Prep Basketball

Iowa all-state boys' basketball 2019: Jake Hilmer, DJ Carton named Mr. Basketball co-winners

IPSWA announces all-state teams, headlined by North Linn and Bettendorf stars

North Linn's Jake Hilmer earned a share of the 2019 Iowa Mr. Basketball award. (The Gazette)
North Linn's Jake Hilmer earned a share of the 2019 Iowa Mr. Basketball award. (The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — It was three years ago in late February, and North Linn’s boys’ basketball team had just been upset by Alburnett in a district game.

Mike Hilmer was despondent, upset that his seniors had lost their opportunity to play in the state tournament. Discouraged that after 20-some years on the sideline, again, he wasn’t going to get a chance to coach in Des Moines.

After a few minutes of tears, Hilmer’s oldest son, Jake, sidled up to next to him. Jake Hilmer was North Linn’s freshman point guard.

“When all the dust settled that night, he comes up to me, puts his arm around me and says ‘Dad, we’re going to get you to the state tournament,’” Mike Hilmer said. “Most kids that age aren’t thinking about how they can get their coach to the state tournament, they’re just disappointed they lost and everything. That’s one thing I remember that really brought into focus what kind of kid he was.”

That kid ended up helping get his father to three state tournaments, including a Class 2A championship last week. That kid led North Linn to a 102-4 record in his four years.

Today, that kid is honored as co-recipient of the 2019 Iowa Mr. Basketball award. He shares it with another outstanding point guard, Bettendorf’s DJ Carton.

 
Almost 50 sportswriters in the state cast ballots, and the two ended with exactly the same vote total. This is the third time there are co-winners of Mr. Basketball, the first since 1999, when Kirk Hinrich of Sioux City West and Nick Collison of Iowa Falls shared the award.

They ended up going to the University of Kansas together and enjoyed long careers in the NBA.

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“Pretty surreal,” Jake Hilmer said. “When you’re in the gym, working hard and stuff, I don’t think you ever consider anything this big. I know I didn’t. I always wanted to win a state championship, that was always a big goal of mine. Getting that done for the coaching staff and the guys I play with, a community that really supports our school and its athletics really well, is a really good feeling.

"Now winning Mr. Basketball, I guess, I would just say I worked really hard. I promise, I don’t think there’s anyone who works harder than me. I put in a lot of time, have been put in a really good situation. I’ve said all the time I’m in a really great situation here at North Linn, and it has just been an absolute blast.”

Hilmer and Carton met on the baseball field as younger kids, excelling in that sport as well. Carton decided he wanted to concentrate on hoops, while Hilmer continued to play both.

He’ll be a basketball and baseball player next year at Division II Upper Iowa University. Carton, of course, exploded onto the recruiting scene this past summer and ended up signing with Ohio State as a five-star player.

“DJ was a really, really good baseball player,” said Hilmer, who replaced him with the Iowa Barnstormers AAU program when Carton decided to play for the Quad City Elite. “It was surprising to me when he went just to basketball. Obviously, it worked out well for him.”

Hilmer isn’t the explosive athlete Carton is, but his ultra-quickness, court vision, basketball sense and ballhandling ability set him apart. He averaged 26 points per game this season, shooting 57 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free-throw line.

He led the state in assists the past three years and ended up setting state records for single-season and career steals and assists. He is the only player in Iowa history to surpass 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in his career, with 2,332 and 1,106, respectively.

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“It means a lot to me, just because I have seen all the work that he has put in,” Mike Hilmer said. “I have seen some of the naysayers that talk about what class he plays in. But, honestly, he has done some stuff that nobody has ever done before ... What Jake has done, to me, is incredible.”

Setting aside the numbers, most anyone who has met Jake Hilmer will tell you he’s an even better kid. It was noted by many that after North Linn’s championship game win this past Friday night over Boyden-Hull, Hilmer pushed fellow seniors Carter Johnson, David Seber and Trevor Boge to center court to pick up the winning trophy.

Then it was noted that before North Linn’s championship team photo was taken, he made sure to take off the medal he had received for being named all-tournament captain. That’s humility.

“What we’ve tried to teach him is that ‘OK, after that game, you saw how that kid acted. He was a great basketball player, but what do you think most people remember about him now?’” Mike Hilmer said. “My wife (Jaci) and I always drilled into him that you want to be known as a good person first before you want to be known as a good athlete. Because if you’re not a good person, no one will care that you were a good athlete.”

“Mom wasn’t really much of an athlete, but she instilled some morals and character things that have definitely helped me with sports,” Jake said. “Her presence does not go without recognition. My dad has shown me how to work, how to hold myself, how to be a man. The thing about my dad is he never let me settle for just being another good player. He always pushed me to get better and better. Once you accomplish one thing, you set the bar higher.”

The IPSWA all-state teams include three first-teamers in Class 4A in Cedar Rapids Prairie wing Keegan Murray, Linn-Mar forward Trey Hutcheson and Iowa City West forward Patrick McCaffery. Hutcheson is headed to Division I Albany (N.Y.) to play college ball next season, while McCaffery, of course, will play for his father, Fran, at Iowa.

Patrick McCaffery became West’s career scoring leader late this season, surpassing former Mr. Basketball Glen Worley.

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In Class 3A, West Delaware forward Derek Krogmann and Maquoketa’s A.J. Becker are first-team picks. Krogmann is WD’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

Besides Hilmer, other first-teamers in Class 2A include Iowa City Regina junior guard Masen Miller. He led the state this season in 3-pointers made.

Sophomore Trey Shearer of Montezuma is among the first-team selections in Class 1A. So is Central City junior Nick Reid, who led the state in scoring average (32.5 points per game) this season, including a 76-point outing against East Buchanan that was tied for the second-highest scoring output in a game in state history.

Below are all of the IPSWA all-state teams.

Class 4A

FIRST TEAM

DJ Carton (Bettendorf), senior

Tyreke Locure (Des Moines North), senior

Patrick McCaffery (Iowa City West), senior

Noah Carter (Dubuque Senior), senior

Logan Wolf (Cedar Falls), senior

Aidan Vanderloo (Sioux City East), senior

Keegan Murray (Cedar Rapids Prairie), senior

Trey Hutcheson (Linn-Mar), senior

SECOND TEAM

Tyrese Nickelson (Waterloo East), senior

Ty Anderson (North Scott), junior

Dylan Jones (Waukee), senior

Kris Murray (Cedar Rapids Prairie), senior

Evan Gauger (Indianola), senior

Tamin Lipsey (Ames), freshman

Keshawn Pegues (Davenport Central), senior

Cliff McCray (Sioux City West), senior

THIRD TEAM

Japannah Kellogg (Ames), senior

Peyton Williams (Johnston), senior

Trayvon Williams (West Des Moines Valley), senior

Cortaviaus Seales (North Scott), senior

Mick McCurry (Cedar Rapids Washington), senior

Matt Stilwill (West Des Moines Dowling), junior

Jack Wetzel (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), junior

Noah Hart (Waukee), senior

 

Class 3A

FIRST TEAM

Bowen Born (Norwalk), junior

Cole Henry (Oskaloosa), senior

Xavier Foster (Oskaloosa), junior

Collin Lister (Carlisle), senior

Owen Coburn (Spirit Lake), senior

Derek Krogmann (West Delaware), senior

Jackson Molstead (Charles City), senior

A.J. Becker (Maquoketa), senior

SECOND TEAM

Conner Groves (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), senior

Easton Darling (Winterset), junior

Goanar Biliew (Denison-Schleswig), junior

Drew Enke (Clear Lake), senior

Dylan Peeters (Davenport Assumption), senior

Alex Irwin (Le Mars), senior; Kylan Smallwood (Creston), senior

Christian Stanislav (Glenwood), senior

THIRD TEAM

Daniel Wright (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), junior

Macklin Shanahan (Maquoketa), senior

Jacob Schockemoehl (Dubuque Wahlert), junior

Kieren Nichols (Knoxville), sophomore

 Rian Yates (Oskaloosa), senior

Keaton Kutcher (Mount Vernon), sophomore

Nate Michels (Benton Community), senior

 

Class 2A

FIRST TEAM

Jake Hilmer (North Linn), senior

Conner Hill (South Hamilton), senior

Ryan Schmitt (Van Meter), senior

Jace Davidson (Pocahontas Area), senior

Beau DeJongh (Boyden-Hull), senior

Ben Heeren (Ogden), senior

Masen Miller (Iowa City Regina), junior

Cooper DeJean (Ida Grove OABCIG), sophomore

SECOND TEAM

Keaton Mitchell (Wapello), senior

Cade Fuller (Dike-New Hartford), senior

Caleb Delzell (Camanche), junior

Andrew VanRyswyk (Monroe PCM), senior

James Betz (Garner GHV), senior

Carter Cuvelier (Aplington-Parkersburg), senior

Hunter Dekkers (West Sioux), junior

Avery Busta (Forest City), senior

THIRD TEAM

Curran Ingram (Des Moines Christian), junior

Ben Wolgemuth (Mediapolis), senior

Cameron Soenksen (Camanche), junior

Trey Hinote (Greene County), senior

Logan Peters (South Hamilton), senior

Haris Hoffman (Cascade), senior

Justin Recker (Monticello), sophomore

Zane Neubaum (South Central Calhoun), junior

 

Class 1A

FIRST TEAM

Zach Martinek (West Fork), senior

Issa Samake (Grand View Christian), senior

T.J. Schnurr (Algona Garrigan), senior

Codey Hicks (Janesville), senior

Brennan Sefrit (Bedford), junior

Andrew Gibb (Fort Dodge St. Edmond), senior

Trey Shearer (Montezuma), sophomore

Nick Reid (Central City), junior

SECOND TEAM

Brady Happel (Dunkerton), senior

Hunter Decker (Sioux Central), senior

Cole Burmeister (Exira-EHK), senior

Nik Coble (WACO), junior

Bryce Coppock (Newell-Fonda), junior

Izic Mackey (Alburnett), senior

Jackson Louscher (South O’Brien), junior

Kaidon Larson (Clinton Prince of Peace), senior

THIRD TEAM

Caleb Grizzle (Ankeny Christian), senior

Angelo Winkel (Algona Garrigan), sophomore

Spencer Schorg (Remsen St. Mary’s), junior

Hunter Rickels (Calamus-Wheatland), senior

Jack Kelley (Don Bosco), senior

J.D. Stout (Keota), junior

Parker Hitt (Mormon Trail), senior

Jared Gast (Council Bluffs St. Albert), senior

 

Here is a historical list of Iowa Mr. Basketballs.

2018 — Joe Wieskamp (Muscatine) Iowa

2017 — Joe Smoldt (Gladbrook-Reinbeck) Upper Iowa

2016 — Jordan Bohannon (Linn-Mar) Iowa

2015 — Daniel Tillo (Sioux City North) Kentucky (baseball)

2014 — Wyatt Lohaus (Iowa City West) Northern Iowa

2013 — Peter Jok (West Des Moines Valley) Iowa

2012 — Marcus Paige( Linn-Mar) North Carolina

2011 — Jarrod Uthoff (Cedar Rapids Jefferson) Wisconsin/Iowa

2010 — Harrison Barnes (Ames) North Carolina

2009 — Brennan Cougill (Sioux City Heelan) Iowa/Green Bay

2008 — Matt Gatens (Iowa City High) Iowa

2007 — Clayton Vette (Waverly-Shell Rock) Iowa State/Winona State

2006 — Jason Bohannon (Linn-Mar) Wisconsin

2005 — Josh Van Es (MOC-Floyd Valley) Northwestern College

2004 — Carlton Reed (Waterloo East) Northern Iowa/Iowa

2003 — Brooks McKowen (Wapsie Valley) Northern Iowa

2002 — Jeff Horner (Mason City) Iowa

2001 — Tyler McKinney (Urbandale) Creighton

2000 — Glen Worley (Iowa City West) Iowa

1999 — (tie) Kirk Hinrich (Sioux City West) Kansas

......... Nick Collison (Iowa Falls) Kansas

1998 — David Newman (Des Moines Hoover) Drake/Northwestern

1997 — Dean Oliver (Mason City) Iowa

1996 — Justin Wessel (Cedar Rapids Prairie) Arizona

1995 — Adam Spanich (Cedar Rapids Regis) USC/Oral Roberts

1994 — Raef LaFrentz (MFL/Mar-Mac) Kansas

1993 — Jess Settles (Winfield-Mt. Union) Iowa

1992 — Eric Pothoven (Pella Christian) Liberty

1991 — Fred Hoiberg (Ames) Iowa State

1990 — Mike Davis (Waterloo East) Southwest Missouri State

1989 — Mike Bergman (Waverly-Shell Rock) Iowa State

1988 — Wade Lookingbill (Fort Dodge) Iowa

1987 — Robert Johnson (Des Moines Lincoln) Iowa State

1986 — Chris Gaines (Waterloo West) Hawaii

1985 — Brian David (Carroll Kuemper) Arizona

1984 — Al Lorenzen (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) Iowa

1983 — Todd Lumsden (Linn-Mar) Northern Iowa

1982 — (tie) Randy Kraayenbrink (Paullina) Northern Iowa

....... Ted Burbach (Dubuque Wahlert) Iowa State/Western Illinois

1981 — Todd Berkenpas (Maple Valley) Iowa

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

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