Posted On: 03/7/21 9:31 PM
1A Quarterfinal: #1 North Linn (25-0) vs. #8 South Winneshiek (18-6), 10:00 am
Analysis: Powerhouse North Linn has gone 153-5 over the last six years, using a chaotic, pressing style to end games by halftime a majority of the time. The Lynx have 1A’s highest-scoring offense (78.5 points a game) and the best scoring defense (36.3). Junior guard Austin Hilmer Austin Hilmer 5'11" | PG North Linn | 2022 State IA (18.0, 8.2 assists) leads the chaos, flying all over the floor and playing at 100 miles an hour on both ends of the floor. He leads four averaging in double-figures, with sophomore forward Tate Haughenbury (16.0), junior Dylan Kurt Dylan Kurt 6'3" | SF North Linn | 2022 State IA (14.3) and sophomore guard Ben Wheatley (10.0) joining him. This group thrives on forcing turnovers, so ball control will be key for South Winn if they want to stay competitive here. The scary thing about the Lynx is that only one senior is on the roster, and he’s the sixth leading scorer.
South Winneshiek is led by senior wing Jacob Herold (15.9) and junior big man Trey Kriener (12.9, 9.8 rebounds). The Warriors pound the offensive glass, pulling down nearly 11 offensive boards a game, which they will need to do to offset their poor 3-point shooting (22.7% as a team). They pulled off three straight upsets in the postseason – Wapsie Valley, Edgewood-Colesburg and Gladbrook-Reinbeck – to get here for the first time since 1987.
Players to watch
North Linn: Austin Hilmer Austin Hilmer 5'11" | PG North Linn | 2022 State IA (18.0 points, 8.2 assists, 3.9 steals), Tate Haughenbury (16.0 points, 67.3 FG%), Dylan Kurt Dylan Kurt 6'3" | SF North Linn | 2022 State IA (14.3 points)
South Winneshiek: Jacob Herold (15.9 points), Trey Kriener (12.9 points, 9.8 rebounds)
Our pick: North Linn 72, South Winneshiek 50
1A Quarterfinal: #4 Martensdale-St. Marys (24-0) vs. #5 Easton Valley (22-0), 12:00 pm
Analysis: A pair of undefeated teams meet in the second quarterfinal, and it should be a doozy. These are both top-four teams in 1A in scoring defense, with Easton Valley ranking second allowing 38.0 points a game, and Martensdale-St. Marys fourth at 39.5. But that doesn’t mean that these teams are going to play a slow, grinding game. They both like to get up-and-down, so it should be an entertaining contest. Easton Valley senior big man Kaleb Cornilsen Kaleb Cornilsen 6'5" | PF Easton Valley | 2021 State IA (23.3, 10.1 rebounds) will be the best player on the floor, an efficient and active big man who establishes great position and has excellent footwork and touch around the rim. The Blue Devils will have difficulty defending him. Senior wing Porter Fuegen (13.8) has emerged as a solid secondary scorer for the River Hawks.
Martensdale-St. Marys has a quartet of players averaging in double-figures, led by senior wing Trey Baker Trey Baker 6'4" | SF Martensdale-St. Mary's | 2021 State IA (13.2). An experienced team that returned four starters from last year’s state qualifying group, they’ll be looking for a bit more success this year, and should build on last year’s disappointing finish. Senior lead guard Jack Franey Jack Franey 5'7" | PG Martensdale-St. Marys | 2021 State IA (11.4, 6.8 assists) is one of the best pure point guards in 1A, and his ability to stay calm under pressure will be key for the Devils against a River Hawks team that likes to throw a variety of zone pressure looks at you. Will it be the balance of Martensdale-St. Marys or the dominance of Kaleb Cornilsen Kaleb Cornilsen 6'5" | PF Easton Valley | 2021 State IA that wins out here?
Players to watch
Martensdale-St. Marys: Trey Baker Trey Baker 6'4" | SF Martensdale-St. Mary's | 2021 State IA (13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds), Jack Franey Jack Franey 5'7" | PG Martensdale-St. Marys | 2021 State IA (11.4 points, 6.8 assists), Carson Elbert Carson Elbert 6'3" | SF Martensdale-St. Marys | 2021 State IA (11.7 points)
Easton Valley: Kaleb Cornilsen Kaleb Cornilsen 6'5" | PF Easton Valley | 2021 State IA (23.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 55.9 FG%), Porter Fuegen (13.8 points, 3.1 steals), Carson Fuegen (4.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.6 steals)
Our pick: Easton Valley 66, Martensdale-St. Marys 62
1A Quarterfinal: #2 Lake Mills (25-0) vs. #7 Montezuma (22-2), 2:00 pm
Analysis: This might end up being one of the best quarterfinal games in any of the four classes. Second-seeded Lake Mills is looking to rebound from last year’s upset loss to Wapsie Valley in the opening round, when the Bulldogs were 1A’s top seed. The ’Dogs have been excellent on both ends of the floor this season, winning games by an average score of 71.2-39.8. Senior guard Dashawn Linnen Dashawn Linnen 6'3" | SG Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (19.1, 39.6 3P%) leads the way on the offensive end, with junior wing Wyatt Helming (13.2) and senior forward Caleb Bacon Caleb Bacon 6'4" | PF Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (12.3, 10.1 rebounds) being the other key pieces. Spurred by Bacon, they pull down 12 offensive rebounds a game, and they thrive on the defensive end with their athleticism and length, averaging over 13 steals a game. They’ll need to bring a strong defensive effort against one of 1A’s most dynamic players.
That aforementioned dynamic player is senior guard Trey Shearer Trey Shearer 5'10" | PG Montezuma | 2021 State IA (25.4, 4.8 assists, 46.6 3P%) who leads Montezuma’s potent offensive attack. The Truman State signed guard is a gifted ball-handler, shooter and playmaker who can drop 40 on any given night. The Braves suffered two early-season losses while waiting for junior big man Eddie Burgess Eddie Burgess 6'4" | PF Montezuma | 2022 State IA (13.9, 12.9 rebounds) to return from an injury suffered in the football championship game, and they’ve taken off since he re-joined the lineup after the holiday break. Since Burgess returned, they have won 15 straight games by an average of 29 points a game. Senior guard Cole Watts Cole Watts 5'10" | SG Montezuma | 2021 State IA (19.1, 6.4 rebounds, 50.7 3P%) is a knockdown shooter who is the perfect complement in the backcourt with Shearer, an elite shooting threat who thrives on the open looks that Shearer can get him.
Players to watch
Lake Mills: Dashawn Linnen Dashawn Linnen 6'3" | SG Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (19.1 points, 39.6 3P%), Wyatt Helming (13.2 points), Caleb Bacon Caleb Bacon 6'4" | PF Lake Mills | 2021 State IA (12.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists), Bennett Berger (7.5 points, 4.7 assists)
Montezuma: Trey Shearer Trey Shearer 5'10" | PG Montezuma | 2021 State IA (25.4 points, 4.8 assists, 57.4 FG%, 46.6 3P%), Cole Watts Cole Watts 5'10" | SG Montezuma | 2021 State IA (19.1, 50.7 3P%), Eddie Burgess Eddie Burgess 6'4" | PF Montezuma | 2022 State IA (13.9 points, 12.9 rebounds
Our pick: Lake Mills 67, Montezuma 65
1A Quarterfinal: #3 Grand View Christian (20-1) vs. #6 St. Mary’s (22-3), 4:00 pm
Analysis: After winning three straight 1A championships, Grand View Christian missed the state tournament last year. They’re back in a big way, with their lone loss this season coming to 4A Ottumwa. The Thunder play as an independent, and as such, were able to rack up quality wins over good teams like Albia, Meskwaki Settlement, Treynor, Roland-Story and two wins over St. Albert. The talented junior backcourt of Manny Hammonds Manny Hammonds 6'1" | SG Grand View Christian | 2022 State IA (20.1) and Josh Baucum Josh Baucum 6'1" | PG Grand View Christian School | 2022 IA (15.4) lead the way in scoring, but the key player for this group is 6-11 sophomore big man Daniel Tobiloba Daniel Tobiloba 7'0" | C Grand View Christian | 2023 State IA (10.3, 15.9 rebounds, 4.9 blocks). Tobiloba is a long, athletic big man in the mold of former Thunder standout Issa Samake. His presence in the paint completely changes the way that teams can attack the Thunder, and if he’s able to stay out of foul trouble and on the floor, good luck scoring against this team inside.
St. Mary’s (Remsen) is making their fifth straight state tournament appearance. The Hawks have a remarkably balanced attack, with five players averaging between 8.7 and 12.6 points a game, led by sophomore forward Jaxon Bunkers. Senior guard Blaine Harpenau Blaine Harpenau 6'0" | SG St. Mary's, Remsen | 2021 State IA (8.7, 4.4 assists) is the veteran of the team and has had some huge moments in Des Moines. A strong defensive team and an efficient offensive unit, look for the Hawks to try and attack Tobiloba early and slow the game down if they’re unable to get him into foul trouble.
Players to watch
Grand View Christian: Manny Hammonds Manny Hammonds 6'1" | SG Grand View Christian | 2022 State IA (20.1 points), Josh Baucum Josh Baucum 6'1" | PG Grand View Christian School | 2022 IA (15.4 points), Daniel Tobiloba Daniel Tobiloba 7'0" | C Grand View Christian | 2023 State IA (10.3 points, 15.9 rebounds, 4.9 blocks)
St. Mary’s: Jaxon Bunkers (12.6 points), Austin Jensen Austin Jensen 6'2" | PF St. Mary's, Remsen | 2022 State IA (10.0 points, 5.8 rebounds), Blaine Harpenau Blaine Harpenau 6'0" | SG St. Mary's, Remsen | 2021 State IA (8.7 points, 4.4 assists)
Our pick: Grand View Christian 59, St. Mary’s 50
2A Quarterfinal: #1 Boyden-Hull (24-0) vs. #8 South Central Calhoun (19-5), 6:00 pm
Analysis: Defending champion Boyden-Hull has been dominant this year, with only four of their games decided by single digits. Led by junior wing Tanner Te Slaa Tanner Te Slaa 6'5" | SF Boyden-Hull | 2022 State IA (21.5) and senior guard Marcus Kelderman Marcus Kelderman 6'1" | SG Boyden-Hull | 2021 State IA (17.6), they’re an offensive juggernaut who have been remarkably efficient, posting 53-41-70 shooting splits as a team. Senior forward Dayton Brunsting (9.1) and junior forward Bryan Zylstra (7.5) give them some additional scoring punch, and the Comets play a beautiful brand of basketball, with constant off-ball movement and they share the ball extremely well, averaging over 17 assists a game.
South Central Cal is making their first state tournament appearance and they have a tall task in front of them. One of the highest scoring teams in the 2A field, the Titans average 67.3 points a game behind a trio of double-figure scorers – senior Brennan Holder Brennan Holder 6'1" | SG South Central Calhoun | 2021 State IA (16.5), junior Joshua Dietrich (14.4) and senior Cole Corey (13.6). Holder has had a strong year shooting the ball, knocking down over 40% of his attempts from the arc, and he’ll need to have a huge game if the Titans are going to pull off the upset.
Players to watch
Boyden-Hull: Tanner Te Slaa Tanner Te Slaa 6'5" | SF Boyden-Hull | 2022 State IA (21.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 54.3 FG%), Marcus Kelderman Marcus Kelderman 6'1" | SG Boyden-Hull | 2021 State IA (17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 56.0 FG%), Dayton Brunsting (9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds)
South Central Calhoun: Brennan Holder Brennan Holder 6'1" | SG South Central Calhoun | 2021 State IA (16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds), Joshua Dietrich (14.4 points, 7.9 rebounds), Cole Corey (13.6 points, 4.2 assists)
Our pick: Boyden-Hull 70, South Central Calhoun 52
Analysis: Aplington-Parkersburg is an explosive and balanced offensive team, averaging 71.8 points a game. Junior guard Jayden Mackie Jayden Mackie 6'2" | PG Aplington-Parkersburg | 2022 State IA (13.2), who has already committed to play at D2 Upper Iowa, leads the attack that has six players averaging between 8.0 and 13.2 points a game. Sophomore guard Garrett Hempen (12.3) and senior Owen Thomas Owen Thomas 6'4" | SF Aplington-Parkersburg | 2021 State IA have emerged as reliable secondary scorers and solid shooters, as has freshman Gavin Thomas (9.5, 41.2 3P%). The Falcons shoot 38.8% from behind the arc as a team, and this balanced group also has a pair of standout big men in Josh Haan Josh Haan 6'6" | PF Aplington-Parkersburg | 2021 State IA (8.0) and Christian Haugstad Christian Haugstad 6'7" | C Aplington-Parkersburg | 2022 State IA (8.8), who really round out the roster.
Van Meter is making their fourth trip to the state tournament in the last five years, but they’ve used a slightly different style this year. Normally the Bulldogs are outstanding defensively, limiting teams to 38-39 points a game and relying on their work on that end to carry them. This year’s version, which features just one senior in the rotation, is a little better offensively and has turned up the tempo a bit as a result. Junior lead guard Chris Schreck Chris Schreck 5'10" | PG Van Meter | 2022 State IA (13.4) leads three double-figure scorers, with fellow juniors, forward Clark Fiala (11.2, 2.4 blocks) and guard Casey Trudo (10.8) joining him.
Players to watch
Aplington-Parkersburg: Jayden Mackie Jayden Mackie 6'2" | PG Aplington-Parkersburg | 2022 State IA (13.2 points), Garrett Hempen (12.3 points), Owen Thomas Owen Thomas 6'4" | SF Aplington-Parkersburg | 2021 State IA (11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds)
Van Meter: Chris Schreck Chris Schreck 5'10" | PG Van Meter | 2022 State IA (13.4 points), Clark Fiala (11.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocks), Casey Trudo (10.8 points)
Our pick: Aplington-Parkersburg 66, Van Meter 59
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