Posted On: 02/9/21 2:39 PM
4A #2 Waukee (10-1) at Bellevue West (NE)
Waukee was looking for a game for tonight, and they scheduled a dandy against a powerhouse from Nebraska. Bellevue West features future Wisconsin guard Chucky Hepburn, a lightning-quick, playmaking guard who impacts the game on both ends of the floor. Frankie Fidler is a 6-6 power forward who has committed to play at Omaha, and 6-7 junior William Kyle gives the Thunderbirds some additional size in the paint. The Warriors will have their hands full with Hepburn.
Waukee is led by their dynamic senior wing combination of Tucker DeVriesTuckerDeVries6'7" | SFWaukee | 2021State#123NationIA (19.8, 7.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 3.8 steals) and Payton SandfortPaytonSandfort6'7" | SFWaukee | 2021State#138NationIA (18.6, 8.2 rebounds, 53.2 3P%). DeVries will play at Drake, and Sandfort is headed to Iowa next year. The pair is each 6-7 with buttery strokes from the arc and fantastic basketball IQs. Throw in super-sophomores Omaha BiliewOmahaBiliew6'9" | SFWaukee | 2023State#6NationIA (11.4, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 blocks) and Pryce SandfortPryceSandfort6'4" | SFWaukee | 2023State#140NationIA (7.2, 55.9 3P%), senior guard Malik AllenMalikAllen5'11" | PGWaukee | 2021StateIA (8.0), and senior wing Wyatt HestonWyattHeston6'7" | SFWaukee | 2021StateIA (4.0, 44.0 3P%) and Waukee has a slew of talent. The Warriors are the more talented team here, and this should be a great test for them as they get ready for postseason play.
3A #3 Monticello (16-0) at Camanche (14-5)
Monticello won the first meeting between these teams, 62-58 in overtime, back on January 12. That was the tightest game the Panthers have played this season, and anticipate more of the same from a very athletic Indians team that will make things difficult for Monticello. These two teams have been the class of the RVC North for the last few years and are developing a strong rivalry. Monti is led by senior combo forward Justin ReckerJustinRecker6'5" | PFMonticello | 2021StateIA (15.3, 6.7 rebounds), a versatile forward who can score inside and out. Sophomore lead guard Tate PetersenTatePetersen5'11" | PGMonticello | 2023StateIA (12.6, 41.0 3P%) has been really good from behind the arc and protecting the basketball, and the Panthers have been great as a team sharing the ball, dishing out over 22 assists a game against just 9.2 turnovers. If Petersen and Luke LambertLukeLambert6'3" | PGMonticello | 2021StateIA (10.6, 5.1 assists) can protect the ball against the quick, athletic Camanche guards, they should be able to score.
Camanche is led by senior guard Jordan LawrenceJordanLawrence5'10" | PGCamanche | 2021StateIA (15.2, 46.1 3P%), a fantastic on-ball defender who is providing all sorts of highlights on both ends of the floor for the Indians. Do-it-all junior forward Zach ErwinZachErwin6'4" | SFCamanche | 2022StateIA (14.1, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists) stuffs the stat sheet and can make a major impact with his versatility on the defensive end, while senior forward Zayne FellerZayneFeller6'3" | PFCamanche | 2021StateIA (11.0, 7.6 rebounds, 63.3 FG%) has been hyper-efficient. This group is deep, talented, and athletic, and they’ll make life tough tonight for Monti.
2A #3 Dike-New Hartford (16-2) at 2A #5 Denver (16-3)
Dike-New Hartford currently sits at 13-2 in the NICL East, a full-game lead over Denver, who is 11-2 in league play. The Wolverines won the first meeting this year, 87-85, and if they can take this one as well, they will pretty much wrap up the NICL East division. Expect another very entertaining game, as these teams rank 1st (Denver, 78.8 points a game) and 3rd (Dike-New Hartford, 71.6) in scoring in 2A. Dike-New Hartford lost leading scorer Dane FullerDaneFuller5'10" | CGDike-New Hartford | 2021StateIA to an injury about a month ago, but they haven’t missed a beat, with their quartet of talented guards all stepping up. Landen SullivanLandenSullivan5'10" | SGDike-New Hartford | 2021StateIA (16.6) is the leading scorer, but AJ WegenerAJWegener5'10" | PGDike-New Hartford | 2021StateIA (13.6), Zak WautersZakWauters5'11" | SGDike-New Hartford | 2021StateIA (9.4), and Nathan Moore (8.8) are all talented scorers who could score 15-20 on a given night.
Denver will match Dike with a number of talented guards, led by their “Big Three” of Isaac BeshIsaacBesh5'10" | CGDenver | 2021StateIA (15.9), Bryce PhelpsBrycePhelps6'2" | PGDenver | 2021StateIA (16.2), and Kyler MatthiasKylerMatthias6'2" | CGDenver | 2021StateIA (16.9), each of whom are four-year varsity starters. This group can fill it up in a hurry, and they love to push the tempo.
3A #6 Solon (16-1) at Mount Vernon (11-5)
Solon won the first meeting back on January 15, 74-70, behind a balanced effort that saw three players each score 15 points – Carson ShiveCarsonShive6'0" | SGSolon | 2021StateIA (10.0), Ben CusickBenCusick6'3" | PFSolon | 2021StateIA (9.7), and David BluderDavidBluder6'4" | SFSolon | 2021StateIA (15.4) – while Will Noonan (6.0) added 13. New coach Jared Galpin has gotten the Spartans to really play strong defense this year, as they’re allowing just 50.1 points a game, and as a result, they’ve turned into one of 3A’s best teams. Bluder is the leading scorer, but this is a deep, talented, and athletic group that has really bought into the defensive end, and it’s turned into a lot of wins.
The best player on the floor will be Mount Vernon senior guard Keaton KutcherKeatonKutcher6'2" | SGMount Vernon | 2021StateIA (21.1), who will play his college ball at South Dakota. A big-time scorer, Kutcher, who is shooting 43.2% from 3, is one of the best shooters in the state and a real threat to pull-up from anywhere inside half-court. The Mustangs have gotten great production out of Jayden MeekerJaydenMeeker5'11" | SGMount Vernon | 2021StateIA (17.1, 52.6 FG%) this year, as he’s been really strong as a secondary scoring threat.
South Central Calhoun (15-4) at East Sac County (14-3)
This is a huge game in the Twin Lakes Conference, as South Central Calhoun holds a 10-1 record in league play, with East Sac County right behind at 9-2. South Central Cal took the first meeting, 83-56, but that was way back on December 4. The Titans are led by a trio of double-figure scorers in Brennan HolderBrennanHolder6'1" | SGSouth Central Calhoun | 2021StateIA (16.4), Joshua Dietrich (14.1) and Cole Corey (13.7). This is a group that really pounds the offensive glass (11.4 a game) and loves to force turnovers (13.4 steals a game).
East Sac goes as Camden SchroederCamdenSchroeder6'5" | SFEast Sac County | 2021StateIA (23.5, 10.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 3.8 blocks) goes. Schroeder, a 6-5 senior, stuffs the stat-sheet in a major way and impacts the game on both ends of the floor with his size and versatility. In addition to his stellar raw numbers, he’s highly efficient as well, posting 57-51-76 shooting splits. Junior forward Tyler Schmitt (16.6, 7.4 rebounds, 66.7 FG%) is a hyper-efficient forward who has emerged as a strong second option for the Raiders.
2A #10 AHSTW (18-2) at Tri-Center (16-2)
Like the rest of the games on this list tonight, this is a big one in the Western Iowa Conference. Treynor leads the league with a 14-2 mark, with AHSTW and Tri-Center sitting right behind at 13-2. Tri-Center won the first meeting, 76-57, back on January 8. The Trojans shot an eye-popping 69.6% in that game, so expect a much better defensive effort from AHSTW. Tri-Center is led by senior forward Leyton NelsonLeytonNelson6'4" | PFTri-Center | 2021StateIA (16.6, 9.4 rebounds) and guard Ethan Alfers (13.9), who combined to score 37 points on 16-19 shooting in that meeting.
AHSTW is led by junior guard Raydden GrobeRayddenGrobe6'2" | SFAHSTW | 2022StateIA (19.1), a versatile scoring threat. Sophomore guards Kyle Sternberg (18.0) and Brayden Lund (17.3) are also fantastic threats, giving the Vikings three great scorers who can take over games on any given night. This group shot just 38.8% from the floor and 24.1% from 3 in the first meeting, expect a better showing here.