Posted On: 03/8/21 9:34 PM

Gallagher

2A Quarterfinal: #3 Des Moines Christian (21-2) vs. #6 Beckman Catholic (16-7), 10:00 am

Analysis: Des Moines Christian has put together a really strong season, with their two losses coming by a combined five points to 3A qualifier Dallas Center-Grimes and to conference foe Panorama. The Lions are a strong, balanced team on both ends of the floor, holding teams to just 44.8 points a game, which ranks 6th in 2A. They’re led by junior wing Adam Witty Adam Witty 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2022 State IA (14.4) and seniors Ben Loverude Ben Loverude 6'6" | PF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (13.8) and Grant Veenstra Grant Veenstra 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (12.5). The Lions can go deep into their bench, and they like to use their physicality and athleticism to exert their dominance on their opponents. One thing to monitor is that they shoot just 30.4% from behind the arc as a team.

Beckman Catholic plays in the 3A-heavy WaMaC, which should prepare them well for this tournament. The Blazers had to deal with a season-ending injury to leading scorer Mason White Mason White 6'0" | SG Beckman Catholic | 2021 State IA earlier this year, but sophomore wing Padraig Gallagher Padraig Gallagher 6'4" | SF Beckman Catholic | 2023 State IA (14.1) has really stepped up his play since that injury, averaging 16.9 points on 52.3% shooting and 46.3% from 3 since White went down. A skilled scorer with good size, he can fill it up from all three levels. Senior forward Jack Gehling Jack Gehling 6'4" | PF Beckman Catholic | 2021 State IA (10.9) can stretch the floor a bit and is a mobile big who rebounds well, and junior lead guard Logan Goedken (8.6, 4.2 assists) is a solid ball-handler and decision-maker. The question for the Blazers this week will be whether or not they can find enough scoring alongside Gallagher. 

Players to watch
Des Moines Christian: Adam Witty Adam Witty 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2022 State IA (14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds), Grant Veenstra Grant Veenstra 6'2" | SF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds), Ben Loverude Ben Loverude 6'6" | PF Des Moines Christian | 2021 State IA (13.8 points)
Beckman Catholic: Padraig Gallagher Padraig Gallagher 6'4" | SF Beckman Catholic | 2023 State IA (14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 43.0 3P%), Jack Gehling Jack Gehling 6'4" | PF Beckman Catholic | 2021 State IA (10.9 points, 6.4 rebounds), Logan Goedken (8.6 points, 4.2 assists)

Our pick: Beckman Catholic 62, Des Moines Christian 58

 

Erwin

2A Quarterfinal: #2 Western Christian (19-5) vs. #7 Camanche (18-6), 12:00 pm

Analysis: After a three-year absence from the state tournament, perennial power Western Christian is back in Des Moines, and five of their top six scorers are either juniors or sophomores, so expect to see the Wolfpack back here again next year. Junior forward Ty Van Essen Ty Van Essen 6'4" | PF Western Christian | 2022 State IA (16.3, 8.0 rebounds) is a dominant force who scores from all three levels with remarkable efficiency, posting 60-53-74 shooting splits. Fellow juniors Wyatt Gulker (12.3) and Eli Van Essen (10.0) are also strong scoring threats, and they move the ball extremely well.

Camanche has dealt with injuries to a number of key players this year, and as a result, 11 different players have started at least one game for the Indians. Coach Josh Davis has turned the Indians into a powerhouse, and despite losing three all-state players from last year’s third-place team, he has them back in Des Moines. Junior wing Zach Erwin Zach Erwin 6'4" | SF Camanche | 2022 State IA (15.2) is the team’s leading scorer, capable of taking over games on both ends of the floor. Senior guard Jordan Lawrence Jordan Lawrence 5'10" | PG Camanche | 2021 State IA (14.4, 44.0 3P%) made his name known by being an outstanding defender, but he’s taken his offensive game to another level this year, and senior big man Zayne Feller Zayne Feller 6'7" | PF Camanche | 2021 State IA (11.1, 60.3 FG%) is a highly efficient forward who runs the floor well. The Indians have a deep rotation that they are comfortable with.

Players to watch
Western Christian: Ty Van Essen Ty Van Essen 6'4" | PF Western Christian | 2022 State IA (16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 53.2 3P%), Wyatt Gulker (12.3 points, 41.9 3P%), Eli Van Essen (10.0 points)
Camanche: Zach Erwin Zach Erwin 6'4" | SF Camanche | 2022 State IA (15.2 points, 6.1 rebounds), Jordan Lawrence Jordan Lawrence 5'10" | PG Camanche | 2021 State IA (14.4 points, 44.0 3P%), Zayne Feller Zayne Feller 6'7" | PF Camanche | 2021 State IA (11.1 points, 7.0 rebounds)

Our pick: Western Christian 68, Camanche 64

 

Drew

3A Quarterfinal: #1 Ballard (23-1) vs. #8 Clear Lake (22-2), 2:00 pm

Analysis: The Bombers entered the season as our top-ranked team in 3A, and they’ve done nothing to change that opinion. The top scoring offense in 3A (72.4) and second-best scoring defense (42.9), they’ve lost just once this year, an overtime loss to Carroll. A veteran team, they’re led by senior forward Connor Drew Connor Drew 6'6" | PF Ballard | 2021 State IA (15.6, 9.0 rebounds), a versatile big who can score inside and out and dominate the glass. Junior guard Ashton Hermann Ashton Hermann 6'4" | SG Ballard | 2022 State IA (15.7) leads the team in scoring and is a major disruptor on the defensive end, swiping 3.5 steals a game. Senior lead guard Mason Murphy Mason Murphy 5'9" | PG Ballard | 2021 State IA (11.9, 4.8 assists) is a veteran presence in the backcourt, while senior wing Isaiah Peasley (6.4, 44.1 3P%) gives them some shooting. Junior big Kale Krogh Kale Krogh 6'6" | C Ballard | 2022 State IA (7.4, 1.7 blocks) is a big, physical force in the paint who makes life difficult for opposing forwards. This group is big, long, athletic, experienced and skilled.

Clear Lake has lost just twice this year, a 54-46 loss to Humboldt way back on December 11, and a 4-point setback to Algona on February 12. They average 63 points a game and are led by the dynamic inside-out tandem of senior forward Andrew Formanek Andrew Formanek 6'6" | PF Clear Lake | 2021 State IA (17.8, 13.1 rebounds) and junior guard Carson Toebe Carson Toebe 6'3" | PG Clear Lake | 2022 State IA (18.9, 4.2 assists). The emergence of sophomore point guard Travaughn Luyobya (4.8, 5.6 assists) has allowed the Lions to occasionally move Toebe off the ball and give him more room to operate.

Players to watch
Ballard: Connor Drew Connor Drew 6'6" | PF Ballard | 2021 State IA (15.6 points, 9.0 rebounds), Ashton Hermann Ashton Hermann 6'4" | SG Ballard | 2022 State IA (15.7 points, 3.5 steals), Mason Murphy Mason Murphy 5'9" | PG Ballard | 2021 State IA (11.9 points, 4.8 assists)
Clear Lake: Carson Toebe Carson Toebe 6'3" | PG Clear Lake | 2022 State IA (18.9 points, 4.2 assists), Andrew Formanek Andrew Formanek 6'6" | PF Clear Lake | 2021 State IA (17.8 points, 13.1 rebounds), Eric Ritter (8.9 points, 6.3 rebounds), Travaughn Luyobya (4.8 points, 5.6 assists)

Our pick: Ballard 69, Clear Lake 57

 

Ellis

3A Quarterfinal: #4 Dallas Center-Grimes (20-3) vs. #5 Assumption (18-6), 4:00 pm

Analysis: This one should be a dandy. Dallas Center-Grimes has the best backcourt in 3A, with their three-headed monster of juniors Cole Glasgow Cole Glasgow 6'3" | SG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (17.0) and Bo Huston (12.5, 52.2 3P%) and senior Luke Rankin Luke Rankin 5'10" | PG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2021 State IA (13.0, 8.4 assists). Glasgow has emerged as one of the top prospects in Iowa’s 2022 class, and he holds a handful of mid-major offers to prove it. A talented scorer from all three levels, he’s a threat to erupt for 30 on any given night. Rankin is one of the best pure point guards in the state, a remarkably talented passer who sees the floor extremely well and does an excellent job protecting the ball (just 1.4 turnovers a game), and Huston has become one of the state’s best shooters and is an excellent fit alongside the versatile Glasgow and pass-first Rankin. 

Assumption has the most highly-regarded prospect in the 3A field in Texas signee Emarion Ellis Emarion Ellis 6'4" | SF Assumption | 2021 State #141 Nation IA (16.4). Ellis and junior wing Noah Mack Noah Mack 6'0" | SG Assumption | 2022 State IA (11.7, 40.6 3P%) both missed a significant chunk of time this year with injuries, but they’re both back in the lineup now and this team is playing at a really high level on both ends fo the floor. The experience that the Knights role players gained while they were injured has been invaluable, giving them more depth and versatility. Senior guard Dayne Hodge Dayne Hodge 5'11" | PG Assumption | 2021 State IA (9.0) is an excellent defender who will likely be tasked with the Glasgow assignment in this one.

Players to watch
Dallas Center-Grimes: Cole Glasgow Cole Glasgow 6'3" | SG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (17.0 points, 53.3 FG%), Bo Huston (12.5 points, 52.2 3P%), Luke Rankin Luke Rankin 5'10" | PG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2021 State IA (13.0 points, 8.4 assists, 2.5 steals)
Assumption: Emarion Ellis Emarion Ellis 6'4" | SF Assumption | 2021 State #141 Nation IA (16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists), Noah Mack Noah Mack 6'0" | SG Assumption | 2022 State IA (11.7 points, 40.6 3P%), Dayne Hodge Dayne Hodge 5'11" | PG Assumption | 2021 State IA (9.0 points)

Our pick: Assumption 62, Dallas Center-Grimes 60

 

Baumhover

3A Quarterfinal: #3 Western Dubuque (18-4) vs. #6 Sergeant Bluff-Luton (16-7), 6:00 pm

Analysis: This should be a great battle between a pair of teams who are accustomed to playing bigger schools, as each plays in a 4A-dominant league. Coach Adam Vander Schaaf always has his Sergeant Bluff-Luton team peaking late in the year, and this year is no exception, as the Warriors have won 10 straight heading into the tournament. The top four scorers for them are seniors – Jake Layman Jake Layman 6'7" | SF Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2021 State IA (11.6), Majok Majouk Majok Majouk 6'7" | SF Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2021 State IA (10.4), Nick Muller (8.4) and Brady Schaap (8.2) – giving them an experienced, balanced core. They’re a strong defensive team, allowing just 45 points a game, using their overwhelming length to really make things difficult on their opponents. The 6-8 Layman and 6-10 Majouk are both headed to play college ball at D2 Southwest Minnesota State.

Western Dubuque rolled through their substate, winning their three games by a combined 79 points. They were excellent in the traditionally strong 4A MVC this year, with a veteran core leading them. Senior forward Dylan Johnson Dylan Johnson 6'6" | SF Western Dubuque | 2021 State IA (16.6, 7.6 rebounds) is a versatile playmaker who can stretch the floor and facilitate the offense. Fellow senior guard Garrett Baumhover Garrett Baumhover 6'0" | PG Western Dubuque | 2021 State IA (15.2, 5.5 assists) is a streaky shooter but he’s had some massive games this year, and he’s a veteran, calming presence in the backcourt. Nick Bryant Nick Bryant 5'9" | PG Western Dubuque | 2022 State IA (11.5, 40.2 3P%), a junior guard, gives them some additional perimeter shooting. The Bobcats have shown the ability to win games in a variety of different styles, which bodes well for tournament play.

Players to watch
Western Dubuque: Dylan Johnson Dylan Johnson 6'6" | SF Western Dubuque | 2021 State IA (16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds), Garrett Baumhover Garrett Baumhover 6'0" | PG Western Dubuque | 2021 State IA (15.2 points, 5.5 assists), Nick Bryant Nick Bryant 5'9" | PG Western Dubuque | 2022 State IA (11.5 points)
Sergeant Bluff-Luton: Jake Layman Jake Layman 6'7" | SF Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2021 State IA (11.6 points, 3.4 assists), Majok Majouk Majok Majouk 6'7" | SF Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2021 State IA (10.4 points, 8.0 rebounds), Nick Muller (8.4 points)

Our pick: Western Dubuque 65, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 59

 

Recker

3A Quarterfinal: #2 Pella (22-2) vs. #7 Monticello (22-0), 8:00 pm

Analysis: This is going to be one of the most fascinating games of the whole tournament, a massive contrast in styles as Pella loves to get up-and-down, averaging 71.0 points a game. The Dutch thrive on playing up-tempo, forcing turnovers and chucking up 3s, which they hit at an incredible rate. They’re led by senior guard Grant Nelson Grant Nelson 6'1" | SF Pella | 2021 State IA (17.6), who leads the 3A field in made 3-pointers, and he’s knocking them down at a 46.2% clip. Junior wing Karl Miller Karl Miller 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (16.2) is finally healthy and playing up to his potential, emerging as a dominant scoring wing who can really shoot it. He ranks second behind Nelson in the 3A field in 3-point makes, and he’s shooting 42.7%. Throw in Newton transfer Noah Allen Noah Allen 5'10" | PG Pella | 2022 State IA (12.0, 43.2 3P%) and the Dutch have a ton of weapons to account for.

Monticello, on the other hand, is an elite defensive team that allows just 34.5 points a game. All five starters from last year’s 2A state qualifying team returned, and they’re hungry to make a run in the 3A field. They’re led by 6-6 combo forward Justin Recker Justin Recker 6'5" | PF Monticello | 2021 State IA (14.6, 7.1 rebounds) and sophomore guard Tate Petersen Tate Petersen 5'11" | PG Monticello | 2023 State IA (11.0, 38.0 3P%), but this is a balanced starting five that has a ton of experience playing together and they work really well as a unit. They like to play at a deliberate pace, really making the defense work until they can find an open look, and they share the ball well, dishing out 19.7 assists a game. An excellent, disciplined team defensive unit, they were doubted by some as they play in a 2A league, but they won their three postseason games by 30, 17 and 6 en route to the tournament. Whoever is able to dictate the tempo should have the upper-hand here, and we like Monticello to pull off the upset here. State tournament games tend to slow down naturally, and that plays into the Panthers hands. 

Players to watch
Pella: Grant Nelson Grant Nelson 6'1" | SF Pella | 2021 State IA (17.6 points, 46.2 3P%), Noah Allen Noah Allen 5'10" | PG Pella | 2022 State IA (12.0 points, 43.2 3P%), Karl Miller Karl Miller 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (16.2 points, 42.7 3P%)
Monticello: Justin Recker Justin Recker 6'5" | PF Monticello | 2021 State IA (14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds), Luke Lambert Luke Lambert 6'3" | PG Monticello | 2021 State IA (9.3 points, 4.6 assists), Tate Petersen Tate Petersen 5'11" | PG Monticello | 2023 State IA (11.0 points)

Our pick: Monticello 52, Pella 49

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