Prep Basketball

A closer look at Saturday's boys' basketball substate finals

North Linn's Ryan Miller high-fives Sean Boardman after their district championship victory over Lisbon on Thursday at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
North Linn's Ryan Miller high-fives Sean Boardman after their district championship victory over Lisbon on Thursday at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Previewing Saturday’s area high school boys’ basketball substate finals. Winners advance to the state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, March 5-9.

Class 1A

No. 2 North Linn (25-0) vs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (19-6)

When: 7 p.m

Where: Vinton

Scouting Report: These teams met last year in the Class 1A state tournament semifinals, with G-R winning, 58-53. That is the Lynx’s only loss the past two seasons. North Linn averages 93 points per game and has beaten opponents by an average of 60 per game. Junior point guard Jake Hilmer set state records this week for most assists in a season and career. He scored a game-high 24 points in NL’s 85-31 district final win over Lisbon. Senior guard Ryan Miller leads the Lynx in scoring (24.4 points per game. Four of G-R’s losses have come to Class 2A teams, another to a Class 3A team. The Rebels have an outstanding player in 6-foot-5 senior Caden Kickbush, who leads them in scoring (20.5 points per game) and is second in rebounding (7.2).

Edgewood-Colesburg (20-4) vs. No. 8 Dunkerton (22-2)

When: 7 p.m

Where: Independence

Scouting Report: Ed-Co has never been to the state tournament, but is one game away after an overtime win Friday night against Wapsie Valley in a district final. The Vikings have set a school record for victories this season. Three players average 11 points per game: Preston Rochford (11.5), Parker Rochford (11.4) and Jacob Wessel (11.3). Ed-Co lost twice to North Linn and once each to Lisbon and Alburnett. Dunkerton has an advantage in that it played its district final Thursday night, thus has a day’s rest. The Raiders are led in scoring by Zach Johnson (15.7). Their losses were to Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Don Bosco, who also are in 1A substate finals.

Iowa Mennonite (21-3) vs. No. 4 Lynnville-Sully (21-3)

When: 7 p.m

Where: Oskaloosa

Scouting Report: IMS will be more rested, since it played its district final Thursday night, beating New London, 61-54. Lynnville-Sully had its district final weather delayed to Friday, when it beat Montezuma, 58-45. IMS has a balanced scoring attack led by senior guard Cole Ours (13.4 points per game) and senior forward Mitchell Schmieder (12.6). It avenged one of its three losses in the district finals. It also lost twice to 2A Wapello, which is in a substate final. Lynnville-Sully made it to the state tournament last season. Its losses were to undefeated Class 2A East Marshall, to 3A Albia and to 1A top-ranked Grand View Christian. Senior forward Jesse Van Wyk has a team-best 14.7 scoring average and 8.3 rebounding average.

Class 2A

No. 2 Cascade (22-1) vs. Dyersville Beckman (14-8)

When: 7 p.m

Where: Manchester

Scouting Report: Neighboring rivals meet again in a 2A substate final. Cascade won last year’s game in a triple-overtime classic, 56-50. They played in early January this season, with Cascade winning, 58-43. The Cougars’ lone loss this season came in the regular-season finale to Northeast, 58-50. Cascade brushed past 10th-ranked Iowa City Regina in the district finals, 42-38. All five Cougars starters average between 8.3 and 12.1 points per game, led by junior Haris Hoffman. Beckman 6-foot-6 center Mitch Gehling averages a team-leading 16.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The Blazers play in the predominantly 3A Wamac Conference. Their only loss to a 2A school was to Cascade.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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