2A #8 Central Lyon (0-0) at 2A #2 Boyden-Hull (1-0)
The Comets have won nine straight meetings between these Siouxland Conference rivals. They got off to a strong start to the year on Tuesday night, beating George-Little Rock 78-46 behind 23 points each from senior wings Tanner Te SlaaTannerTe Slaa6'5" | SFBoyden-Hull | 2022StateIA and Vance KatzfeyVanceKatzfey6'3" | SGBoyden-Hull | 2022StateIA. Te Slaa, a South Dakota State signee, showcased his all-around talents, adding 8 rebounds and 9 assists in the win, while Spirit Lake transfer Katzfey chipped in 6 boards and 3 helpers. That tandem of wing scoring threats is arguably the best in 2A, and one of the best in the state, regardless of class. A team that moves the ball really well, they assisted on 23 of their 33 made field goals in the win. Te Slaa and Katzfey will be difficult matchups for the Lions, and they’ll also need to pay attention to guard Dylan FrancisDylanFrancis5'10" | SGBoyden-Hull | 2022StateIA and forward Bryan ZylstraBryanZylstra6'2" | PFBoyden-Hull | 2022StateIA, a pair of veteran pieces who can both really shoot it from the arc.
Expectations are high at Central Lyon, with three double-figure scorers returning in junior Zach LutmerZachLutmer6'1" | PGCentral Lyon | 2023IA and seniors Mason GerlemanMasonGerleman6'0" | SGCentral Lyon | 2022StateIA and Cooper Spiess. Lutmer is a do-it-all guard who impacts the game on both ends of the floor, and he scores at a highly efficient clip, posting 58-45-69 shooting splits last season. Gerleman is one of the best shooters in the state, knocking down 47% of his 3-point attempts last season, and senior guard Jace SchrickJaceSchrick6'5" | PFCentral Lyon | 2022StateIA (41.9 3P%) gives the Lions even more perimeter shooting. In the pair of losses to Boyden-Hull last year, the Lions shot just 10-39 (25.6%) from behind the arc, and that number is going to need to improve if they want to pull off the upset and get their season started in a big way.
2A #4 Rock Valley (0-0) at West Lyon (0-0)
Another big game in the Siouxland tonight is the season-opener for both Rock Valley and West Lyon. These teams generally play a very tight game, with seven of the last 11 meetings decided by single digits. Expectations are high for both teams this year, with Rock Valley bringing back 80% of their scoring and West Lyon bringing back three double-figure scorers. The Rockets are led by their "Big Three" of Landyn Van KekerixLandynVan Kekerix5'11" | SGRock Valley | 2022StateIA, Bryson Van GrootheestBrysonVan Grootheest6'0" | CGRock Valley | 2022StateIA, and Sam RemmerdeSamRemmerde6'3" | PFRock Valley | 2022StateIA, a trio of seniors who have been playing together for a long time, and each of them are capable of scoring 25 points on a given night.
West Lyon counters with their own "Big Three" in seniors Caleb Folkens, Javen Meyer, and Jaxon MeyerJaxonMeyer6'4" | PFWest Lyon | 2022StateIA, each of whom scored between 10.4 and 11.7 points a game last season. The Wildcats are always big, physical, and athletic, and this year’s iteration will be no different. They will need to keep Van Kekerix and Van Grootheest out of the paint in this one if they want to pull off the upset. The Rockets shot 60% from the floor in their 75-65 win last year, with a number of those shots coming via dribble penetration.
Bondurant-Farrar (0-0) at 3A #9 Winterset (1-0)
Bondurant-Farrar took two of the three meetings between these teams last year, including a 50-37 win in the postseason that knocked the Huskies out. Expect Winterset to be looking for some revenge in a big early-season Raccoon River Conference tilt. Winterset is led by their trio of talented guards - Levi GurwellLeviGurwell6'0" | SGWinterset | 2022StateIA, Dawson ForgyDawsonForgy5'11" | PGWinterset | 2022StateIA, and Brayden DinklaBraydenDinkla5'11" | PGWinterset | 2023StateIA - who combined to score 42 points with 12 assists and 10 steals in the Huskies’ season-opening win over Creston. Gurwell is the team’s go-to scorer, a versatile three-level scorer. Forgy is a physical lead guard who was one of the state’s best running backs, and he uses that quickness and physicality to get to the rim and get others involved, and Dinkla is a talented ball-handler and shooter. Senior stretch-forward Nathan AveryNathanAvery6'3" | SFWinterset | 2022StateIA also scored in double-digits in their opening win.
The Blue Jays are led by one of the best scoring wings in the state in junior Colby CollisonColbyCollison6'4" | SFBondurant-Farrar | 2023StateIA, a 6-4 wing who can fill it up from all three levels at a highly efficient clip. Collison has an excellent feel for the game, knowing when he needs to take over as a scorer, or when he needs to look to get others involved. With his size and skill, he’s a tough matchup for this Winterset team. In the three games last year, he averaged 18 points on 50% shooting, along with 10.7 rebounds. The Jays are breaking in a lot of new pieces, but Collison will keep this team competitive until they’re ready. Ball security will be critical for them in this game, as Winterset had 16 steals as a team, and with their quick guards, they’ll be looking to jump passing lanes.
4A #6 Ankeny (0-0) at 4A #1 Ames (0-0)
The season-opener for a pair of CIML powers, Ankeny will be looking to be more competitive against the Little Cyclones after losing both meetings last year by an average of 20 points a game. In those two games, the athletic and dominant defensive group from Ames limited Ankeny to an average of 35.5 points a game. Future Iowa State point guard Tamin LipseyTaminLipsey6'1" | PGAmes | 2022State#163NationIA, arguably the best two-way player in the state, leads Ames on both ends of the floor, but this is an experienced team that brings back a lot of talented pieces. Corey PhillipsCoreyPhillips6'5" | PFAmes | 2022StateIA is a force in the paint, Trevion LabeauxTrevionLabeaux6'3" | SFAmes | 2022StateIA gives them size, length, and athleticism on the wing, and Lucas LuethLucasLueth6'6" | SFAmes | 2023StateIA is a long, 6-7 defender. They’ve also added a 6-7 sharpshooter by the name of Clay Wright, who joins the Cyclones by way of the United Kingdom. He’s a fantastic shooter with great size, and he should give Ames some needed perimeter shooting.
Ankeny brings back nearly 85% of their scoring from last season, led by experienced forward Ryan CrandallRyanCrandall6'1" | SFAnkeny | 2022StateIA, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last year. Point guard Carson JohnsonCarsonJohnson5'9" | PGAnkeny | 2024StateIA, a talented sophomore, may end up being the most important piece for the Hawks this year. He’s small, but extremely talented. He’s a knockdown shooter and an excellent passer who will make this team click on both ends. JJ KohlJJKohl6'8" | PFAnkeny | 2023StateIA and Karson WehdeKarsonWehde6'4" | SGAnkeny | 2023StateIA give them some size and physicality, and they add sophomore wing Lio AguirreLioAguirre6'3" | SFCentennial | 2024StateIA to the rotation this year as well. Aguirre averaged 9.5 points a game last year at Centennial and transferred across town to give the Hawks another perimeter scorer. This team struggled to score against the Little Cyclones last year, as did most teams, so expect to see them try to push the tempo a little bit and get buckets before Ames gets their defense set and they put the stranglehold on teams.
3A #1 Pella (1-0) at 4A #9 Indianola (1-0)
Expect plenty of fireworks in this one, as two of the best offensive teams in the state are meeting up. Indianola holds a 5-4 edge in the series since joining the Little Hawkeye Conference, and those nine games have seen an average of 142.7 points a game. Both teams hold wins over North Polk so far, with Pella winning 55-42, and Indianola owning a 76-66 win.
The defending 3A champion Dutch got 21 points and 7 rebounds from Karl MillerKarlMiller6'4" | SFPella | 2022StateIA, and 11 points from Noah AllenNoahAllen5'10" | PGPella | 2022StateIA in that win over North Polk. They had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night (43% as a team), so they’ll be looking to get back on track in this one. They’ll have their hands full with Indianola junior wing Drew KingeryDrewKingery6'4" | SFIndianola | 2023StateIA, who had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals in the Indians’ opening win. The 6-5 wing holds an offer from North Dakota, and has the size, length, and skill set to be a major matchup problem with his three-level scoring abilities. Junior combo forward Charlie WillmottCharlieWillmott6'4" | PFIndianola | 2023StateIA gives them some more inside-out scoring, and the backcourt of Brayden DreaBraydenDrea5'10" | PGIndianola | 2023StateIA and Cooper NailorCooperNailor5'11" | PGIndianola | 2022StateIA gives them a pair of talented ball-handlers who shouldn’t have too many issues with the constant pressure that Pella provides. This one should be a lot of fun, and may go quite a way in deciding the LHC at the end of the year.