Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

Our 20 favorite photos from the 2019 Iowa state basketball tournaments

I spent the last two weeks in Des Moines covering the Iowa high school girls’ and boys’ state basketball tournaments. We had nine Gazette area girls’ teams over the five classes and seven boys’ teams in their four-class field.

I filed 728 photos from the 27 games I covered at Wells Fargo Arena and selected favorites 10 from each tournament.


It’s always interesting when two teams we cover play each other in a state tournament game. Marion and Cedar Rapids Xavier faced off in a quarterfinal game with Marion coming out on top 70-35.



This picture was taken with a remote camera I set up in the catwalk of the arena. I am able to trigger the camera from the floor while I’m shooting with my other cameras. It gives us an angle we aren’t usually able to have throughout the season.



After a slow start, the Montezuma Bravettes took off in the second half and defeated Anita CAM 59-45 in the Class 1A quarterfinals. They celebrated on the floor after the final buzzer and it’s always a fun moment to capture.



After a 67-31 quarterfinal win, Center Point-Urbana faced Des Moines Christian in the semifinals. The Stormin' Pointers continued their hot shooting and defensive pressure which led to a 55-26 win.



The Stormin’ Pointers forced 28 turnovers in their semifinal win, which led to a lot of breakaway baskets like this one by freshman Ryley Goebel.



I placed a second remote camera behind the glass on one of the baskets. It gives you a head-on picture of the player shooting and you also capture players boxing out as they prepare for a potential rebound.



In the Class 3A championship game, Center Point-Urbana's Adrianna Katcher made a 3-pointer and her bench celebrated behind her while she made her way back down the court on defense.



I loved the confidence of Center Point-Urbana's Madison Willson (on the left) as she started celebrating as her teammate, Karly Millikin, started her shooting motion on a 3-point basket during the Class 3A championship game.



The joy of winning a state championship and holding up your team’s trophy to your fans.



The Class 4A championship game came down to the last shot and Marion fell to North Scott 50-49. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.



Montezuma’s Trey Shearer attracted a lot of defensive attention but still scored 25 points in a quarterfinal win over Algona Garrigan.



Alburnett was a fun team to cover last week as it made the school’s first trip to the state tournament. After a defensive stop in the final seconds of their 55-54 quarterfinal win, the Pirates celebrated on the court.



North Linn’s Austin Miller took a shot to the face during a quarterfinal win and there was a lot of blood. Even after they wiped his face, there was still blood covering the side of his head as he walked off the court. Miller later came back into the game and the Lynx won 68-45.



North Linn senior Jake Hilmer had both of his knees wrapped after falling to the court in the first half and bleeding from court burns. That didn’t stop him from scoring 34 points against Des Moines Christian.



This is another picture from the remote camera in the catwalk. Iowa City West's Patrick McCaffery waits to see if his shot will roll into the basket or fall off the rim during a quarterfinal loss to Dubuque Senior.



More blood. Near the end of Alburnett’s 39-37 win over Remsen St. Mary’s in the Class 1A semifinals, Hunter Caves was fouled and blood started to stream down his face. He too would come back into the game and the Pirates moved on to the title game.



Caves wore a patch above his left eye in the Class 1A championship game after his injury in Alburnett's semifinal win two days earlier. The Alburnett student section matched the look for the game.



If you are on defense you always have to watch North Linn’s Jake Hilmer when he has the ball. In the Class 2A championship game, the senior Lynx guard scored 20 points in a 60-41 win.



Another picture from the remote camera shooting through the glass as players in the 2A championship game get in position for a rebound.



A North Linn senior class including David Seber (left) and Jake Hilmer (center) had a 102-4 career record and captured a state basketball title with a 60-41 win over Boyden-Hull.


Girls' state basketball tournament photo galleries

• Iowa City High vs. West Des Moines Valley, 5A quarterfinals

• Marion vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier, 4A quarterfinals

• Marion vs. Mason City, 4A semifinals

• Marion vs. North Scott, 4A championship

• Center Point-Urbana vs. West Marshall, 3A quarterfinals

• Center Point-Urbana vs. Des Moines Christian, 3A semifinals

• Center Point-Urbana vs. North Polk, 3A championship

• Waukon vs. Crestwood, 3A quarterfinals

• Waukon vs. North Polk, 3A semifinals

• Cascade vs. Dike-New Hartford, 2A quarterfinals

• Cascade vs. Grundy Center, 2A semifinals

• North Linn vs. Treynor, 2A quarterfinals

• Montezuma vs. Anita CAM, 1A quarterfinals

• Montezuma vs. West Hancock, 1A semifinals

• Springville vs. Newell-Fonda, 1A quarterfinals


Boys' state basketball tournament photo galleries

• Iowa City West vs. Dubuque Senior, 4A quarterfinals

• Marion vs. Oskaloosa, 3A quarterfinals

• West Delaware vs. Clear Lake, 3A quarterfinals

• North Linn vs. Des Moines Christian, 2A quarterfinals

• North Linn vs. Van Meter, 2A semifinals

• North Linn vs. Boyden-Hull, 2A championship

• Iowa City Regina vs. Boyden-Hull, 2A quarterfinals

• Alburnett vs. Sioux Central, 1A quarterfinals

• Alburnett vs. Remsen St. Mary's, 1A semifinals

• Alburnett vs. Grand View Christian, 1A championship

• Montezuma vs. Algona Garrigan, 1A quarterfinals

• Montezuma vs. Grand View Christian, 1A semifinals