Prep Basketball

Boys' basketball notebook: Maquoketa's Abe Becker atop the state in 3-pointers

CEDAR RAPIDS — You know the guy who is first.

A.J. Green of Cedar Falls leads the state in 3-point field goals. He’s a top-100 player nationally and is headed to the University of Northern Iowa.

But who is right behind Green, just one trey away from him? That’s Abe Becker.

The junior guard from Maquoketa actually is tied with Akron-Westfield’s Nick Jacobs with 71 makes. Green has 72.

It has been quite a season for Becker, who has broken the school single-season record for 3s.

“Honestly, it’s just having a lot more confidence,” he said. “Having more confidence in myself and my ability. Working hard in the offseason ... Just going hard in all your drills. All the drills that I’ve done, working on all the aspects of my game.”

Becker averaged 7.8 points per game last season but has bumped that to 18.2 this season. He is shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc.

And that’s playing in a good Class 3A conference.

“He was pretty much a spot-up shooter last season,” said Maquoketa Coach Matt Hartman. “He was a good player, but he didn’t really have self confidence. But he dedicated himself to summer weightlifting, and he’s gotten so much stronger. He can shoot off the dribble now, he can drive. He changed his game.”

Maquoketa has won five of six going into its game Friday night at Solon. It has worked its way back to break even (9-9) with three regular-season games remaining.

By the way, Abe isn’t the only Becker making an impact. Max Becker is a senior guard for the Cardinals, Connor Becker a freshman guard.

The trio are cousins.

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“We’re close,” Abe said. “We’ve grown up together, done a lot of things together ... I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s just awesome.”

POSTSEASON PAIRINGS RELEASED

The Iowa High School Athletic Association released postseason brackets late Thursday afternoon for Class 1A and 2A. Seeds for each district were determined via coaches seeding meetings Wednesday night. Independence and Vinton-Shellsburg are 1A substate final sites. Class 3A and 4A substate seeding meetings will be held this coming Wednesday (Feb. 7), with brackets for those classes expected to be released Friday, Feb. 9.

MOORE BREAKS CCA SCORING MARK

Senior guard Darius Moore had 41 points to help Clear Creek Amana beat Williamsburg, 73-70, Tuesday night, breaking the school’s single-game scoring record. Moore made 16 of 23 shots from the field, leaving some points out there by going just 8 of 20 from the free-throw line. CCA had scored 41 points as a team in its previous game, a 41-40 win over South Tama.

MARCHING TO A RECORD

Junior guard Zach March scored 34 points Tuesday night in Springville’s 71-61 win over East Buchanan. More importantly, he splashed seven 3-pointers in the game, giving him 56 this season. That ties the Orioles’ single-season record. March has two games to surpass the mark, as Springville concludes its regular season with games Friday night at Ed-Co and Tuesday night at Central City.

CONFERENCE CHAMPS

South Tama’s 67-58 win Tuesday night over Independence assured it the Wamac Conference West Division championship. The Trojans are 11-1 in the division and 12-5 overall. Other teams who have clinched conference titles are Cascade (River Valley Conference North Division), Iowa City Regina (RVC South), North Linn (Tri-Rivers Conference West Division), Lynnville-Sully (South Iowa Cedar League West Division) and Turkey Valley (Upper Iowa).

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

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