CEDAR RAPIDS — Dyersville Beckman is ranked No. 1, but it’s just December, and that honor doesn’t mean anything.
The focus for Beckman boys’ basketball team is gradual improvement and getting over the hump once March rolls around.
The Blazers lost last season to North Linn in a Class 2A district final. They led that game at halftime.
The Blazers lost two years ago to Cascade in a 2A substate final. They led that game at halftime.
North Linn and Cascade went on to win state titles. See where this is going?
“I think the kids believe they can be one of the top teams in the state,” said Beckman Coach Michael Molony. “I think they’ve always thought that, but I think now they realize how much work it takes every day. These guys who have been here with us three years now know that every single day they have to bring it, and they’ve brought it every single game.
“It has been their attention to detail every single day. They are doing everything they can to get better, and that is showing every possession of the game.”
Beckman went 16-6 last season, playing a mainly 3A schedule in the Wamac Conference. Four starters from that team returned: Michael Keegan, Luke Goedken, Tom Jaeger and Jack Westhoff.
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Keegan is Beckman’s main dude, a 6-foot-5 guard who has committed to NCAA Division II Washburn University in Kansas. He is averaging a shade under 20 points and 8.5 rebounds in his team’s first six games, all wins by 10 points or more.
“He has really helped bring along some of our other guys,” Molony said, lauding Keegan’s leadership.
Junior guard Mason White is Beckman’s second-leading scorer (9.5). Molony said he feels his team’s offense has room for growth, with its defense being the biggest key to being 6-0.
Beckman is allowing opponents just 35 points per game.
“We’ve defended really well,” Molony said. “We play an aggressive man-to-man, high-risk defense. Then we’ve rebounded the ball really well for our size. We’re not super big, but we’re quick and athletic. We’ve done a really good job with those two things, which has just (limited) our opponents’ possessions.”
Beckman hasn’t been to the state tournament since 2007. Dan Correy was the head coach then, and he has returned to the Blazers sideline as an assistant this season.
Molony, who played for Correy, couldn’t be more thrilled.
“This program was nothing before he took over,” Molony said. “He endured eight years of losing basketball before he got it turned around. We were always in the middle to upper pack of the Wamac when he was coaching. That has continued. Deep down, I think (being back) means a lot to him. I played for him, our sophomore coach played for him, and our freshman coach played for him.”
Most of Iowa's leading scorers are from this area
Four of the top five scorers in the state two weeks into the season are from The Gazette area.
Norwalk’s Bowen Born, a Northern Iowa commit, leads everyone with a 34.2-point-per-game average. The senior guard has scored 30-plus points in four of his team’s five games and had 29 in the other.
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Behind him, in order, are J.D. Stout of Keota, Masen Miller of Iowa City Regina, Trey Shearer of Montezuma and Nick Reid of Central City. Stout, Miller and Shearer are guards, Reid a wing.
Stout is averaging 28.9 points per game, Miller 28.5, Shearer 27.6 and Reid 27.2. Shearer has made 67.1 percent of his field goals (53 of 79), 75.3 percent of his two-point shots (44 of 58) and is at 92 percent from the free-throw line.
The combined records of the four teams is 18-4.
Cedar Valley Christian breaks losing streak
Cedar Valley Christian ended a 30-game losing streak last week via a 39-38 win over Maquoketa Valley. The Huskies enjoyed that victory so much they went out and beat Garwin GMG 50-49 Monday night.
CVC was 0-20 last season and hadn’t won a game since knocking off English Valleys 50-35 on Jan. 13, 2018.
Sophomore Levi Telecky is leading the Huskies in scoring this season (11.7).
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