[player_tooltip player_id="962618" first="Rhenden" last="Wagaman"] 1A #5 North Linn (9-1) at Springville (9-1) North Linn has won 15 straight meetings in this series, but both meetings last season were tight – 53-46 and 69-59. Expect plenty of fireworks in this one,…
1A #5 North Linn (9-1) at Springville (9-1)
North Linn has won 15 straight meetings in this series, but both meetings last season were tight – 53-46 and 69-59. Expect plenty of fireworks in this one, as these are two of the four highest-scoring offenses in 1A. North Linn is tops in the state, averaging 86.7 points a game, while Springville is putting up 76.2 a night. The Lynx rebounded from their upset loss to Edgewood-Colesburg by getting back to business against East Buchanan, posting a 53-point win and forcing 32 turnovers. Senior lead guard Austin Hilmer Austin Hilmer 5'11" | PG North Linn | 2022 State IA (23.5 points, 7.8 assists, 5.4 steals) leads the attack on both ends of the floor. He’s a fast and talented guard who uses his quickness to impact the game on both ends of the floor. Tate Haughenbury Tate Haughenbury 6'5" | PF North Linn | 2023 State IA (16.6), Dylan Kurt Dylan Kurt 6'3" | SF North Linn | 2022 State IA (13.7), and Cade Haughenbury Cade Haughenbury 6'2" | SF North Linn | 2022 State IA (10.4) provide additional scoring, and this team thrives on forcing turnovers left and right.
Springville’s lone loss this season also came against Edgewood-Colesburg, and the Orioles have rebounded well from that setback, winning three straight. Senior wing Rhenden Wagaman Rhenden Wagaman 6'3" | SG Springville | 2022 State IA (24.9) is coming off of back-to-back 41-point games and is the type of athletic, long, scoring wing that could potentially give the Lynx some issues here. Quick senior guard Luke Menster Luke Menster 5'10" | PG Springville | 2022 State IA (18.5, 5.2 assists) is the straw that stirs the drink, and senior forward Dylan DeMean Dylan DeMean 6'3" | SF Springville | 2022 State IA (14.0, 10.9 rebounds) has been a revelation in the paint as a scorer and a dominant rebounder. The matchup in the paint between DeMean and Haughenbury should be very interesting.
2A #7 Rock Valley (7-2) at 2A #1 Central Lyon (9-0)
Central Lyon ended a nine-game losing streak to the Rockets near the end of the regular season last year, edging out a 79-78 win. Led by a dynamic offensive attack that is averaging 83.6 points a game, the Lions have climbed to the #1 spot in 2A, owning quality wins over Boyden-Hull, West Lyon, and Estherville Lincoln Central. Junior guard Zach Lutmer Zach Lutmer 6'1" | PG Central Lyon | 2023 IA (22.0, 6.6 assists) leads the charge for a team that is posting 54-40-72 shooting splits as a unit, and Mason Gerleman Mason Gerleman 6'0" | SG Central Lyon | 2022 State IA (19.4, 52.1 3P%) and Andrew Austin (17.4, 38.1 3P%) pair with Lutmer to give Central Lyon a trio of high-powered guards. This is a team that has done an excellent job pounding the offensive glass, pulling down 11.1 offensive rebounds a game, an offensive rebounding rate of 41.7%. Rock Valley will need to protect the arc and clean up the glass to prevent this high-powered unit from getting any extra looks at the bucket.
For Rock Valley, senior Bryson Van Grootheest Bryson Van Grootheest 6'0" | CG Rock Valley | 2022 State IA (20.5, 55.0 FG%) leads the charge, while Sam Remmerde Sam Remmerde 6'3" | PF Rock Valley | 2022 State IA (13.5, 8.9 rebounds) has been fantastic in the paint on both ends of the floor. Fellow senior standout Landyn Van Kekerix Landyn Van Kekerix 5'11" | SG Rock Valley | 2022 State IA (12.8) has missed the last handful of games, which is a major blow for the Rockets, as he provides athleticism, physicality, toughness, and scoring punch on the perimeter for this team. This is a team like Central Lyon that pounds the offensive glass, pulling down 11.5 offensive rebounds a game, a 40.7% offensive rebounding rate. Whichever team does a better job limiting second-chance points should have an edge tonight.
3A #2 Pella (6-2) at 3A #1 Dallas Center-Grimes (6-1)
The top two teams in the Little Hawkeye Conference split their two meetings last season, with each team winning at home. Now, they’re the top two teams in 3A, and this is a huge game in the LHC race early on. Pella lost back-to-back games to Norwalk and Washington in December but has rebounded nicely, winning four straight by an average of 25.5 points a game. The potent Dutch attack is headlined by a trio of double-figure scorers in seniors Karl Miller Karl Miller 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (16.8, 43.4 3P%), Noah Allen Noah Allen 5'10" | PG Pella | 2022 State IA (14.6, 37.7 3P%), and Parker Elder Parker Elder 6'4" | SF Pella | 2022 State IA (10.8, 4.1 assists). Elder, a long and athletic wing, has stepped into a primary playmaker role and has been really solid for the Dutch. This is a dynamic offensive team that still hasn’t quite hit their peak yet, and they’re due to have an explosion game at some point.
Dallas Center-Grimes’ lone loss came to 4A #5 Johnston, by two, in overtime. The Mustangs are coming off a superb fourth-quarter performance against an excellent Pella Christian team, outscoring the Eagles 25-6 in the final frame to run away with a 62-40 win. The ’Stangs are able to counter with a trio of double-figure scorers of their own in senior guards Cole Glasgow Cole Glasgow 6'3" | SG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (15.1), Jacob Runyan Jacob Runyan 5'9" | PG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (12.3, 5.6 assists, 52.2 3P%), and Bo Huston Bo Huston 5'10" | SG Dallas Center-Grimes | 2022 State IA (11.4, 50.0 3P%). Glasgow, headed to UMKC, is the headliner, but Runyan and Huston are excellent pieces alongside the slashing guard. Runyan is a true floor general who thrives on getting others involved, protects the ball extremely well, and is a knockdown shooter. Huston is one of the best shooters in the state and is able to get a ton of open looks playing alongside that duo. DCG also features Jackson Jones Jackson Jones 6'3" | SG Dallas Center Grimes | 2022 IA (7.9), a lockdown perimeter defender who will likely take his shot at Miller in this one. The winner of this game grabs control of the LHC, as well as the top spot in the 3A rankings next week. This should be a dandy.
4A #10 Valley (6-2) at 4A #5 Johnston (8-1)
This game lost a little bit of its luster when Valley forward Eli Raridon Eli Raridon 6'7" | PF Valley | 2022 State IA went down with a season-ending ACL injury. A dominant scoring forward who is headed to Notre Dame to play tight end, Raridon was the type of interior force who would have really given Johnston issues in this game. In their first game without Raridon, the Tigers shook off a slow start to blow out Southeast Polk, 74-47, behind 25 points from Ruot Bijiek Ruot Bijiek 6'8" | PF Valley | 2022 State IA (13.3) and strong play from senior forward Kir Diew Kir Diew 6'8" | PF Valley | 2022 State IA (2.3), who stepped into Raridon’s starting spot and had 10 points in the win. Curtis Stinson Jr. (7.6) is an athletic freshman lead guard who will also be asked to step into a bigger role as a scorer. Valley always goes deep, and they’ll still be good without Raridon, but this one would have been the game of the night if he was on the floor.
Johnston’s lone loss this season came to 4A #7 Prairie, 64-61, on the road. The Dragons have rebounded by running off six straight wins, including quality wins over Centennial, Dallas Center-Grimes, and Waukee. They’re led by hyper-talented senior guard Trey Lewis Trey Lewis 5'10" | PG Johnston | 2022 State IA (23.7, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists), who is posting one of the best seasons of any player in the state. An athletic lead guard with limitless range, Lewis has been absolutely fantastic as a senior. Steven Kramer Steven Kramer 6'5" | SG Johnston | 2022 State IA (17.2, 8.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists) is the other headliner here, a 6-5 wing who is headed to South Dakota. They’ve gotten solid production out of new role players Masen Ryan Masen Ryan 6'3" | SF Johnston | 2022 State IA (9.0), Jacob Simpson Jacob Simpson 6'5" | SF Johnston | 2024 State IA (6.3), Nathan Ruisch Nathan Ruisch 6'4" | SF Johnston | 2023 State IA (6.1), and Taylen Proctor (5.2). Valley’s young backcourt will have their hands full with Johnston’s dynamic tandem on the perimeter.
Waverly-Shell Rock (7-2) at 3A #8 Decorah (7-1)
These two teams enter this game with identical 4-0 conference records, meaning that the winner will grab control of the Northeast Iowa Conference. Both teams are already two games clear of New Hampton, and a win here would really put pressure on the loser. Decorah has been absolutely blasting teams, winning games by an average of 27.1 points a game, with their lone single-digit win coming against Rushford-Peterson (MN). They have a 3-point loss to 4A Western Dubuque on their resume as well. A high-powered, balanced offensive attack, all five starts average at least 9.0 points a game, with senior guard Joseph Bockman Joseph Bockman 5'10" | PG Decorah | 2022 State IA (15.8, 43.2 3P%) leading the way. He’s an athletic, slashing guard who has really improved his jumper this season. Ben Bockman Ben Bockman 6'4" | SF Decorah | 2024 State IA (13.4), Jacob Pipho (10.0), Treyton McCain Treyton McCain 6'1" | PG Decorah | 2024 State IA (9.1), and Noah Storts Noah Storts 6'2" | PF Decorah | 2022 State IA (9.0) are all strong contributors as well. This group, while undersized, plays with relentless energy and uses their athleticism and physicality to control the game on both ends. They’re averaging 15.8 offensive rebounds a game, grabbing 49.8% of their own misses on the season. That type of effort in gaining extra possessions is invaluable.
The Go-Hawks counter with a number of talented perimeter threats to throw at the Vikings. They’re led by sharpshooting guard Keaton Farmer Keaton Farmer 6'2" | CG Waverly-Shell Rock | 2022 State IA (16.7, 39.5 3P%), a good shooter who moves well without the ball. Cole Marsh (13.3), Luis Portillo (7.7), and Cole Hotz (6.9) are also solid perimeter options, while senior lead guard Hogan Hansen Hogan Hansen 6'3" | SF Waverly-Shell Rock | 2022 State IA (4.0, 4.4 assists) leads the team in helpers and does a solid job protecting the ball. W-SR will need to put extra effort into controlling the glass in this one or things could get ugly.