Posted On: 02/2/21 9:55 AM
4A #2 Waukee (8-1) at 4A #4 Centennial (10-1)
Since their upset loss against Johnston (a game played without Tucker DeVries Tucker DeVries 6'7" | SF Waukee | 2021 State #123 Nation IA due to COVID contact tracing protocols), Waukee has looked the part of the dominant force we expected coming into the year. They’ve won six straight by an average of 32 points a game. Iowa-bound Payton Sandfort Payton Sandfort 6'7" | SF Waukee | 2021 State #138 Nation IA (20.1, 57.9 3P%) leads the team in scoring, while Tucker DeVries Tucker DeVries 6'7" | SF Waukee | 2021 State #123 Nation IA (19.1, 7.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 4.3 steals) has been stuffing the stat-sheet in a major way. Dowling transfer Omaha Biliew Omaha Biliew 6'8" | SF Waukee | 2023 #2 Nation FL (11.0, 7.7 rebounds, 3.1 blocks) has given them a rim protector in the paint, and an athletic, slashing forward on the offensive end. North transfer Malik Allen Malik Allen 5'11" | PG Des Moines North | 2021 State IA (8.7) recently became eligible, giving them another athletic, quick scoring threat on the perimeter, while sophomore wing Pryce Sandfort Pryce Sandfort 6'6" | SF Waukee Northwest | 2023 State #168 Nation IA (7.6, 56.7 3P%) is a knockdown shooter who does a little bit of everything. This group is remarkably talented.
Centennial has a new look this year, a more up-tempo group that relies on their strong guard play to push the pace, averaging 73.2 points a game, which ranks second in 4A. The Jaguars are led by a trio of double-figure scorers in Jaron Crews (16.5), Colin McAleer Colin McAleer 6'3" | SG Ankeny Centennial | 2021 State IA (11.2), and Lio Aguire (10.1), while four others average between 5.2 and 8.5 points a game. They do a great job limiting turnovers, giving the ball away just 6.8 times a game, which helps pace their high-powered attack.
2A #3 Dike-New Hartford (13-2) at 2A #4 Aplington-Parkersburg (14-2)
Dike-New Hartford won the first meeting between these teams back on December 18, 81-72, behind 29 points from Dane Fuller Dane Fuller 5'10" | CG Dike-New Hartford | 2021 State IA . Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Fuller suffered an injury and is out for the rest of the season. The good news is that they have four other quality guards who can pick up the slack in Landen Sullivan Landen Sullivan 5'10" | SG Dike-New Hartford | 2021 State IA (15.8), AJ Wegener AJ Wegener 5'10" | PG Dike-New Hartford | 2021 State IA (13.8), Zak Wauters Zak Wauters 5'11" | SG Dike-New Hartford | 2021 State IA (9.5), and Nathan Moore (9.0). A balanced group that shoots it well from deep, the Wolverines have a number of scoring options who can step up and lead the team on any given night.
A-P enters on a six-game winning streak, buoyed by their remarkably balanced attack. The Falcons are routinely one of the highest-scoring teams in 2A, and that’s no different this year, rankings second at 73.3 points a game. Three players are averaging in double-figures, led by Jayden Mackie Jayden Mackie 6'2" | PG Aplington-Parkersburg | 2022 State IA (12.9), an athletic, slashing guard who has committed to play at DII Upper Iowa. Sophomore Garrett Hempen (11.9) and senior Owen Thomas Owen Thomas 6'4" | SF Aplington-Parkersburg | 2021 State IA (12.5) are solid scoring threats alongside Mackie on the perimeter, while Josh Haan Josh Haan 6'6" | PF Aplington-Parkersburg | 2021 State IA (9.4) and Christian Haugstad Christian Haugstad 6'7" | C Aplington-Parkersburg | 2022 State IA (8.6) are strong threats in the paint. Gavin Thomas (8.9), the freshman son of coach Aaron Thomas, has given the Falcons quality shooting and scoring off the bench as well.
Van Meter (12-3) at 2A #5 Des Moines Christian (13-2)
Van Meter jumped out to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter, but it was all Des Moines Christian the rest of the way, as the Lions cruised to a 61-49 win on December 21. They forced 18 turnovers in that win. They’re led by a trio of double-figure scorers in Adam Witty Adam Witty 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2022 State IA (14.2), Ben Loverude Ben Loverude 6'6" | PF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (14.1), and Grant Veenstra Grant Veenstra 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (11.3) and are an efficient team, shooting 50.5% from the field.
Van Meter is traditionally one of the best defensive teams in the state. They’re still strong on that end, allowing 47 points a game, but that’s not as strong as they’ve been in previous years. They’re led by a trio of double-figure scorers in Chris Schreck Chris Schreck 5'10" | PG Van Meter | 2022 State IA (13.7), Clark Fiala (11.6), and Casey Trudo (11.0). The trio of juniors have been efficient and strong on both ends of the floor.
3A #4 Dallas Center-Grimes (11-2) at Pella Christian (9-8)
Dallas Center-Grimes rolled in the first meeting, beating the Eagles 73-40. But Pella Christian has really started to play good ball after that loss, winning seven of their last nine, with the two losses coming by a combined five points. The Mustangs are led by a dynamic trio of guards in junior Cole Glasgow Cole Glasgow 6'3" | SG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (16.5), senior Luke Rankin Luke Rankin 5'10" | PG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2021 State IA (13.2, 8.7 assists), and junior Bo Huston (12.4, 50.9 3P%). Glasgow is a threat to score 30+ on any given night, Rankin is an excellent ball-handler and distributor, and Huston has given them outstanding perimeter shooting.
Pella Christian has been led by 6-8 junior forward Eric Mulder (14.4, 8.9 rebounds), an efficient forward who the offense can run through. Junior guards Levi Schelhaas (12.8), Niko Schirz (7.4), and Jaedon Huisman (7.2) have been strong on the perimeter for this young group. It took them a while to get accustomed to varsity play, but this Eagles team is really starting to gel and will be extremely dangerous in 2A postseason ball.
1A #1 North Linn (16-0) at 1A #2 Springville (16-1)
The top two teams in the 1A rankings square off tonight in Springville, and it should be another great one. The Orioles gave the Lynx a tough test back on January 8, with North Linn escaping with a 53-46 win. Neither team shot the ball well in that game (Springville 33.3%, North Linn 34.6%), which was unusual given the fact that these are two of the four highest-scoring teams in 1A. The Lynx are led by junior guard Austin Hilmer Austin Hilmer 5'11" | PG North Linn | 2022 State IA (20.3, 8.7 assists, 4.3 steals), who dominates games on both ends of the floor. Sophomores Tate Haughenbury (16.0) and Ben Wheatley (10.1) have stepped up in a major way following an injury to Dylan Kurt Dylan Kurt 6'3" | SF North Linn | 2022 State IA , who ranked second on the team in scoring at the time of his injury at 15.4 points a game. The Lynx thrive on flying all over the floor, forcing turnover after turnover, and using that to get easy looks at the bucket. They forced 20 turnovers in the first meeting but struggled to convert those into points. Springville will have to do a better job taking care of the ball tonight.
The Orioles are led by a trio of double-figure scorers in senior Alex Koppes Alex Koppes 5'10" | PG Springville | 2021 State IA (21.2) and juniors Rhenden Wagaman Rhenden Wagaman 6'3" | SG Springville | 2022 State IA (16.1) and Luke Menster Luke Menster 5'10" | PG Springville | 2022 State IA (15.9). Like North Linn, they thrive on forcing turnovers (17.5 steals a game) and turning their defense into offense in a hurry. They also do a great job sharing the ball, dishing out over 20 assists a game. They’ll have to take care of the ball and be much more efficient offensively because it’s hard to imagine North Linn having as much of an issue scoring in this one.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (11-2) at Grundy Center (11-3)
Gladbrook-Reinbeck dominated the first meeting this season, winning 65-37 on January 12 behind a 37-12 advantage in the second and third quarters. The Rebels have been led by sophomore William Kiburis (18.6), who is stuffing the stat-sheet, pulling down 7.2 rebounds with 6.5 assists and 3.1 steals a game. Dylan Riffey (12.5), a senior guard, is shooting over 46% from behind the arc, and Tristan Sanford-Anders (9.6, 8.2 rebounds) has given them a physical presence in the paint.
The Spartans will have to put a lot of emphasis on the defensive end in this meeting. They allowed Gladbrook-Reinbeck to shoot 58.5% from the field in the first game while shooting just 32.7% as a team themselves. Junior guard Brayden Sawyer Brayden Sawyer 5'10" | SG Grundy Center | 2022 State IA (14.4, 49.3 3P%) is the team’s leading scorer, a dynamic shooting threat from the arc, while senior forwards Wes Willis (10.9, 5.6 rebounds) and Nick Ascher (7.9, 6.4 rebounds) hold down the paint.