Prep Basketball

A closer look at Saturday's Iowa Class 1A, 2A boys' basketball substate finals

Winners earn state tournament bids

North Linn's Austin Miller (right) dives for a loose ball against Springville's Bryce Wilson (left) during the second qu
North Linn’s Austin Miller (right) dives for a loose ball against Springville’s Bryce Wilson (left) during the second quarter of their boy’s basketball game at North Linn High School in Troy Mills, Iowa, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Capsules for Saturday night’s Class 1A and 2A substate final boys’ basketball games involving area teams. All games begin at 7 p.m.

Class 1A

Edgewood-Colesburg (15-9) vs. Wapsie Valley (17-7)

Location: Cedar Rapids Prairie

Top players: Parker Rochford (6-0 junior) averages 14.8 points per game for Ed-Co. Spencer Staner (6-1, senior) averages 10.4 points. Wapsie Valley is led by center Kiks Rosengarten (6-7, senior), who averages 19.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

Notes: The return from injury of guard Rochford has been huge for Ed-Co. He missed the start of the season, played two games, then sat out some more, returning for good in early February. The Vikings have won five in a row, including a big upset of top-ranked Easton Valley in the district finals, 59-56. EV was without its top player, Kaleb Kornilsen, who missed the game with an injury. Ed-Co made its state tournament debut two years ago, losing to North Linn in the first round. Wapsie Valley’s last state appearance was in 2013. Head coach Marty McKowen (whose son, Brooks, is head coach at Upper Iowa University and son, Jon, head coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy) has 592 career victory in 38 years at the school.

No. 7 Montezuma (22-2) vs. Nodaway Valley (17-7)

Location: Knoxville

Top players: Trey Shearer (5-10, junior) is one of the top scorers in the state for Montezuma, averaging 26 points per game. He is shooting 63.9 percent from the field, 45.6 percent from 3-point range and 82.5 percent from the free-throw line. Another guard, Cole Watts (5-10, junior) averages 18.1 point and has a team-high 64 3-point makes. Eddie Burgess (6-4, sophomore) is the Braves’ main inside guy, averaging 11.4 points and 10.5 rebounds. The one-two punch for Nodaway Valley is junior Toby Bower (15.1 ppg) and senior Clay Hohertz (14.9 ppg).

Notes: Montezuma placed fourth in 1A at last year’s state tournament and is a young team, with its top four scorers underclassmen. The Braves’ two losses were by a combined five points to 2A schools Albia and Monroe PCM. Albia is in a 2A substate final. Four of Nodaway Valley’s seven losses have been to other teams playing in substate finals. NV has made six state tournament appearances since 2005, its last in 2015.

No. 8 Lake Mills (22-2) vs. Turkey Valley (22-3)

Location: Charles City

Top players: Wing Dashawn Linnen (6-3, junior) is Lake Mills’ leading scorer at 20.1 points per game. He is followed closely by forward Chett Helming (6-6, senior) at 18.6 ppg. Helming actually has the most 3-pointers attempted and made on the team. Ethan Leibold (6-3, senior) leads Turkey Valley in scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.1 rpg). Keegan Balk (6-2, senior) averages 12 points per game for the Trojans.

Notes: Leibold missed six games this season because of injury. He did not play in two of Turkey Valley’s losses (back to back in mid-December to MFL MarMac and Houston, Minn.). Lake Mills’ two losses were to Algona Garrigan and Forest City, who both are in substate finals. Lake Mills also has a win over Garrigan. Turkey Valley has qualified for state once (2010) and Lake Mills twice (1973 and 1986).

Springville (19-5) vs. Pekin (19-4)

Location: Iowa City West

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Top players: Four players for Springville average double figures in scoring, led by guard Alex Koppes (5-10, junior) at 19.6 points per game and Rhenden Wagaman (6-2, sophomore) at 14.5. Three Orioles (including senior Kyle Koppes) have attempted over 100 3-pointers. Pekin has a balanced scoring attack led by Brady Millikin (6-foot, junior) at 13.3 points per game.

Notes: Springville has made it to the boys’ state basketball tournament once prior, and that was all the way back in 1975. Pekin has never qualified. Springville’s four losses include a pair to Class 2A No. 2 North Linn. The Orioles have excelled with a young team (two juniors, two sophomores and a senior in the starting lineup) and an undersized one (6-foot-2 is the tallest player).

Other games around the state

Council Bluffs St. Albert (10-14) vs. No. 5 Remsen St. Mary’s (21-3) at Mapleton

Mount Ayr (21-2) vs. No. 10 Martensdale-St. Marys (22-3) at Creston

No. 3 South O’Brien (21-3) vs. No. 4 Algona Garrigan (21-2) at Spencer

No. 5 West Fork (22-2) vs. Ankeny Christian (21-3) at Nevada

Class 2A

No. 2 North Linn (23-0) vs. Forest City (16-7)

Location: Cedar Falls

Top players: Austin Miller (6-2, senior) averages a double-double of 22.7 points and 10.4 rebounds for North Linn. Austin Hilmer (5-foot-10, sophomore) leads the state in assists (203) and averages 18.3 points. Dylan Kurt (6-2, sophomore) leads North Linn with 60 3-pointers and averages 12.6 points per game. Guard Noah Miller (5-10, junior) paces Forest City in scoring (15.0 ppg).

Notes: Forest City upset 10th-ranked Osage in overtime in the district finals. North Linn had by far its closest game of the season in the district finals, outscoring Dike-New Hartford, 79-73. The Lynx have won 49 consecutive games and 104 of their last 106. North Linn Co-Coach Bob Hilmer, the state’s all-time leader in wins, won a state championship at Forest City and coached his son, Mike, there. Mike Hilmer is NL’s other Co-Head Coach. Dan Rosacker replaced Bob Hilmer at Forest City and has a 313-100 record there in 18 seasons.

No. 4 Monticello (20-2) vs. Dyersville Beckman (18-5)

Location: Manchester

Top players: Justin Recker (6-5, junior) is Monti’s best player, averaging 17 points per game and shooting 64 percent from the field. Forward Luke Lambert (6-3, junior) averages 10.4 points and point guard Tate Petersen (5-8, freshman) 9.7. Beckman’s top player is forward Michael Keegan (6-5, junior), who averages 19.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Notes: Beckman’s five losses have come to five different Class 3A teams, all of which are playing in substate finals. Monticello lost to Class 4A Cedar Rapids Washington and 2A substate finalist Camanche. Monticello’s starting lineup consists of four juniors and a freshman. Beckman’s last state tournament appearance was in 2007. Monticello has qualified twice: in 1959 and 1960.

Other games around the state

No. 6 Camanche (20-3) vs. West Burlington (14-8) at Muscatine

Albia (18-3) vs. Woodward-Granger (21-2) at West Des Moines Valley

No. 8 Boyden-Hull (20-3) vs. West Lyon (14-10) at Orange City

Panorama (17-6) vs. No. 1 Treynor (23-1) at Council Bluffs Lincoln

Pella Christian (12-10) vs. South Hamilton (15-7) at Marshalltown

No. 5 West Sioux (21-2) vs. South Central Calhoun (19-4) at Cherokee

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

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