Posted On: 02/12/21 3:48 PM
4A #1 Cedar Falls (13-0) at 3A #9 Western Dubuque (13-3)
Top-ranked Cedar Falls holds a commanding two-game lead over Western Dubuque in the MVC Mississippi Division, and can essentially wrap up the league title with a win here. The Tigers have been an absolute juggernaut this year, averaging 78.8 points a game, which ranks first in 4A. They’re averaging 87.4 points a game in the last five, led by senior wing Landon WolfLandonWolf6'5" | CGCedar Falls | 2021StateIA (16.6, 49.0 3P%), a hyper-efficient wing who makes everything look easy. He and fellow senior big man Chase CourbatChaseCourbat6'9" | CCedar Falls | 2021StateIA (11.5, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) are both signed to play at Northern Iowa, while junior guard Trey CampbellTreyCampbell6'4" | PGCedar Falls | 2022StateIA (15.6, 5.0 assists, 59.0 FG%) recently picked up an offer from the Panthers. Senior wing Carter JanssenCarterJanssen6'5" | SFCedar Falls | 2021StateIA (9.9, 4.7 assists), sophomore wing Dallas BearDallasBear6'8" | SFCedar Falls | 2023StateIA (6.7, 45.3 3P%) and senior big man Joe KnutsonJoeKnutson6'8" | PFCedar Falls | 2021StateIA (7.6, 68.3 FG%) round out an extremely talented top-six.
Western Dubuque is led by a pair of talented seniors who have been varsity contributors for a long time in stretch-4 Dylan JohnsonDylanJohnson6'6" | SFWestern Dubuque | 2021StateIA (15.2, 7.3 rebounds) and guard Garrett BaumhoverGarrettBaumhover6'0" | PGWestern Dubuque | 2021StateIA (14.6, 5.4 assists). Junior guard Nick BryantNickBryant5'9" | PGWestern Dubuque | 2022StateIA (11.3) is another double-figure scorer for the Bobcats, who shoot 39.1% from behind the arc as a team. They’ll need to knock down a bunch of 3s if they want to keep pace with the Tigers high-powered attack.
Newman Catholic (17-3) at 1A #3 Lake Mills (20-0)
These two Top of Iowa teams don’t meet very often, as they’re in different divisions, but this should be a great game between a pair of contenders in 1A. Newman Catholic has a young roster, with three sophomores and a junior making up their top four scorers. Douglas TaylorDouglasTaylor6'5" | PFNewman Catholic | 2023StateIA (18.1, 7.0 rebounds), a long, athletic, slashing wing, leads the way, while junior James Jennings (12.6) also averages in double figures. Sophomore lead guard Max BurtMaxBurt6'0" | PGNewman Catholic | 2023StateIA (9.0, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists) is a talented pure point who thrives on getting others involved, and sophomore forward Noah Hamilton (9.6, 63.8 FG%) is an efficient scorer in the paint.
Lake Mills is looking to close out an undefeated regular season. The Bulldogs have been great on both ends of the floor, winning games by an average score of 71.5-39.3. Senior guard Dashawn LinnenDashawnLinnen6'3" | SGLake Mills | 2021StateIA (19.5) is the headliner, a talented scorer who can get red hot and fill it up in a hurry. He’s a big, physical guard who can get to the bucket but is also a high-level 3-point shooter. Caleb BaconCalebBacon6'4" | PFLake Mills | 2021StateIA (12.2, 10.4 rebounds) is a physical force in the paint, and junior wing Wyatt Helming (12.5, 6.4 rebounds) has stepped up and become a quality scoring option as well. The ’Dogs aren’t a good free-throw shooting team (57.0% as a team), but they do everything else so well that the free-throw line rarely comes into play.
3A #3 Monticello (17-0) at West Branch (17-1)
Monticello has been dominant on the defensive end this year, allowing just 34.2 points a game, and they’re beating teams by an average of 31 a night. They’re coming off a scare against Camanche, a game they won by just one point, but West Branch should be a team that they match up better with. The Panthers are led by senior forward Justin ReckerJustinRecker6'5" | PFMonticello | 2021StateIA (15.0, 6.9 rebounds), a skilled big man who can stretch the floor, handle it a bit and control the glass. The senior backcourt of Luke LambertLukeLambert6'3" | PGMonticello | 2021StateIA (10.4, 4.9 assists) and Connor LambertConnorLambert6'4" | SFMonticello | 2021StateIA (8.5, 2.6 assists), plus sophomore Tate PetersenTatePetersen5'11" | PGMonticello | 2023StateIA (12.2, 3.9 assists, 40.3 3P%) are the key pieces for a team that dishes out 21.4 assists against just 9.4 turnovers a game.
West Branch had a nearly three-week break in January due to Covid protocols, but the Bears have played really good basketball since coming back from their hiatus, winning eight of nine games, with the one loss coming by one to Wilton, a shocking upset. They clinched the RVC South last night with their win over Mid-Prairie. The Bears are led by the senior forward tandem of Jeff BowieJeffBowie6'5" | PFWest Branch | 2021StateIA (13.0) and Simon PalmerSimonPalmer6'5" | PFWest Branch | 2021StateIA (12.9), who combine to average 25.9 points and 13.3 rebounds a game. They rely on the physicality and athleticism that that tandem provides to help control the game on both ends of the floor. Like Monticello, West Branch does a good job protecting the basketball, turning the ball over just 10.6 times a game.
Newell-Fonda (14-5) at Ridge View (15-5)
This should be an entertaining non-conference game that will prepare these two teams for postseason play starting next week. Newell-Fonda uses a high-powered, up-tempo attack to outscore opponents, as the Mustangs average 72.3 points a game. Sophomore guard Carter Sievers (17.0) leads the charge, a potent shooter who pairs well with senior Tanner GerkeTannerGerke6'1" | SFNewell-Fonda | 2021StateIA (9.2, 40.3 3P%) to pace the ’Stangs backcourt. Trey JungersTreyJungers5'11" | SFNewell-Fonda | 2022StateIA (12.8) has stepped up as a solid secondary scoring option for this group that thrives on forcing turnovers, averaging 13.1 steals a game.
Ridge View likes to slow the game down, ranking fourth in scoring defense in 2A, allowing just 44.0 points a game, so this is an interesting contrast in styles. The Raptors like to crash the offensive glass and use their physicality to wear teams down on both ends of the floor. Senior guard Bo Clausen (16.9) and junior Cade Harriman (14.5) are the leading scorers for this team.