9 Wahlert Catholic (6-3)
Hempstead won the first meeting, 58-46, just ten days ago, despite shooting just 2-14 from behind the arc. The Mustangs are led by the dynamic senior wing tandem of Michael Duax Michael Duax 6'5" | SF Hempstead | 2021 State IA (21.8) and Jamari Smith Jamari Smith 6'4" | SF Hempstead | 2021 State IA (13.4), a pair of talented, high-scoring wings. Duax has signed to play college ball at Northern Iowa. They’ve gotten strong production out of 6-9 junior big Cameron Fens Cameron Fens 6'10" | C Hempstead | 2022 State IA (9.9, 6.6 rebounds) and junior guard Kellen Strohmeyer Kellen Strohmeyer 6'3" | SG Hempstead | 2022 State IA (8.9) as well.
Wahlert has been led by Nathan Donovan (14.3), who is averaging an eye-popping 4.6 steals a game for the Golden Eagles. TJ Fowler TJ Fowler 5'9" | PG Wahlert Catholic | 2021 State IA (10.8) is a dynamic guard who can explode for 20-25 points on a given night, and sophomore big man Duke Faley (9.6) has been solid on the interior.
Spencer (7-4) at 2A #4 Western Christian (11-3)
Spencer won the first meeting this year, 63-56, back on December 11. That was a rare win in this series for the Tigers, as Western Christian holds an all-time 25-2 edge. Junior wing Karter Petzenhauser Karter Petzenhauser 6'4" | SG Spencer | 2022 State IA (23.3) had 22 points in that game, and he has established himself as one of the premier scorers in the state. Senior Landon Ellis (10.7) and junior Evan Schmidt (9.6) have developed as solid secondary scoring options for Spencer.
Western Christian has won five straight games by an average of 29.2 points a game. The Wolfpack are led by junior wing Ty Van Essen Ty Van Essen 6'4" | PF Western Christian | 2022 State IA (16.6, 8.0 rebounds), who has been remarkably efficient, posting shooting splits of 64-48-74 this season. Wyatt Gulker (11.1, 40.5 3P%), Tyson Boer (9.2, 40.5 3P%), and Eli Van Essen (8.3, 35.1 3P%) join Van Essen to give the Pack a multitude of shooting threats.
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