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CEDAR RAPIDS — The name Mims and baseball just seem to go together.
Larry Mims was an all-stater at Cedar Rapids Washington in the 1980s, played collegiately at Nebraska and professionally for four years in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Mike Mims holds records at Cedar Rapids Jefferson for the most difficult player to strike out.
Fred Mims played pro ball in the Houston Astros system, including for the Cedar Rapids Astros in the Midwest League, before going on to become a long-time athletic department administrator at the University of Iowa.
Cedar Rapids Xavier junior point guard Matt Mims isn’t related to Fred, but Mike is his father and Larry his uncle. Obviously he chose another sport upon which to focus, and it has turned out to be prudent.
“I played baseball up until sixth grade,” Matt Mims said. “But I just loved basketball. I started playing it all summer, and it just started to be too much. I just loved it. I kind of had to choose one or the other.”
Mims is one of seven area preps to be selected by the Iowa Newspaper Association as a first-team all-state basketball player. He is one of eight guys chosen for the Class 3A first team.
Connor McCaffery and Devontae Lane of Iowa City West are first-teamers in Class 4A, North Linn’s Jake Hilmer and Lone Tree’s Jovonte Squiers first-teamers in 1A and West Branch’s Cooper Kabela and Jesup’s Ethan Wyant first-teamers in 2A.
A panel of the state’s sportswriters selects the teams.
Mims averaged 15.3 points per game this season for Xavier, which repeated as 3A state champion. He finished third in the class in assists.
At the state tournament, he was super clutch, hitting a game-turning 3-point overtime shot in Xavier’s semifinal win over Waverly-Shell Rock and the go-ahead shot with 41 seconds left in the Saints’ championship-game win over Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Certainly a Division I college player in a couple of years, baseball has long been in the rear-view mirror.
“My dad told me he’d fully support anything I do, and I know he will,” Mims said. “He never really pushes me. He always tells me ‘Man, you were good,’ but in a joking way. He has always pushed me and supported me. I couldn’t ask for a better dad.”
Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Joe Smoldt was chosen as the state's 2017 Mr. Basketball in an upset. He’s headed to Division II Upper Iowa University, only the third Mr. Basketball not to play Division I basketball.
Josh Van Es of MOC-Floyd Valley (2005) played at NAIA Northwestern College in Orange City. Daniel Tillo of Sioux City North (2015) decided to play baseball.
Waverly-Shell Rock center Austin Phyfe and McCaffery appeared to have better credentials than Smoldt. Phyfe, who is headed to Northern Iowa, averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds and had a terrific state tournament, as his team finished third in Class 3A.
Like Smoldt, McCaffery was a four-year starter, though at a Class 4A powerhouse and not a 1A school. The son of University of Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery helped West reach state all four of his years, including three championship game appearances and two titles.
McCaffery did everything for West this season, averaging a team-high 19.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, shooting 52 percent from the field. Also a four-year varsity player, Lane averaged 15 points per game and led his team in assists and steals.
“Between he and Connor, they are hard to match up to,” said West Coach Steve Bergman. “Four years with these two, we’ve had some ups and downs. We’re all three a little hard-headed sometimes. But I love these guys, and I know it’s a bond we’ll have forever.”
Hilmer was the state’s leader in assists and also averaged 21.5 points per game, as the Lynx finished third at the state tournament.
Just a sophomore, he is on pace to destroy the state’s career record for assists.
Squiers was third in the class in assists this season and averaged 12.4 points.
A 6-foot-4 senior, Kabela averaged 23.8 points per game this season. The Bears lost to Camanche in a 2A substate final.
Wyant, a 6-foot guard, averaged 24.4 points per game for a good Jesup team that lost to Dike-New Hartford in district play.
Here are the entire all-state teams.
Front line — Nicholas Ruden (Remsen St. Mary’s), 6-4, junior; Riley Van Whye (Central Lyon), 6-3, senior; Brady Gavin (Martensdale-St. Mary’s), 6-7, junior.
Back court — Joe Smoldt (Gladbrook-Reinbeck), 6-1, senior; Jake Hilmer (North Linn), 5-11, senior; Grant DeMeulenaere (Grand View Christian), 6-0, junior.
Utility — Jovonte Squiers (Lone Tree), 6-1, senior; Jesse Van Wyk (Lynnville-Sully), 6-3, junior.
Front line — Seth Weiland (West Hancock), 6-7, senior; Nathan Karsjens (AGWSR), 6-7, senior; Seth Moeller (Clinton Prince of Peace), 6-3, senior.
Back court — Christian Kyles (Siouxland Christian), 6-0, senior; Mason Porter (New London), 6-2, sophomore; Dakota Strong (Montezuma), 6-1, senior.
Utility — Kaleb Anderson (Lenox), 5-9, senior; Zach Martinek (West Fork), 6-4, senior.
Front line — Colby Seuntjens (Maple Valley/A-O), 6-3, junior; Jarod Nichols (Colfax-Mingo), 6-4, junior; Niko Gosnell (Lone Tree), 6-8, senior.
Back court — Paul Rundquist Jr. (Wapsie Valley), 5-10, sophomore; Ryan Miller (North Linn), 5-10, junior; Dylan Eckels (West Hancock), 6-0, senior.
Utility — Brett Kelting (Calamus-Wheatland), 6-3, senior; Stephen Glenn (Grand View Christian), 6-2, senior.
Front line — Colin Hill (South Hamilton), 6-6, senior; Matt Dentlinger (Carroll Kuemper), 6-7, senior; Cooper Kabela (West Branch), 6-4, senior.
Back court — Ethan Wyant (Jesup), 6-0, snior; Levi Jungling (Pella Christian), 5-11, senior; Ben Gesink (Western Christian), 6-3, senior.
Utility — Jesse Jansma (Western Christian), 6-3, senior; Jay Small (Hinton), 6-3, senior.
Front line — Austin Roetman (Pocahontas Area), 6-7, senior; Dylan Hundley (Camanche), 6-4, senior; Isaiah Humphrey (Underwood), 6-2, senior.
Back court — Ben Juhl (Des Moines Christian), 6-1, senior; Dakota Soenksen (Camanche), 6-3, senior; Trenton Massner (Wapello), 6-1, junior.
Utility — Ben Latusek (Dike-New Hartford), 6-4, senior; Riley LeGrand (Dyersville Beckman), 6-3, senior.
Front line — Zane Johnson (East Marshall), 6-4, junior; David Kacmarynski (Pella Christian), 6-3, senior; James Betz (Garner-Hayfield-Ventura), 6-7, sophomore.
Back court — Drew Olson (Osage), 6-2, junior; R.J. Harris (AHSTW), 6-2, junior; Gannon O’Brien (Cascade), 6-0, junior.
Utility — Marco Balderas (South Hamilton), 5-7, junior; Isaac Heyer (West Lyon), 6-3, senior.
Front line — Ryan Van Wyk (Pella), 6-5, senior; Garrett Franken (Atlantic), 6-7, senior; Austin Phyfe (Waverly-Shell Rock), 6-10, senior.
Back court — Brady Sartorious (Mount Pleasant), 6-0, junior; Elijah Hazekamp (Sioux City Heelan), 6-5, junior; Luke Vaske (Norwalk), 6-1, junior.
Utility — Matt Mims (Cedar Rapids Xavier), 6-0, junior; Chris Kroll (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 6-1, senior.
Front line — Cade McKnight (Grinnell), 6-9, senior; Sam Snyder (Forest City), 6-5, junior; Derek Krogmann (West Delaware), 6-7, sophomore. Back court — Nate Mohr (Glenwood), 6-1, junior Trenton Hilbrands (LeMars), 6-0, senior; Trey Tucker (Greene County), 6-0. senior. Utility — Sam Allen (Grinnell), 6-3, senior; Austin Ash (Mount Vernon), 6-2, senior.
Front line — Trevor Grove (Dallas Center-Grimes), 6-6, senior; Andrew Blum (Glenwood), 6-4, junior; Jackson Wright (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 6-5, senior. Back court — Jack Molstead (Charles City), 5-9, sophomore; Trenton Wallace (Davenport Assumption), 6-1, senior; Tajen Ross (Adel-DeSoto-Minburn), 6-3, senior. Utility — Lim Chuol (Chariton), 6-3, senior; John Nagel (West Delaware), 6-6, senior.
Front line — Joe Wieskamp (Muscatine), 6-6, junior; Van Rees (Sioux City East), 6-6, junior; Douglas Wilson (Des Moines Hoover), 6-6, senior.
Back court — A.J. Green (Cedar Falls), 6-2, junior; Tyreke Locure (Des Moines North), 5-10, sophomore; Devontae Lane (Iowa City West), 6-2, senior.
Utility — Connor McCaffery (Iowa City West), 6-6, senior; Garrett Sturtz (Newton), 6-2, junior.
Front line — Jacob Rau (Waukee), 6-7, senior; Noah Carter (Dubuque Senior), 6-5, sophomore; Patrick McCaffery (Iowa City West), 6-6, sophomore.
Back court — Sam Ingoli (West Des Moines Dowling), 6-3, junior; Ray Miller (Davenport Central), 6-0, senior; Kyle Lang (Mason City), 6-0, senior.
Utility — Drew Maschoff (Ankeny), 6-3, senior; Bailey Basala (North Scott), 6-5, senior.
Front line — Quinton Curry (West Des Moines Valley), 6-6, senior; Joe Evans (Ames), 6-3, junior; Jal Bijiek (Des Moines North), 6-7, senior.
Back court — Max Smith Drahos (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 6-1, senior; Aidan Vanderloo (Sioux City East), 6-1, sophomore; Connor Gholson (Newton), 6-3, senior.
Utility — Connor Kasperbauer (Ankeny Centennial), 6-3, senior; Chad Moran (Council Bluffs Lewis Central), 6-4, senior.
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