Trey Shearer remembers his very first varsity basketball game four years ago. Most all of the specifics.
“We ended up losing by quite a bit to Sully,” he said. “They were really good that year, pretty sure they made it to the state basketball tournament. I want to say I did OK. It wasn’t my best game. I want to say I finished with, maybe, 17 points or something.”
Very, very close.
Shearer was right on about the losing by quite a bit thing, as his Montezuma team dropped a 73-43 decision to Lynnville-Sully, which did qualify for state in Class 1A in 2018. He actually scored 19 points to lead his team that night, which was a sure sign this freshman was going to be special.
The senior point guard became just the 42nd prep in Iowa history to surpass 2,000 career points in Montezuma’s win this week over Belle Plaine. Already a two-time all-state selection, he leads the state in scoring at 31 points per game.
“It’s pretty cool for me and my family, especially being the first person to do it from Monte,” he said. “That’s a pretty big deal for us. I guess ever since I was little, our goal, my goal, was to be the all-time leading scorer at Monte. That was always something I really wanted to do. To eclipse 2,000 ... truthfully, I’d never even really thought about 2,000 before.”
“We knew he was going to be pretty good,” said Montezuma Coach Derrick Dengler. “We started him right out of the gate as a freshman, and it was pretty clear he was going to be a leader both statistically as a basketball player but also as a (team) leader. He has a great personality that way ... So it was pretty evident right away that he was going to be a good player. I don’t know about being 2,000 points good, but we knew he was definitely going to be a good player for us.”
Dengler said his 5-foot-10 star has improved something in his game each season he has been in the program. He said Shearer has the best work ethic he has seen, a desire never to settle for what he is now as a player.
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“One way I have improved is I just want to be a threat at all times,” Shearer said. “One thing I really worked on with my dad and coaches is just being able to catch and shoot from anywhere. To be able to shoot off the dribble from anywhere. Those were things we really honed in on this summer. And also just always making sure my left hand is as good as my right. I never wanted my weak hand to ever slack or make me a lesser player. So that’s one thing I have always challenged myself (to). And, of course, just being a better teammate each and every season.”
One of his teammates is younger brother, Masin, a sophomore starting guard. Trey said being able to share the court with his sibling is the most rewarding experience he has had.
The boys’ father, J.R., was a good player at Monte, a guy Trey said led the South Iowa Cedar League in shooting and 3-point shooting back in the day. So the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
A top-notch young man who is part of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council, Shearer has signed to play college ball for former Iowa Hawkeyes guard Jeff Horner at Truman State in Missouri. That’s a Division II school.
Before that, he hopes to guide Montezuma to the state tournament a third consecutive season. The Braves were third in 1A last year and fourth in 2019.
Montezuma (10-2) has a big SICL game Friday night against undefeated Keota (11-0). The Braves lost two close games early when they were without starting power forward Eddie Burgess, who was recovering from injury.
“Being without Eddie was tough. Really tough,” Shearer said. “It was definitely a learning experience for us. But definitely a learning experience for the better.”
Around the hoop
— South Tama ended a 49-game losing streak when it won Tuesday night at Benton Community, 47-44. Eli Keahna had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans, with Kenny Balderas adding 13 points. South Tama’s previous win was in a Class 3A substate semifinal against Independence in 2018.
— All four Iowa City boys’ basketball teams are on pause due to COVID-19 protocols. They are expected to be able to resume activities next week. That means Iowa City Liberty will have had three straight games postponed, Iowa City High five, Iowa City West four and Iowa City Regina two.
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