Thursday Playoff Picks
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Class 1A District Finals Game Location Our Pick Reasoning Madrid vs. Ankeny Christian Ankeny Madrid One of the best games of the night, this one should have plenty of scoring as both teams average over 70 points a game. It’s…
Class 1A District Finals
|Madrid vs. Ankeny Christian
|One of the best games of the night, this one should have plenty of scoring as both teams average over 70 points a game. It’s tight throughout, but Madrid has the best player on the floor in Braden Gibbons.
|West Fork vs. Meskwaki Settlement
|West Fork’s #11 scoring offense is going up against the #7 defense, but the Warhawks shouldn’t have issues scoring against Meskwaki. Do-everything forward Jakob Washington controls the glass, and the more difficult SOS plays a role here as West Fork moves into the substate final.
|Easton Valley vs. Edgewood-Colesburg
|Ed-Co is coming off a strong win over Central City, but doesn’t have the chops defensively to slow down the high-powered River Hawks attack.
|Lake Mills vs. West Hancock
|Bulldogs swept the season series by a combined 54 points. Closer than BC Moore says (29 points), but Lake Mills wins comfortably.
|Central Decatur vs. Nodaway Valley
|Central Decatur won regular season meeting, but non-Mason Menefee Wolverines shot just 9-39 (23%) in that game. Not going to happen again.
|Springville vs. Highland
|Iowa City Liberty
|Orioles may struggle to contain 6-8 Zack Lasek, but have the perimeter firepower and quickness to avoid him, turn this game into a track meet. Entertaining tilt goes to the better shooting team.
|New London vs. Pekin
|Both teams enter hot and guard battle between Brady Milikin and Blaise Porter should be great. Freshman Porter growing up before our eyes, was dominant in upset win over WACO, keeps the Tigers rolling with another big one.
|Turkey Valley vs. Janesville
|Elite defense, balanced scoring and controlling the glass leads Trojans to substate.
|Bishop Garrigan vs. Harris-Lake Park
|H-LP coming off upset win over Newell-Fonda, will struggle to stay with oversized Golden Bears.
|Mount Ayr vs. Bedford
|Raiders swept season series, limiting standout guard Brennan Sefrit to 11-43 shooting. Bad matchup for him and Bedford.
|South O’Brien vs. George-Little Rock
|G-LR has the size to make life difficult on Jackson Louscher, but SOB 2-3 zone takes away what G-LR looks to do. One of the best games of the night is decided late, whoever protects ball better wins.
|St. Mary’s vs. Siouxland Christian
|Sioux City East
|Siouxland in uncharted territory, St. Mary’s a veteran group on a mission to get back to State for 4th straight season. Spencer Schorg has a big game, Hawks advance in a slugfest.
|Woodbine vs. St. Albert
|2A/3A/4A Hawkeye Ten prepares CBSA for postseason play. Falcons have no issues with Woodbine team that struggles to shoot or score.
|Wapsie Valley vs. Don Bosco
|Warriors have major edge inside with 6-7 Kiks Rosengarten, and have a number of versatile defenders to throw at Don Bosco star guard Zach Huff
|Martensdale-St. Mary’s vs. CAM
|West Central Valley
|Much smaller CAM group will struggle to compete on glass with 6-10 Issac Gavin, 6-3 athletic wing Trey Baker. Extra possessions vital in postseason play.
|Montezuma vs. Keota
|Montezuma won regular season meeting by 8 at Keota, with both team’s stars (Trey Shearer, JD Stout) playing well. Role players could decide this one, but Braves get edge with best player on the floor in Shearer.
Class 3A Substate Semifinals
|Ballard at Algona
|Bombers have shown incredibly high ceiling throughout the year, notching wins over Carroll (twice), Winterset and Harlan. Combo forward Connor Drew matchup problem for the Bulldogs.
|Mount Pleasant at Assumption
|Athletic Knights should force plenty of turnovers from Panthers group that has more TOs than assists. No answer for Sean Peeters.
|Sergeant Bluff-Luton at Carroll
|SB-L is the more talented team, Carroll has been more consistent. This one could definitely go either way, as the Warriors are one of the biggest, most talented teams in 3A, and Carroll could struggle with the size and length. But playing at home, with a team that shoots over 40% from the arc, we give the edge to the Tigers.
|Decorah at Center Point-Urbana
|CPU is the top defensive team in 3A, allowing just 39 points a game. They’ll have their hands full with Decorah’s high-powered attack, but have just enough firepower to advance.
|Xavier at Central DeWitt
|The major edge in SOS should play a difference here, with Xavier playing in the loaded MVC on a nightly basis. Saints backcourt has major quickness advantage here, which will play a role on both ends.
|Keokuk at Clear Creek-Amana
|Clippers have been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in 3A this year, knocking down 40.2% of attempts. Balanced attack and shooting lifts CCA to home win, substate final appearance.
|Iowa Falls-Alden at Clear Lake
|Lions swept season series, winning latest meeting by 35 points a month ago. They held star guard Karson Sharar to 6-23 shooting in that meeting, have the perimeter length to challenge him again.
|ADM at Dallas Center-Grimes
|DCG won by just 4, 63-59, a month ago, so expect a tight one. Mustangs battled back from 20-8 first quarter deficit for that win. Big nights from dynamic guard combo of Luke Rankin, Cole Glasgow. DCG wins again.
|Harlan at Glenwood
|Teams split season series, each winning on the other’s home court. Rams have been more impressive of late, get slight edge at home. Ryan Blum, Zach Carr need to be big.
|Waverly-Shell Rock at Marion
|Tighter than the first meeting (59-46 Marion win) in Waverly, but Indians win again. More offensive weapons than Go-Hawks.
|Le Mars at MOC-Floyd Valley
|Fascinating contrast between guard heavy Bulldogs and dominant big Alex Van Kalsbeek. He should have his way against undersized Le Mars frontcourt. Dutchmen also put a ton of shooting on floor with Kyle Christy (47.1%), Keegan Douma (41.1), Justin Schipper (43.6), Eli Haverdink (38.4) and Carter Solsma (41.9).
|Wahlert at Mount Vernon
|Wahlert may have more individual talent, but Mount Vernon is the better TEAM. Mustangs move the ball extremely well, shoot it and are incredibly active defensively. Haven’t lost in over a month, they move on.
|Nevada at Norwalk
|Nevada coming off solid win over a good Gilbert team, but doesn’t have the defense to slow down Bowen Born and high-powered Warriors.
|Bondurant-Farrar at Oskaloosa
|Oskaloosa clearly has the best player on the floor in Xavier Foster, but the Indians have been frustratingly inconsistent with effort this year. Bondurant-Farrar wants it more, gets a big night from freshman wing Colby Collison.
|Grinnell at Pella
|Dutch swept season series by 19, 35 points. Shouldn’t have too many issues rolling to a third win over the Tigers here.
|Denison-Schleswig at Winterset
|Had high expectations for Denison-Schleswig, have been inconsistent. Charlie Wiebers, Goanar Biliew a dynamic duo, but will struggle with quickness of undersized but lightning fast Huskies.