2A Quarterfinal: #3 Mid-Prairie (24-0) vs. #6 Monticello (21-3), 10:30 am
Analysis: These teams met in the regular-season finale, a 65-50 win by Mid-Prairie. The Golden Hawks got 24 points from(9.0 43.6 3P%) in that win and out-rebounded the Panthers 27-16. The lone undefeated team remaining in Class 2A, Mid-Prairie has been excellent on the defensive end this season, allowing just 42.6 points a game. They’re a quick, athletic team with some length on the wing and in the paint, and they do a good job forcing turnovers and turning them into easy looks on the other end. Senior wing (20.0, 8.3 rebounds) leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and is also a talented playmaker who can be a major matchup problem at 6-5/6-6. They’re able to surround him with a number of perimeter shooting threats in Pennington, (8.1, 34.8 3P%) and WIll Cavanagh (7.9, 34.4 3P%), but it will be interesting to see how they adjust to the cavernous backdrop at Wells Fargo Arena. This is their first state tournament appearance since 2010.
Monticello lost four starters from last year’s 3A state tournament team, but the Panthers have just kept on winning, qualifying for their third consecutive trip to Des Moines. Junior guard(19.2, 5.5 assists, 37.9 3P%) is a three-year starter for the Panthers, and that experience could prove to be invaluable in this game. He’s a talented shooter and playmaker who has really improved his all-around offensive game this season. Sophomore forward (18.5, 6.9 rebounds) is an excellent athlete who can score inside and out, and the Panthers have gotten strong production out of senior forward Trey Kuper (8.4, 6.2 rebounds) and sophomore guard Peyton Schilling (6.3, 3.3 assists, 38.2 3P%). Coach Tim Lambert always has this group ready to go on the defensive end, and the experience that Petersen and Ries have playing in this setting will be huge.
Players to watch
Mid-Prairie: 2022 (20.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 52.4 FG%), 2022 (10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 63.2 FG%), 2022 (9.0 points, 4.1 assists, 43.6 3P%)
Monticello: 2023 (19.2 points, 5.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 37.9 3P%), 2024 (18.5 points, 6.9 rebounds)
Our pick: Mid-Prairie 52, Monticello 48
2A Quarterfinal: #2 Rock Valley (19-5) vs. #7 Jesup (19-5), 12:15 pm
Analysis: Rock Valley is making their 15th state tournament appearance, while Jesup punched their ticket to Des Moines for just the fourth time in school history, avenging a pair of blowout losses to Aplington-Parkersburg to get here. Rock Valley also avenged a pair of regular-season losses to help them get to the state tournament, knocking off Boyden-Hull in the district final before rolling over Estherville Lincoln Central in the substate final. The Rockets enter the tournament on a seven-game winning streak and have four double-figure scorers leading a deep and talented stable of scorers.(18.6, 40.2 3P%) is the team’s top scorer, while (12.5, 5.9 rebounds) is a powerful guard who can score from all three levels. He has committed to play football at Iowa. (11.8, 7.2 rebounds) can stretch the floor and protect the rim, and Dawson Van Beek (10.8, 41.3 3P%) might be the team’s best shooting threat. A senior-laden team with plenty of big-game experience (although none at the state tournament), the Rockets are shooting 50% from the floor as a team and nearly 38% from 3.
Jesup is one of the hottest teams in the state heading into this tournament, winning 16 straight games paced by a potent offensive attack that ranks fourth in 2A at 74.6 points a game. However, the reason for the hot streak has been their effort on the defensive end, holding teams to 51.6 points a night during the streak, a major imporvement over the first eight games this season. They’re led by senior forward(20.9, 11.5 rebounds), an efficient scorer and rebounder who is headed to Iowa State to throw the discus and shot put. Corbin Fuelling (16.5, 36.8 3P%) and (15.1, 37.9 3P%) are both big-time scoring threats on the perimeter, and (9.5, 5.8 assists) has been really strong as a lead guard facilitator.
Players to watch
Rock Valley: 2022 (18.6 points, 2.8 assists, 40.2 3P%), 2022 (12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 55.0 FG%), 2022 (11.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 51.4 FG%), 2022 Dawson Van Beek (10.8 points, 41.3 3P%)
Jesup: 2022 (20.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 68.2 FG%), 2022 Corbin Fuelling (16.5 points, 2.3 assists), 2024 (15.1 points, 3.1 assists, 37.9 3P%)
Our pick: Rock Valley 66, Jesup 60
3A Quarterfinal: #1 Dallas Center-Grimes (19-5) vs. #8 Carroll (16-8), 2:00 pm
Analysis: These teams met on January 22 at the Gilbert Showcase, a narrow 53-50 Dallas Center-Grimes win in overtime. Despite turning the ball over 24 times in that game, Carroll had a chance to win, so they have to feel good heading into this rematch. The Tigers are making their first state tournament appearance since 2010, while Dallas Center-Grimes is making their second straight trip. The top-seeded Mustangs have been outstanding on the defensive end of the floor this season, allowing just 48.5 points a game, and their athleticism on the perimeter can make life difficult for Carroll’s stellar guards again in this one.(15.0) is the headliner of the group, an explosive athlete and on-ball defender who is headed to play his college ball at UMKC. (11.3, 4.9 assists) is a solid lead guard who can penetrate the defense and get others involved, and (10.3, 37.9 3P%) and (8.7, 40.0 3P%) provide plenty of perimeter shooting. Glasgow, Huston, and Jones were all here last year, and that experience will help them here.
Carroll turned the ball over twice as many times as their season average in that regular-season loss to DCG, with the Mustangs perimeter athleticism causing some problems for them. They’ll obviously need to take better care of the ball if they want to notch an upset here. They’ve won eight straight games heading into this one, headlined by the stellar play of senior guard(20.3, 5.1 assists), who leads the team in scoring and helpers. He’s an electric three-level scorer with an excellent mid-range game. (10.5, 36.4 3P%) is a strong complement to Booth in the backcourt, and the Tigers have gotten good production on the glass from Caden Kock (9.4, 6.1 rebounds) and Evan Hammer (7.7, 6.3 rebounds).
Players to watch
Dallas Center-Grimes: 2022 (15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds), 2022 (11.3 points, 4.9 assists, 39.1 3P%), 2022 (10.3 points, 37.9 3P%), 2022 (8.7 points, 40.0 3P%)
Carroll: 2022 (20.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 40.8 3P%), 2022 (10.5 points, 36.4 3P%), 2022 Caden Kock (9.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 53.8 FG%)
Our pick: Dallas Center-Grimes 55, Carroll 50
3A Quarterfinal: #4 Winterset (19-5) vs. #5 Marion (19-5), 3:45 pm
Analysis: Both of these teams are making their first state tournament appearances since 2019, and with the recent tragedy that happened in the Winterset community, this game has a little bit of added meaning on Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies have won nine of their last 10 games heading into the tournament, using their fantastic backcourt to control games on both ends of the floor.(17.5) leads the team in scoring, while (11.2) and (9.8, 6.5 assists) are the team’s primary ball-handlers. The Huskies have a pair of undersized bigs who can stretch the floor and attack the glass, and their ability to space the floor is extremely beneficial for a team that has a number of quick guards who can attack the rim.
Marion is led by junior guard(19.3, 42.3 3P%), one of the best pure scorers in the state. He had a huge summer with the Iowa Barnstormers and carried that momentum into his junior year, showing his ability to fill it up from all three levels throughout the year. (9.7, 5.5 rebounds), an Iowa football commit, is a slashing, athletic wing who can defend multiple positions, and the Wolves do a good job crashing the glass on both ends of the floor. Laube is a star, and they are able to put a bunch of good role players alongside him. The guard play in this game should be a ton of fun to watch.
Players to watch
Winterset: 2022 (17.5 points, 3.0 assists), 2022 (11.2 points, 52.7 FG%), 2023 (9.8 points, 6.5 assists)
Marion: 2023 (19.3 points, 42.3 3P%), 2023 (9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds)
Our pick: Winterset 67, Marion 62
3A Quarterfinal: #2 Decorah (22-1) vs. #7 Central DeWitt (18-6), 5:30 pm
Analysis: Decorah is making their first state tournament appearance in 45 years, while Central DeWitt is here for the first time since 2014. The contrasting strengths of these two teams should make for a fascinating chess match throughout and makes this arguably the most interesting 3A quarterfinal game. Decorah has been the most dominant team in 3A this season, winning games by an average of 24.5 points a game, ranking 1st in the 3A field in both scoring offense and defense. They have four double-figure scorers and two others who average 8.5 and 9.5 points a game, meaning they’re able to put six viable scoring threats on the floor at any given time. They’re led by(14.1) and (11.6, 4.7 assists), who make up a talented backcourt that shares the ball really well (18.2 assists a game, 7.7 turnovers). The Vikings are undersized, but incredibly fast, athletic, and physical. They average 14 offensive rebounds a game.
Central DeWitt counters with the most physically imposing player in the 3A field in 6-9, 295-pound(23.8, 10.0 rebounds). Don’t let Gilbert’s size fool you, he’s not getting by just because of how big he is, he’s also an incredibly skilled forward who can score inside and out, and if you want to throw double or triple-teams at him, he’s a talented passer who sees the floor really well. The Sabers are able to put four other players on the floor who shoot at least 36% from behind the arc in (13.3, 37.3 3P%), (9.0, 36.4 3P%), Paul Kuehn (5.7, 37.5 3P%), and Gus Pickup (2.8, 38.2 3P%). Look for Decorah to try and turn this into a track meet and get Gilbert into some ball-screen action to make him defend on the perimeter. If they’re unable to take him out of this game, the Sabers will have an excellent chance here.
Players to watch
Decorah: 2022 (14.1 points, 4.0 assists), 2024 (12.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 55.4 FG%), 2024 (11.6 points, 4.7 assists), 2022 Carson Wemark (10.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists)
Central DeWitt: 2022 (23.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 61.8 FG%), 2022 (13.3 points, 3.8 assists), 2023 (9.0 points, 3.0 assists)
Our pick: Decorah 68, Central DeWitt 60
3A Quarterfinal: #3 Assumption (19-5) vs. #6 Humboldt (21-3), 7:15 pm
Analysis: Assumption is making their second straight trip to the state tournament, the school’s 18th appearance overall, while Humboldt is making their first trip since 2014. Since Ivan Prug (13.7, 6.5 rebounds, 50.8 3P%) became eligible for Assumption, the Knights have been rolling. They’re 13-2 since he joined the lineup and come into the tournament riding a 10-game winning streak. He’s not the team’s leading scorer, but the 6-9 big man can score inside and out and is a nightmare matchup for teams at this level with his footwork and ability to stretch the floor.(16.3, 44.0 3P%) leads the team in scoring and he has been excellent as a shooter and playmaker this season, and the Knights are able to put even more shooting on the floor in the form of (8.1, 37.0 3P%) and Jay Costello (6.0, 38.1 3P%), who along with Mack, have plenty of state tournament experience from last year’s semifinalist.
Humboldt was one of the most pleasant surprises of the season in 3A this year, opening the year with 12 straight wins. They have a pair of double-figure scorers in junior(13.5) and senior Caden Matson (12.6), and this is a deep and balanced offensive team that has six players averaging at least 7.7 points a game. The Wildcats crash the offensive glass hard, pulling down nearly 12 offensive rebounds a game, and they’ll need to pound the boards hard if they want to keep pace with an Assumption team that can light up the scoreboard in a hurry.
Players to watch
Assumption: 2022 (16.3 points, 4.6 assists, 44.0 3P%), 2022 Ivan Prug (13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 50.8 3P%)
Humboldt: 2023 (13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds), 2022 Caden Matson (12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists)
Our pick: Assumption 63, Humboldt 55