The favorite: At the time of this writing, Norwalk has won 13 straight games, making them one of the hottest teams in the class. Junior guard Redek Born Redek Born 6'3" | PG Norwalk | 2024 State IA (17.7, 5.1…
The favorite: At the time of this writing, Norwalk has won 13 straight games, making them one of the hottest teams in the class. Junior guard(17.7, 5.1 assists) has really come into his own this year, taking a big step out from older brother Bowen’s shadow and becoming his own dynamic player. A 6-3/6-4 guard with a tremendous feel for the game, the ability to post up smaller defenders and initiate offense out of the post, and score from all three levels, he’s the type of dynamic, versatile player who can absolutely dominate games even when he isn’t scoring (but he’s also pretty dang good at putting the ball in the bucket). (15.1, 7.7 rebounds) is a bit undersized as a traditional big man, but he’s a mobile forward with a non-stop motor who loves to pound the glass, while (10.3, 36.0 3P%), Jack Brown (8.6, 38.9 3P%), and (4.1, 35.0 3P%) provide some shooting for the Warriors. There will be some questions about the schedule that Norwalk plays during the year, as the Little Hawkeye Conference is largely a 3A league (although many are starting to get big enough to move up to 4A, ala Norwalk), but few teams in the state are playing better.
The biggest threats: As is always the case with Sioux City East, the question surrounding them will be in regards to the strength of their schedule. According to BC Moore, their schedule ranks 45th in 4A (out of 48 teams). But the Black Raiders have pretty much done what was asked of them, blast teams routinely, and they’ve done that, posting a +21.2 point differential this season. Junior guard(14.5) and senior (14.4) lead a potent offensive attack that averages nearly 70 points a game. Both are highly efficient scorers, and as a team, the Raiders are posting 51-41-71 shooting splits. This is a team that shares the ball well, has a number of scoring options, and can force a number of turnovers.
Despite a sub-.500 record, Johnston is actually the team ranked the highest at BC Moore in this substate, with the Dragons coming in ranked 5th in that power rankings system. They lost a ton of production off of a team that finished runner-up in back-to-back years, and they’ve had an up-and-down season as a result, but this is a really athletic group that plays strong defense and grinds teams down. Sophomore guards(11.3) and (7.6), and junior Taylen Proctor (9.8) are all good on-ball defenders with quickness, length, and great instincts. They put constant pressure on opposing ball handlers and opposing defenses with their ability to get to the bucket. (10.6, 1.4 blocks, 50.6 3P%) is a rim-protecting, floor-stretching big man, and (10.5, 42.9 3P%) is another quality shooting threat. The Dragons are shooting nearly 40% from behind the arc as a team, don’t turn it over, and play excellent defense. With their athleticism, they’re going to be tough to beat. Their 11 losses have come to teams with a combined 74.4% winning percentage.
The dark horses: Sioux City West has won six straight games heading into postseason play, and while the schedule hasn’t been the most difficult during that stretch, the Wolverines are gaining momentum and confidence at the right time.(16.4) and (15.4) are an athletic tandem on the perimeter, both capable of creating their own shots and scoring from all three levels. Gavin Koons (10.5, 48.4 3P%) and Jay Grause (9.6, 42.3 3P%) are both quality perimeter shooting threats as well, and the Wolverines are shooting 39.1% from behind the arc as a team, which makes them a dangerous team if they start knocking down shots.
Players to watch
2025 , Johnston
2023 , Johnston
2023 , Johnston
2024 , Norwalk
2023 , Norwalk
2024 , Sioux City East
2023 , Sioux City East
2023 , Sioux City West
2023 , Sioux City West
2024 , Sioux City North
2026 , Sioux City North
2024 Jordan Dewaele, Council Bluffs Jefferson
SUBSTATE FINAL PREDICTION
Norwalk vs. Johnston
Johnston upsets Sioux City East in the semifinals behind a strong defensive effort and sets up a Des Moines-area substate final. Both of these teams are excellent defensively, but the difference maker here becomes, the most dynamic offensive weapon on the floor. He shines as a scorer and facilitator, and for the first time, Norwalk punches a ticket to the 4A state tournament.