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DES MOINES — Capsules on Tuesday’s games at the boys’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena:
Cedar Rapids Xavier (13-11) vs. No. 4 Mount Pleasant (22-2)
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Coaches: Both coaches in this game have won a state championship. Xavier’s Ryan Luehrsmann — the former Iowa Hawkeye guard — led his club to the 3A title last season and is 58-40 in four seasons at the school. Paul Rundquist — son of Hall of Fame Coach Gordy Rundqust — is 267-132 in 17 seasons at Mount Pleasant, including a 3A championship in 2012. He coached two seasons at Mediapolis prior to moving to Mount Pleasant.
Tournament history: Xavier is part of the state’s Big Dance for the third year in a row. It also qualified three years in a row in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Cedar Rapids Regis and Cedar Rapids LaSalle, which combined to create Xavier, were state qualifiers 18 times, including five championships, all at Regis. This is Mount Pleasant’s eighth trip to state, including a four-year run from 2010 to 2013 that included a championship, a third-place finish and fourth-place finish.
Synopsis: These teams played in the regular-season opener at Xavier, with the Saints winning, 55-45. Mount Pleasant’s only other loss was to Class 4A Muscatine, 84-78. Xavier played 17 Class 4A opponents, and that’s where nine of its losses have come from. The Saints are dominated by the big three of junior guard Matt Mims (14.9 points per game, 124 assists), junior wing Jackson Joens (11.6 PPG, 51 3-pointers) and senior center Max Techau (12.5 PPG, 9.1 rebounds per game). Junior guard Brady Sartorious is Mount Pleasant’s top player. He averages a team-high 22 points per game and also leads the Panthers in assists and steals.
Johnson says: Xavier was 4-9 at one point this season but got things together down the stretch. The Saints were never seriously threatened in the regular-season opener and dominated Mount Pleasant last year in a 3A substate final. That would seem to be a tall mental hurdle the Panthers must clear. Also having lots of experience playing at The Well, Xavier will be tough to beat here.
No. 1 West Delaware (24-0) vs. Dallas Center-Grimes (15-9)
Time: 6:35 p.m.
Coaches: Matt Uthoff is a WD graduate who is 57-34 in four seasons at his alma mater. He is 145-105 in 14 seasons overall at West Delaware, Midland, Central City and Maquoketa. Joel Rankin is 222-128 in 16 years as head coach at Dallas Center-Grimes.
Tournament history: DC-G is part of the state tournament field for the fifth time (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015) and is still seeking its first victory. West Delaware is in for the fourth time, the first since 2008. Coach Uthoff played on the 1999 and 2000 state-qualifying teams, including the 2000 team that finished second in 3A.
Synopsis: West Delaware came into the state tournament as one of three remaining undefeated teams. North Linn and Remsen St. Mary's in Class 1A are the others. The Hawks rely heavily on the 1-2 inside punch of 6-foot-7 sophomore Derek Krogmann (15.9 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game) and 6-6 senior John Nagel (14.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg). Nagel has signed to play football at Iowa State. Junior wing Tyler Kelley (11.7 ppg) is WD’s other double-figure scorer. Five of Dallas Center-Grimes’ losses came to state tournament teams. The Mustangs are led by senior forward Trevor Grove (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and junior guard Steve Borneman (12.3 ppg).
Johnson says: Dallas Center-Grimes will not be intimidated by playing the top-ranked and second-seeded team. The Mustangs are part of a very strong Little Hawkeye Conference that also includes state tournament qualifiers Pella, Pella Christian and Newton. DC-G has the height to match West Delaware up front as well. But if the Hawks can control their nerves, they should be fine. Coming from behind in their substate final against Center Point-Urbana should serve WD well in this type of environment.
TUESDAY’S OTHER GAMES
Class 2A quarterfinal: No. 6 Pella Christian (20-4) vs. No. 9 Van Meter (23-1), 10:30 a.m.
Class 2A quarterfinal: No. 2 Carroll Kuemper (22-2) vs. No. 4 Garner GHV (23-1), 12:15 p.m.
Class 3A quarterfinal: No. 2 Waverly-Shell Rock (22-1) vs. No. 6 Atlantic (19-5), 2 p.m.
Class 3A quarterfinal: No. 3 Pella (22-2) vs. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (15-9), 8:15 p.m.
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