With July’s evaluation period now behind us and plenty of time to kill between now and late November, it’s time to take a look at who we believe will be some of the teams to keep an eye on in each classification this winter.
How well do these rankings predict what may happen over the course of the coming season? Well, of the 32 state tournament qualifying teams last year, we had 17 ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes, and another eight written about in the “others to monitor” sections. Two top-ranked teams (North Linn in 1A and Ames in 4A) won state championships, while #2 Dallas Center-Grimes took home the title in 3A. We were most successful in Class 4A, with five of our top seven teams making the state tournament, as well as two other “watch list” teams. Further, over the last five years, teams ranked #1 to open the year have reached the state semifinals at a 75% clip, and played for a state championship at a 60% rate. So, while this isn’t the definitive list of how teams are going to perform this year, it’s certainly a good thing to find yourselves near the top of these initial rankings.
Below you’ll find our top 10 for Class 3A, along with some other teams that could make some noise, as well as a brief summary of why each team is in their respective spot. Enjoy.
1.) Hoover (16-9 last year, 73.4% of scoring returning)
After reaching the substate championship game last year and losing to eventual 4A champion Ames, Hoover is dropping down a class to 3A this year, and bringing back their top three scorers from that group, which is enough for us to rank them #1 to open the year. The Huskies are led by senior point guard Chase Henderson Chase Henderson 6'0" | PG Hoover | 2023 State IA (22.6), a cat-quick three-level scorer and playmaker who recently committed to play his college ball at Montana. He had a really good summer playing with a great Nebraska Supreme team, showing that he can not only score at a high level, but also get others involved, and he did a better job of limiting turnovers, which has been a bit of a bugaboo over the last few years. A more efficient Henderson is going to be scary for 3A teams. His primary running mate is senior wing Elijah Vos Elijah Vos 6'4" | SF Hoover | 2023 State IA (14.6), a fellow three-year starter who can fill it up from all three levels in a hurry. Vos is a 6-5 wing who isn’t afraid to take smaller defenders onto the block for buckets, but he’s also a really good shooter. Younger brother Abe Vos Abe Vos 6'2" | SG Hoover | 2025 State IA (7.1, 45.0 3P%) played well as a freshman for the Huskies and should be a very reliable tertiary scoring option. The Huskies have a lot of spots to fill in after losing the rest of their rotation, but with their top three back, headlined by the Henderson-Vos duo, and dropping down a class to 3A, they should be considered a real threat to win the state championship.
2.) Wahlert Catholic (16-7 last year, 61.3% of scoring returning)
The next three teams on this top 10 are all from eastern Iowa, and they could honestly go in any order. We’ll side with Wahlert here, a team that got better and better as the year progressed last season before eventually falling to Assumption in the substate final. They’re led by senior forward Duke Faley Duke Faley 6'5" | C Wahlert Catholic | 2023 State IA (16.5, 7.3 rebounds), a versatile and mobile big man who can score inside and out. He’s headed to Iowa for track and field as a thrower, but he’s also a really good basketball prospect who provides versatility on both ends of the floor. Playmaking wing Seamus Crahan Seamus Crahan 6'6" | SF Wahlert Catholic | 2023 State IA (8.8) led the team in assists last year and he has excellent size and court vision. A long, 6-6 wing who is a menace in the open court, he looks primed to have a big senior year as the team’s top playmaker. Nolan Berendes Nolan Berendes 6'4" | SF Wahlert Catholic | 2023 State IA (8.7, 40.9 3P%) was a major contributor for this group on both ends last season as well. Jack Walsh (3.7), Luke Smith (1.4), and Patrick Fitzgerald (1.1) saw some playing time last year and also return. The Golden Eagles have a dominant big man in Faley, a playmaking wing with length that we’re really excited about in Crahan, a shooter in Berendes, and a deep and versatile array of role players that they’ll be able to throw at teams. The Golden Eagles have qualified for 26 state tournaments, and a 27th is a very real possibility this year.
3.) Xavier (11-12 last year, 75.7% of scoring returning)
The Saints bring back their top three scorers, and eight of their top 10, from last year’s team that battled the injury bug but was starting to play good ball down the stretch. Senior wing Aidan Yamilkoski Aidan Yamilkoski 6'4" | SG Xavier | 2023 State IA (15.2) is an athletic wing who can score from all three levels, and he really impressed as a defender on the grassroots circuit this summer. He’s gotten more efficient and improved as a shooting threat over the last two years, and could emerge as one of the best scorers in 3A this season. Junior point guard Joe Bean (13.3) missed a lot of time last season, appearing in just 14 of their 23 games, but he adds a ton to this group when he’s healthy and on the floor, as he showed in their substate semifinal loss to Central DeWitt, going for 30 points (10-16 FG) and 9 assists, showing his ability to score from anywhere as well as facilitate at a high level. He’s a high IQ guard who will pair with Yamilkoski to give Xavier a dominant one-two punch on the offensive end. Senior wing Josef Lemker Josef Lemker 6'2" | SG Xavier | 2023 State IA (9.0) is the other major returning scorer. He had an up-and-down year as a shooter, but he can do a little bit of everything for this group. Senior role players Aidan McDermott Aidan McDermott 6'2" | SF Xavier | 2023 IA (5.3), Brody Hoffman Brody Hoffman 6'2" | SF Xavier | 2023 State IA (3.6), Maverick Burger Maverick Burger 5'8" | PG Xavier | 2023 State IA (2.4), Grayson Hartman (2.1), and Thomas Sundell (1.2) all return, as does junior Tyler Netolicky (2.0). With eight rotation pieces returning to a team that was improving late in the year, as well as a fantastic one-two punch, Xavier should be considered one of the top teams in the class heading into the year. Playing in the 4A-dominated MVC will likely prevent Xavier and Wahlert from having the sterling records that some of the other top 10 schools in the class may put together, but rest assured, they’ll be ready to battle come postseason time.
4.) Marion (State qualifier, 19-6 last year, 82.6% of scoring returning)
In senior guard Brayson Laube Brayson Laube 6'2" | PG Marion | 2023 State IA (20.0, 41.1 3P%), the Red Wolves may have the single most dominant player in the class this season. A shifty guard who started his high school career as a sharpshooting off-ball guard, he has really developed physically over the last few years, which has helped him improve his athleticism and his all-around offensive game. All of that improvement, and his aforementioned lights out shooting, helped him land a scholarship offer from Augustana (SD) that he pulled the trigger on. He’ll be joined in the backcourt by Alex Mota Alex Mota 6'1" | SG Marion | 2023 State IA (10.0), an elite athlete on the wing who can defend multiple positions, score from all three levels, rebound, and facilitate. Mota is an Iowa football commit who provides some versatility and strength, allowing them to occasionally bump him down to the paint on the defensive end. Junior guards Payton Hodges (5.6) and Myles Davis Myles Davis 6'1" | SG Marion | 2024 State IA (3.9), an Iowa baseball commit, each played significant roles on last year’s state qualifying team and should be improved, and they have high hopes for Calen Claypool (3.8) and Jordan Fischer (3.1), who were thrust into some bigger roles than expected last year. Laube is going to have some massive scoring nights this winter, and the Laube-Mota tandem in the backcourt will win a lot of games. The improvement of the role players will determine just how far this group can go, but they have a real argument for being considered the top-ranked team heading into the season, as do any of the top seven teams on this countdown.
5.) Bondurant-Farrar (15-8 last year, 72.2% of scoring returning)
Six of the eight losses that the Bluejays had last year came by single digits, including three by a single possession. And few teams notched as many quality wins as they did last season, notching victories over Winterset, Ballard, Carroll, North Polk, and Newton, among others. All that to say, this team was really, really close to putting together a special season last year, and they return a lot of pieces from that group. The top two scorers return in senior wings Colby Collison Colby Collison 6'4" | SF Bondurant-Farrar | 2023 State IA (18.3) and Jaxson Fried Jaxson Fried 6'6" | SF Bondurant- Farrar | 2023 State IA (13.1), who will give them one of the best one-two punches in the state. Collison is a big-bodied wing who scores from all three levels at a highly efficient clip (55-45-71 shooting splits), and is one of the rare star scorers who really lets the game come to him, knowing exactly when to take over instead of just forcing from the jump. Fried is the perfect running mate next to Collison, another long wing who can score from anywhere, and his continued development allows Collison some additional room to operate. Junior guard Titus Cram Titus Cram 6'0" | SG Bondurant-Farrar | 2024 State IA (5.7) is a bulldog in the backcourt, a quick and physical guard who can get to the bucket, shoot it from deep, and create some chaos on the defensive end. In all, five of the top seven from last year return, giving the Jays plenty of experienced pieces, and they’re excited about some of the younger players who are coming through the program as well. In Collison and Fried, they have a pair of wing scorers who can go get them a bucket when they need it, and Cram will make life difficult for opposing guards on both ends. The Jays haven’t qualified for a state tournament since 2006; that ends this year.
6.) Heelan (13-10 last year, 72.7% of scoring returning)
Five of the top six scorers return for the Crusaders, led by junior wing Matthew Noll Matthew Noll 6'7" | PF Bishop Heelan | 2024 State IA (14.0, 8.1 rebounds), who has a chance to emerge as one of the state’s top wing scoring threats this year. He’s coming off a huge summer with Martin Brothers in which he used his superior length, size, and touch to score effectively from all three levels, and he looks primed to have a breakout year and get his name on the radar around the state. Senior guards Carter Kuehl Carter Kuehl 5'11" | PG Bishop Heelan | 2023 State IA (9.2) and Sam Skinner Sam Skinner 5'9" | SG Heelan | 2023 State IA (8.8) are both better shooters than they showed last year, and junior wings Beau Chamberlain Beau Chamberlain 6'2" | SG Bishop Heelan | 2024 State IA (5.1) and Sean Schaefer (3.8) should take another step forward this season for Heelan. Like most teams, if they want to take the next step, they’ll need to improve some on the defensive end, but they have the pieces in place to be one of the most improved teams in the class, especially if Noll takes the major leap that we expect. Heelan is one of the most tradition-rich programs in the state, but they haven’t qualified for a state tournament since 2012. They’ll have a real chance at ending that drought this year.
7.) Williamsburg (22-3 last year, 74.8% of scoring returning)
The Raiders ran through the WaMaC last year, compiling an 18-0 record within the conference, and reached a 2A substate championship game before falling to Monticello. They move up to 3A this year, so the sledding will be a bit more difficult, especially come postseason play, but with the top two scorers, and eight players who averaged at least 1.5 points a game last season returning in total, they should be competitive. Junior wing Derek Weisskopf Derek Weisskopf 6'3" | SG Williamsburg | 2024 State IA (15.3), an Iowa football commit, is also a standout on the hardwood, using his blend of size, athleticism, and talent to emerge as a dominant three-level scorer. He posted 56-42-73 shooting splits last season and can do a little bit of everything for this group. Senior wing Ethan Harman Ethan Harman 6'6" | SF Williamsburg | 2023 State IA (9.8, 37.3 3P%) has good length on the wing and is another really good shooter to put next to the dribble-drive ability of Weisskopf. Senior guard Madox Doehrmann (5.5) and twin brother Gavin Doehrmann (4.9) provided a real spark off the bench last year as a two-man game, with Madox the guard and Gavin the big man. Madox shot 50% from the arc and dished out 2.6 assists a game coming off the bench, while Gavin is a highly efficient (59.3 FG%) finisher around the rim. Trey O’Neill (5.9), Landon Jepson (5.4), and Clayten Steckly (1.5) also return with experience. The Raiders should be deep, experienced, and they have a ton of shooting to put on the floor. While postseason play moving up a class is going to be more difficult, they have a potentially dominant wing scorer in Weisskopf, and a ton of shooters to put around him. They’re going to be a legitimate state tournament threat in eastern Iowa.
8.) Harlan (16-7 last year, 80.6% of scoring returning)
The Cyclones got off to a strong 11-0 start before skidding a bit down the stretch last season, eventually being upset by Denison-Schleswig in the substate semifinals. Three double-figure scorers return from that team in seniors Jacob Birch Jacob Birch 6'1" | SF Harlan | 2023 State IA (15.5), Bradley Curren Bradley Curren 5'11" | PG Harlan | 2023 State IA (13.6), and Aidan Hall Aidan Hall 6'2" | SF Harlan | 2023 State IA (11.5). An athletic, physical, and experienced trio, Birch, Curren, and Hall should emerge as one of the most productive three-man groups in the class. Hall is an athletic freak who is a standout on the football field, and he provides a ton of toughness in the paint as a rebounder, while Curren and Birch each do a majority of their damage on the perimeter. Birch in particular established himself as a very reliable shooting threat last year, knocking down 41% of his 3-point attempts. Legendary coach Mitch Osborn is still at the helm, and with a significant amount of experience and talent returning, he’ll have a real chance to make his 20th state tournament appearance.
9.) Newton (13-11 last year, 71.8% of scoring returning)
Four different Little Hawkeye schools (Oskaloosa, Norwalk, Pella, Dallas Center-Grimes) have won the 3A championship in the last four years. Could Newton become the fifth? The Cardinals will need to replace leading scorer Adam Mattes, but the next five scorers return, and eight of the top 10 return in all. They’re led by a trio of senior guards in Brody Bauer Brody Bauer 6'2" | SG Newton | 2023 State IA (9.4, 36.4 3P%), Jake Ingle Jake Ingle 5'7" | PG Newton | 2023 State IA (9.1, 35.2 3P%) and Tate Vanderlaan (5.0, 36.0 3P%), giving them a dynamic trio of shooting threats who can space the floor and get scorching hot. Senior forward Cole Plowman Cole Plowman 6'4" | PF Newton | 2023 State IA (7.4) is a solid role player who can control the painted area on both ends of the floor, and we expect to see a breakout year from junior wing Caleb Mattes Caleb Mattes 6'0" | SG Newton | 2024 State IA (4.0), who showed some flashes of his potential last year. Despite a ton of graduation losses throughout the conference, the Little Hawkeye is still going to be a grind night-in and night-out, and that should prepare this team well for postseason play. They reached the substate championship game last year, losing to eventual champion DCG, and that experience should also help propel this team to another level this season. They’ll be able to go deep into their bench and they’ll put a lot of shooting on the floor. Look for Newton to be much improved and a dangerous team in 3A.
10.) Mount Vernon (10-12 last year, 80.1% of scoring returning)
The top five scorers for the Mustangs return, including four who averaged at least 9.2 points a game last season in juniors Evan Brase Evan Brase 6'3" | PF Mount Vernon | 2024 State IA (9.2), Jackson Kutcher Jackson Kutcher 6'0" | SG Mount Vernon | 2024 State IA (9.8), and Joe Rhomberg Joe Rhomberg 6'1" | SF Mount Vernon | 2024 State IA (10.8) as well as senior Brady Erickson (9.7). Rhomberg is an undersized but athletic and physical forward who was dominant on the glass last season (8.1 rebounds) while also leading the team in scoring. Kutcher missed a large majority of the season, playing in just four games at the end of the year, but having him around for a full season will be huge for this group. Like his older brother Keaton, Jackson is a knockdown shooter with some length who buried 12 of 20 3-point attempts last season. Getting him on the floor for a whole year will make this offense much more efficient, providing much-needed spacing and shooting. Brase is another strong rebounder who pulled down nearly three offensive boards a night as a sophomore, and Erickson and Jensen Meeker (6.7) provide some senior leadership. The Mustangs like to play at a bit slower pace, using their athleticism and physicality to wear teams down. They allowed just 48.3 points a game last season, which ranked fourth in the class and expect them to play at a similar tempo this season. Getting Kutcher back is huge, and they’ll be tested in the WaMaC, which has three teams ranked within this top 10. A good defensive team with shooting is always dangerous in the postseason.
Ten more to watch
ADM (9-13 last year, 78.8% of scoring returning)
The Tigers had an up-and-down year under first-year head coach Trevor Mickelson last year in the loaded Raccoon River Conference, posting impressive wins over Bondurant-Farrar and Winterset. Consistency will be key for them this year. They bring back their top two scorers, and six of the top seven overall, which should go a long way towards this group being a bit more consistent across the board this year. Junior guards Adam Bryte Adam Bryte 6'2" | SG Adel-DeSoto-Minburn | 2024 State IA (10.2, 46.0 3P%) and Brevin Doll Brevin Doll 6'1" | SF ADM | 2024 State IA (10.2) are the top returning scorers, giving them a pair of serious shooting threats on the perimeter, while senior guard Ryan Conrad (5.9, 2.7 assists) is also back after leading the team in assists last year. Vince Benetti Vince Benetti 6'4" | PF ADM | 2023 State IA (7.8, 6.4 rebounds) provides some physicality and toughness in the paint, and you can expect some increased production out of role players like Bennett Holmberg (5.5) and Grant Rychnovsky (2.4) this season. With another year of learning Mickelson’s system under their belts, the Tigers could emerge as one of the surprise teams in 3A this season with all of the experience they have returning.
Charles City (13-10 last year, 60.3% of scoring returning)
In senior wing Chase Low Chase Low 6'3" | PF Charles City | 2023 State IA (16.8, 7.2 rebounds), the Comets have one of the most dynamic players in the class. A hyper-athletic 6-4 wing who can score efficiently from all three levels (55-39-57 shooting splits last year), he’s the type of player who can take over games on both ends of the floor with his overwhelming athleticism and length. Junior guards Jack Hanson Jack Hanson 6'1" | SG Charles City | 2024 State IA (9.7) and Jeb Wandro (5.4) saw significant playing time last year and will be asked to step into bigger roles this season, as will seniors Drew Martin (3.1) and Brennan Schmidt (2.0). Putting the ball in the bucket shouldn’t be an issue for this group, but they’ll need to improve on the defensive end if they want to improve and have a chance to make a real late-season run. In their ten losses last year, they allowed 68.7 points a game. In their 13 wins, that number was all the way down at 54.2. Improvement on the defensive end against the better teams on the schedule could lead Charles City to a promising season.
Denison-Schleswig (15-10 last year, 75.1% of scoring returning)
The top three scorers return for a Monarchs team that had an up-and-down season last year, which included a five-game losing streak in early February before getting hot late and reaching the substate championship game. In senior Carson Seuntjens Carson Seuntjens 6'1" | PG Denison-Schleswig | 2023 State IA (14.2) and junior Luke Wiebers Luke Wiebers 6'1" | SG Denison-Schleswig | 2024 State IA (10.1), they should have one of the better, more experienced, backcourts in the class. Both are capable ball-handlers and decision-makers who can initiate the offense and score from all three levels. Junior forward Lance Arkfeld (8.5) led the team in rebounding, while senior Jaxon Wessel (6.0) was a strong role player last year. The Monarchs play in a lot of close games, posting a +2.96 point differential last season, and the experienced backcourt of Seuntjens and Wiebers should be an asset for them in those tight games. Expect to see this group competing for a chance at Des Moines come late February.
Fairfield (10-12 last year, 89.7% of scoring returning)
Last season Fort Madison seemingly came out of nowhere to surge to the #1 ranking in 3A for a bit of time. Could Fairfield be that surprise team from southeast Iowa this year? They bring back their top three scorers, and six of the top seven, led by dominant interior presence Max Weaton Max Weaton 6'6" | PF Fairfield | 2023 State IA (19.9, 10.1 rebounds), a mobile, athletic big man who scores at a ridiculously efficient clip (60.2%) and who can control the game on both ends of the floor. The backcourt of JJ Lane JJ Lane 5'9" | PG Fairfield | 2023 State IA (12.9) and Tate Allen Tate Allen 5'11" | SG Fairfield | 2023 State IA (9.1) is experienced and solid, and if they can get some increased production out of the role players like Hunter Cecchini (3.0) and Ryan Higgins (2.6), they could be that surprising team that gets off to a really hot start. This group will need to shoot it better from the arc (27.9% as a team) and do a better job protecting the ball (13.9 turnovers a game) if they want to perform like Fort Madison did last year, but the pieces are in place for this group to be really good.
Glenwood (10-11 last year, 81.9% of scoring returning)
Eight of the Rams’ 11 losses last year came by single digits, so they were really close to putting together a pretty special season. The top four scorers return from last year’s team, so they’ll have a real chance to turn some of those narrow losses into wins with the additional experience. They’re led by the senior backcourt of Caden Johnson Caden Johnson 5'10" | PG Glenwood | 2023 State IA (18.7) and Zac Kelsey (9.2). Johnson led the team in scoring, assists, and steals last year. He’s a guard who is at his best when he’s playing downhill and putting pressure on the opposing defense, while Kelsey (36.8 3P%) is the team’s top perimeter shooting threat, complementing Johnson nicely. Senior forward Logyn Eckheart (8.1, 8.0 rebounds) is a strong presence in the paint, and Kayden Anderson (6.8), a junior wing, provides some more scoring punch. The Rams have built a really solid program over the last decade and after a rare sub-.500 year, they should get back above that mark this year and have a real chance at representing southwest Iowa in Des Moines.
Humboldt (State qualifier, 21-4 last year, 40.1% of scoring returning)
No team in 3A fired up 3-pointers at the clip Humboldt did last season, averaging over 26 attempts a game. And they rode that marksmanship to the state tournament before falling in an overtime heartbreaker against Assumption. Two of the team’s top shooters return in Will Orness Will Orness 6'1" | SG Humboldt | 2023 State IA (13.6, 35.0 3P%) and Joshua Thurm Joshua Thurm 6'1" | SG Humboldt | 2023 State IA (9.4, 37.7 3P%), giving them a good tandem of guards to start rebuilding around. Following the graduation of lead guard Caden Matson, who led the team in assists, they’ll likely rely on Orness to initiate the offense, and the only two other pieces who have any sort of viable experience coming back are Kaleb McCullough (2.8) and Trevor Beach (2.3), so the Wildcats will need to find some new pieces to put alongside Orness and Thurm. This group likes to play a style that provides a lot of variability, so there will be some up-and-down nights throughout the year, but with the shooting that they’ll be able to put on the floor, they can never be counted out.
MOC-Floyd Valley (10-12 last year, 78.9% of scoring returning)
Three double-figure scorers return for the Dutchmen, and they could end up being one of the most productive trios in the state. All three are guards – junior Jesse Van Kalsbeek Jesse Van Kalsbeek 6'0" | SG MOC-Floyd Valley | 2024 State IA (16.2, 56.5 FG%) and seniors Luke Korver Luke Korver 6'1" | SG MOC-Floyd Valley | 2023 State IA (16.0, 50.8 3P%) and Ayden Klein Ayden Klein 5'11" | SG MOC-Floyd Valley | 2023 State IA (12.1, 35.5 3P%). Van Kalsbeek is at his best when he’s attacking the bucket and playing inside the arc, but he’s also a very capable perimeter shooting threat. He led the team in assists and scoring last season. Korver is an elite shooter who was 67-132 from behind the arc last season, while Klein is a three-level scorer who can do a little bit of everything. With this trio of guards leading the charge, they should be able to put up points in bunches. Like Charles City, improvement will need to be made on the defensive end if they want to make serious noise. They allowed 71.1 points a game in their 12 losses last season, and 57.5 points a game in their 10 wins.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton (9-13 last year, 100.0% of scoring returning)
Last season’s absence from the state tournament snapped a five-year stretch in which the Warriors made the trek east to Des Moines, but they’ll have a real chance to start a new streak this season with every player from last year’s roster coming back. Senior guard Tyler Smith Tyler Smith 5'10" | SG Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2023 State IA (16.4) led the team in scoring and assists last season and is back as the primary scorer and facilitator. Dylon Schaap (9.8) and Nick Hinkel (4.4) join him on the perimeter, while Scott Kroll Scott Kroll 5'10" | PG Sergeant Bluff-Luton | 2023 State IA (8.5) and Tylar Lutgen (5.1) are more interior presences. The Warriors were competitive in a majority of their games last year, with seven losses coming by single digits. This is always a physical, athletic team that plays strong defense, and expect to see them be a bit more balanced on the offensive end this season. With all of the experience they have coming back and one of the best coaches in the state in Adam Vander Schaaf, we anticipate seeing SB-L back at the state tournament in March.
Waverly-Shell Rock (14-9 last year, 64.5% of scoring returning)
In junior wing Cole Marsh Cole Marsh 6'6" | SG Waverly-Shell Rock | 2024 State IA (14.4), the Go-Hawks have a talented perimeter scorer who can carry this team offensively. He’s big (6-4), long, and skilled, and is coming off a productive spring and summer with Martin Brothers in which he showed his ability to create his own shot and get to the bucket. He looks primed to have a big junior year for a program that is looking to get back to their glory days. Fellow junior guard Luis Portillo (6.1, 37.6 3P%) had a productive sophomore season, and senior wing Jordan Kruse (5.0, 40.8 3P%) provides some additional perimeter shooting. Nate Steege always has a team that will be able to go pretty deep into their bench, and the Marsh-Portillo-Kruse trio should provide a fair amount of scoring.
Winterset (State semifinalist, 20-6 last year, 38.1% of scoring returning)
The Huskies used a dominant three-guard lineup to overwhelm teams with their quickness last year, reaching the semifinals of the state tournament as a result. Unfortunately for them, two of those three guards graduated, leaving senior Brayden Dinkla Brayden Dinkla 6'0" | PG Winterset | 2023 State IA (10.3, 6.5 assists, 3.3 steals) to run the show this year, but there are certainly worse places to start than with him. Dinkla was spectacular in the Huskies’ quarterfinal win over Marion in March, showing that he can be a dominant scorer who gets to the bucket and finishes, as well as the team’s primary playmaking threat. Senior forwards Blake Feuring Blake Feuring 6'2" | PF Winterset | 2023 State IA (6.5) and Charlie McDonald Charlie McDonald 6'2" | SF Winterset | 2023 State IA (6.2) provide some experience in the frontcourt, and they have a slew of juniors coming up that they have high hopes for. Dinkla will be one of the best all-around guards in the class, a quick guard with length and great instincts who will create chaos on the defensive end and relentlessly attack you offensively, and in Feuring and McDonald they have some experienced pieces to put around him. How successful Winterset will ultimately be, however, will come down to the emergence of new faces.