Semifinal #2: #2 Waukee 71, #3 Ames 36
Second-seed Waukee has been on a mission this week to show that they’re the best team in the state (and one of the best in state history), and they’re two-thirds of the way to that goal. The Warriors got off to another fast start en route to a blowout 71-36 win over third-seed Ames, advancing to Friday night’s 4A championship.
As they did in the quarterfinals against Pleasant Valley, Waukee came out of the gates hot, jumping out to a 16-1 lead and cruising the rest of the way. Ames briefly trimmed the lead down to 7 at the beginning of the second quarter, but the Warriors were ahead by double-digits for the final 22:25 of this game. With 7:21 remaining in the contest, Waukee reached the running clock plateau (up by 35).
A roster that is loaded with talent, length and shooting, Waukee has put on a clinic in their first two games at the state tournament, and they’ll be looking to do so again tomorrow night in their third meeting with Johnston.
Waukee (15-2) moves into the 4A championship game for the second straight season. After losing to Ankeny last year, the Warriors are looking for the school’s first state title. They were led by, who led four in double-figures with 18. had 12 points and 9 rebounds, and and each added 10 points.
Ames’ season ends with an 18-4 record. The Little Cyclones were led by, who had 10 points. added 9 in the loss. With Lipsey, Lucas Lueth, and returning next year, look for Ames to once again be among the top teams in the class. They simply ran into a buzzsaw on Thursday night.
MVP:, Waukee (2023) — 12 points (4-5 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT), 9 rebounds
Take your pick from the Waukee starters again, but we’ll give the nod to Biliew tonight. The highly-touted 2023 prospect showcased a nice stroke from 3 and a mid-range jumper, and if he can add a consistent jumper to his arsenal, watch out.
Waukee: 18, 12, 10, 10, 7, 6, Justin Johnson 2, Ryan Cose 2, Blake Papenberg 2, Connor Soethout 2
Ames: 11-39 FG (28.2%), 6-22 3P (27.3%), 8-12 FT (66.7%), 15 rebounds (3 offensive, 12 defensive), 6 assists, 7 turnovers
Waukee: 26-44 FG (59.1%), 5-18 3P (27.8%), 14-15 FT (93.3%), 32 rebounds (6 offensive, 26 defensive), 8 assists, 6 turnovers
Top-ranked Cedar Falls was a juggernaut this year, averaging 74.3 points a game, tops in 4A. The 46.9 points a game they allowed ranked fifth in the class. None of that mattered on Thursday night, as fourth-seeded Johnston absolutely steamrolled the Tigers from start-to-finish, cruising to a 64-51 win, advancing to the 4A championship game, where they’ll await either Waukee or Ames.
A guard-heavy lineup from Johnston used their quickness to their advantage, routinely beating the Tigers off the dribble and getting to the bucket, and shooting a remarkably efficient 56.8% from the floor. Their quickness also allowed them to stay in front of the talented Cedar Falls guards who put a hurting on MVC opponents this year, forcing 17 turnovers and holding a potent Tigers attack 23 points below their season average. They built up a lead as large as 22.
The strength of 4A was certainly in the CIML this season, and the Dragons’ demolition of this talented Cedar Falls team helped prove that. They were absolutely dominant on both ends of the floor against a team boasting at least six scholarship players. It’ll be an all-CIML final for the second year in a row in 4A.
Johnston (12-4) will be making their fourth championship game appearance, the first since 2000. They’ll be looking for their first state title since 1995. The Dragons were led by, who continued his stellar week with 23 points and 7 rebounds. No player in the tournament has elevated his stock as much as Kramer has this week. added 15 points and and each chipped in 10.
Cedar Falls’ season ends with a 20-1 record. The Tigers were led by, who had 20 points in his final high school game. Hunter Jacobson added 10 points off the bench. will be back next year, as will and Hunter Jacobson, so the cupboard is not bare in Tiger country. They’ll be strong again next season.
MVP:, Johnston (2022) — 15 points (5-10 FG, 3-7 3P, 2-2 FT), 1 assist, 1 steal
Lewis had a quiet second half, but he set the tone early by scoring 10 first quarter points for the Dragons. The skilled guard used his explosive first step to blow by Cedar Falls defenders, and he showcased some ridiculous range, knocking down three NBA-range 3s.
Cedar Falls: 20, Hunter Jacobson 10, 6, 5, 3, Carter Juhl 3, 2, Joel Burris 2
Johnston: 21-37 FG (56.8%), 6-14 3P (42.9%), 16-23 FT (69.6%), 17 rebounds (3 offensive, 14 defensive), 9 assists, 10 turnovers
Cedar Falls: 19-42 FG (45.2%), 5-17 3P (29.4%), 8-11 FT (72.7%), 26 rebounds (10 offensive, 16 defensive), 3 assists, 17 turnovers
Second-seeded Waukee came into the season as perhaps the most hyped team in Iowa high school history. Or at least since the 2010 Ames team that featured Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott. The Warriors showed why they drew so much hype in the preseason on Wednesday evening, blasting seventh-seeded Pleasant Valley 65-43 to advance to the 4A semifinals.
The Warriors were dominant on both ends of the floor from start-to-finish, scoring the game’s first 13 points. They blocked four of Pleasant Valley’s first five shot attempts. Just dominant. The Warriors led 22-3 after the first quarter and 40-14 at halftime, and they led by as much as 30 in the third quarter.
With a starting lineup that goes 6-7, 6-7, 6-5, 6-8, and 6-7, the Warriors have college-level size and length. And four of them shoot at least 43.8% from behind the arc –(43.8), (46.8), (47.1) and (52.2). The outlier? Only the #5 prospect in the 2023 class nationally, . If the Warriors play like this during the semifinals and championship rounds, nobody can touch them. Their ceiling is the highest in the state.
Waukee (14-2) was led by, who had 18 points on 7-12 shooting. and each added 10 in the win. The Warriors shot 55.6% from the floor and blocked 10 shots. They will play in the 4A semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.
Pleasant Valley’s season ends with a 19-4 record. The Spartans were led by, who had 14 points in the loss.
MVP: The Waukee starting five
(2021) — 10 points (3-7 FG, 2-5 3P, 2-2 FT), 3 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals
(2021) — 18 points (7-12 FG, 4-6 3P), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
(2023) — 10 points (3-4 FG, 1-2 3P, 3-3 FT), 3 blocks
(2023) — 7 points (3-5 FG, 1-2 FT), 9 rebounds, 4 blocks
(2021) — 6 points (2-3 FG, 2-3 3P), 2 assists
It’s hard to pick out just one of the Warriors, so we’ll just take the whole starting unit. They set the tone immediately by blocking four of the first five PV shots and jumping out to a quick 13-0 lead.
Waukee: 18, Tucker DeVires 10, 10, 7, 6, 6, 4, Blake Papenberg 2, Braden Menz 2
Pleasant Valley: 17-46 FG (37.0%), 5-10 3P (50.0%), 4-7 FT (57.1%), 21 rebounds (8 offensive, 13 defensive), 6 assists, 11 turnovers
Waukee: 25-45 FG (55.6%), 9-21 3P (42.9%), 6-7 FT (85.7%), 30 rebounds (7 offensive, 23 defensive), 14 assists, 9 turnovers, 10 blocks
The name of the game at Ames High School is defense, and the Little Cyclones put on a defensive clinic on Wednesday afternoon, holding Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 30 points below their season average en route to a 54-37 win, advancing to the 4A semifinals. They’ll await the winner of the Waukee vs. Pleasant Valley contest.
The Little Cyclones scored the first bucket of the game on a Patrick Krapfl offensive rebound and putback.answered with a layup on the other end to tie it back up at 2, and that’s as close as the Lynx were the rest of the afternoon.
Ames used a deliberate offensive attack to get great looks all afternoon, running through their offense multiple times, waiting for an opportunity to open up to attack, and the Little Cyclones shot 47.4% from the floor as a result of their patient approach. It also took Council Bluffs Lincoln out of their offensive rhythm, as they’re a team that likes to get up-and-down and play a more free-flowing game. By making them work hard on the defensive end, playing extended possessions in a defensive stance, they struggled to get much offense going.
Ames (18-3) advances to the 4A semifinals for the 15th time in school history, the first trip since 2010. They were led by, who had a game-high 16 points and 7 rebounds. added 12 points and 6 assists, and chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln’s season ends with a 19-5 record. The Lynx were led by junior standout, who finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds in the loss. With Dix and junior guard both returning, they should be the class of the Missouri River Conference again next year, and a threat to make it back to Des Moines.
MVP:, Ames (2022) — 12 points (5-13 FG, 1-3 3P, 1-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
Even when he’s not scoring, Lipsey makes a huge impact on the end with his ability to control the tempo and probe the defense to find open looks for his teammates. An explosive athlete with a lightning quick first step, he can certainly score when needed, but he plays a solid all-around game on both ends of the floor. He was the primary defender against Dix, and he made the CBAL star work hard for his points.
|Council Bluffs Lincoln||8||10||10||9||37|
Council Bluffs Lincoln:
Ames: 16, 12, 10, 6, Lucas Lueth 4, Patrick Krapfl 4, Niko Stevens 2
Council Bluffs Lincoln: 14-32 FG (43.8%), 2-12 3P (16.7%), 7-13 FT (53.8%), 17 rebounds (1 offensive, 16 defensive), 4 assists, 12 turnovers
Ames: 18-38 FG (47.4%), 6-13 3P (46.2%), 12-17 FT (70.6%), 27 rebounds (6 offensive, 21 defensive), 8 assists, 8 turnovers
Quarterfinal #2: #1 Cedar Falls 42, #8 Senior 27
Top-ranked Cedar Falls survived a first-half scare from eighth-seeded Dubuque Senior on Wednesday afternoon before the Tigers grabbed control fo the game and cruised to a 42-27 win, advancing to the 4A semifinals, where they’ll meet Johnston.
The Tigers, who came in averaging 76 points a game, got off to an ice-cold shooting start, with a lot of credit going to the strong defense that Senior was playing, particularly the work that Max Link andwere doing against Cedar Falls star . They held Wolf to just 3 points on 1-8 shooting. The Tigers started the game just 3-17 from the floor as Senior built up a 10-point, 15-5, lead early in the second quarter. After grabbing a 19-11 lead with 2:30 left in the first half, the Rams went scoreless for the next 8:38 of game-time, as Cedar Falls went on a 22-0 run to grab control. The Tigers are just too potent to keep down for long, and Senior wasn’t able to take enough advantage of the slow start from Cedar Falls.
Cedar Falls (20-0) was led by, who had a game-high 12 points. and each chipped in 10 points in the win, and Hunter Jacobson deserves a mention for his strong play off the bench, scoring 4 points with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. The Tigers will be playing in the semifinals for the fourth straight year.
Senior’s season ends with a 12-9 record. The Rams were led by Jim Bonfias, who had 8 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.
MVP:, Cedar Falls (2022) — 12 points (5-13 FG, 1-4 3P, 1-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Campbell got off to a slow start, making just 1 of his first 7 field goal attempts. But he didn’t let that get him down or take him out of the game, finding other ways to contribute until his shot started falling. He scored a game-high 12 points, but also tied for the team lead in rebounds and assists, while playing strong on-ball defense.
Cedar Falls: 12, 10, 10, Hunter Jacobson 4, 3, 3
Senior: 12-37 FG (32.4%), 1-12 3P (8.3%), 2-4 FT (50.0%), 24 rebounds (5 offensive, 19 defensive), 4 assists, 9 turnovers
Cedar Falls: 17-45 FG (37.8%), 5-14 3P (35.7%), 3-6 FT (50.0%), 33 rebounds (12 offensive, 21 defensive), 8 assists, 6 turnovers
These teams split their two meetings during the regular-season, but it was all about fourth-seeded Johnston on Wednesday morning, as the Dragons rolled to a 49-33 win over fifth-seed Dowling Catholic. The win sends the Dragons into the 4A semifinals for the first time since 2009, where they’ll await either Cedar Falls or Dubuque Senior.
A guard-heavy lineup from Johnston spread out the bigger Maroons and used their quickness to routinely get inside the paint, where their guards either found a cutting guard, big man, finished or kicked it out to an open shooter. The constant pressure that their explosive ball-handlers put on the Dowling defense proved to be too much for the Maroons to contend with. They set the tone early with their speed, and their skilled ball-handlers had no issues with the pressure that Dowling tried to apply in the fourth quarter.
The Dragons came out of the gates hot, with junior guardscoring five points within the first 40 seconds of the contest. Johnston ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run, holding a 19-6 edge after the first eight minutes. Dowling got back to within single-digits, both times a 9-point deficit, a few times in the third quarter, but Johnston quickly responded each time to push it back out to a double-digit margin. Johnston pushed the lead to as large as 19 early in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win.
Johnston (11-4) was led by, who had 16 points in the win. added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Dragons, who forced 15 Dowling turnovers.
Dowling Catholic’s season ends with a 12-9 record, and a third consecutive state tournament appearance. The Maroons were led by, who battled foul trouble and finished with 8 points in his final high school game.
MVP:, Johnston (2022) — 16 points (6-13 FG, 2-3 3P, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 2 steals
The 6-5 junior guard has emerged as one of the best prospects in Iowa’s 2022 class because of his length and ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s struggled with his shot for most of the year, but he showed a confident, smooth stroke from 3, knocking down 2 of his 3 attempts. He controlled this game from start to finish on both ends of the floor.
Johnston: 16, 11, Carter Borwick 8, 7, 4, Mason Ryan 3
Dowling Catholic: 13-37 FG (35.1%), 3-12 3P (25.0%), 4-6 FT (66.7%), 22 rebounds (5 offensive, 17 defensive), 7 assists, 15 turnovers
Johnston: 18-46 FG (39.1%), 4-15 3P (26.7%), 9-12 FT (75.0%), 29 rebounds (12 offensive, 17 defensive), 12 assists, 10 turnovers