The favorite: Aplington-Parkersburg, 2A’s second-highest scoring offense, has to be considered a heavy favorite to come out of this district. The Falcons have lost three games this year – twice to Dike-New Hartford and once to Denver – with each loss coming to teams that have been ranked among the top-5 in 2A for most of the year. They’re an extremely balanced team, with three players averaging in double-figures – senior(12.6), junior (12.4), and sophomore Garrett Hempen (11.7) – with four others averaging between 6.0 and 9.5 points a game, giving them a lot of options. A group that loves to play up-tempo and spread the floor, they shoot 39.2% from the arc as a team, and they have a number of kids who can light it up from 3, which makes them very difficult to defend.
The biggest threat: Forest City has to play a quarterfinal game, but they’re the bigger threat to A-P than Garner-Hayfield-Ventura is. The Indians really like to slow games down and grind them out, using their strong defense to play games in the 30s or 40s, and if they are able to dictate the tempo against the Falcons, they could frustrate them. Senior guard(15.5) is one of the best individual players in this district, and his ability to control the game on both ends of the floor would be huge in a potential meeting with A-P.
The dark horse: Garner-Hayfield-Ventura is the district’s #2 seed, and they’ll get their third meeting with Forest City at home as a result. Those teams split their first two meetings, with Forest City’s win coming more recently. The Cardinals have a trio of double-figure scorers in Kevin Meyers (12.5), Zachary Suby (10.4) and(10.4), but they don’t shoot it very well from the free-throw line (58.3% as a team), which could be a major detriment in tight games.
Players to watch
2021 , Aplington-Parkersburg
2022 , Aplington-Parkersburg
2023 Garrett Hempen, Aplington-Parkersburg
2021 , Forest City
2021 Kevin Meyers, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
2022 , Central Springs
2021 Mateo Martinez, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows
The favorite: The highest-scoring team in 2A basketball has been building towards this moment for the last four years. Denver is putting up 71.3 points a game on the strength of their “Big Three” of senior guards(15.9), (16.2), and (16.9). All three are four-year varsity starters who can score from anywhere, and they have the added bonus of being fantastic free-throw shooters. Denver as a team shooting 77.9% from the line, which is a huge added bonus in postseason play. A veteran team that protects the ball, scores efficiently, and has five legitimate scoring options who can score 20+ on any given night, this team is built for postseason play.
The biggest threat: Osage is always solid, but they put together a 14-7 mark in the regular season to claim this district’s #2 seed. The Green Devils have a big-time scorer in senior guard Eric Bobinet (17.3), while(12.0) gives them a solid second option. They crash the offensive glass hard, pulling down 12.6 offensive boards a game, getting them a lot of second-chance opportunities. They need to crash the offensive glass hard and be hyper-efficient if they want to keep pace with Denver in the district final.
The dark horse: Sumner-Fredericksburg has a win over a good Wapsie Valley team, and they’ve been competitive against some other quality teams this year. Three players average in double-figures in Peyton Schmitz (15.0), Kody VanEngelenburg (13.5), and Klay Seehase (12.2), but they’ll need to come up with a new gameplan in the semifinal against Denver, who they’ve lost to twice this year by a combined 52 points.
Players to watch
2021 , Denver
2021 , Denver
2021 , Denver
2021 Eric Bobinet, Osage
2022 , Osage
2022 Peyton Schmitz, Sumner-Fredericksburg
2021 Kody VanEngelenburg, Sumner-Fredericksburg
2022 Klay Seehase, Sumner-Fredericksburg
2022 Carter Gallagher, Columbus Catholic
SUBSTATE FINAL PREDICTION
Aplington-Parkersburg vs. Denver
Round 3 between these two teams, with a trip to State on the line, sounds like a blast. They split their regular-season meetings, each winning at home. This one should be tight and could really go either way. Denver has been building for this year for four years, and the free-throw line could be the difference-maker here. In a great final, the Cyclones punch their first ticket to State since 1984.