November has arrived and that means basketball season is starting. This year Glenwood is set to make a push for the state tournament so I thought it would be fun to take a in-depth look at some teams to watch out for.
First off let us rewind to last season and take a look at the teams in the Iowa Basketball State Tournament. The teams that qualified in Class 3A were the following: Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Pella, West Delaware, Dallas Center-Grimes, CR-Xavier, Mount Pleasant, Waverly-Shell Rock and Atlantic.
First round match-ups included the following:
Sergeant Bluff-Luton 66 Pella 55
West Delaware 66 Dallas Center-Grimes 58
Cedar Rapids, Xavier 59 Mount Pleasant 44
Waverly-Shell Rock 58 Atlantic 45
Semifinal match-ups included the following:
Sergeant Bluff-Luton 72 West Delaware 59
Cedar Rapids, Xavier 47 Waverly-Shell Rocker 41 (Overtime)
Waverly-Shell Rock 48 West Delaware 44
Cedar Rapids, Xavier 54 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 49
The champions from a year ago (Cedar Rapids, Xavier) won the state tournament with a record of 16-11. Despite losing nine of their first thirteen games, Xavier found a way to get hot at the right time and take Class 3A. Matthew Mims was their leading scorer from a season ago and averaged 15.3 points per contest. The 6’ guard who was First Team All-State will return and look to have his team back in the state tournament. Xavier however did lose two key seniors in 6’7” Max Techau and 6’2” Nolan Butkowski. Both Techau and Butkowski were in the top four in scoring and rebounding for CR-Xavier. Jackson Joens does return however. The 6’6” guard shot 45.2% from three point land and was third on the team in scoring with 11.6 pts/g.
Class 3A’s runner up Sergeant Bluff-Luton finished second a season ago with an overall record of 17-10. The Warriors lost three of their top scorers with 6’5” Jackson Wright, 6’1” Chris Kroll (First Team All-State) and 6’1” Keegan Savary graduating. Junior Conner Groves and Senior Ty Boekelman will look to lead the Warriors back to the state tournament but their road to Des Moines won’t be easy.
Waverly-Shell Rock who finished their season 24-2 finish third in Class 3A will be without Austin Phyfe. Phyfe who was 6’10” averaged 19.1 pts/g last year and was a member of the Des Moines Register All-Iowa Boys’ Basketball Elite Team. Phyfe now plays for the UNI Panthers. Seniors Jack Seward and Jacob Bahe return and can help the Go-Hawks get back to Wells Fargo Arena. 6’5” Bahe was third on the team with 6.8 pts/g and second in rebounds with 103.
6’7” Junior Derek Krogmann is the name to remember for West Delaware, Manchester. The Hawks went 25-2 a season ago and finished fourth place in Class 3A. Krogmann who will just be a Junior this season lead the Hawks a year ago with 15.8 pts/g and grabbed 307 rebounds. Manchester will be without 6’6” John Nagel who was second on the Hawks in points and rebounds. 6’4” Tyler Kelley is back and the guard will look to shoot 38% or better from three point land. Kelley lead the Hawks in steals with thirty-eight. Look for Krogmann to get his team back to the state tournament after the Hawks finished the regular season undefeated a year ago before getting upset in the semifinals.
The Panthers of Mount Pleasant finished their 2016-17 season with a record of 22-3. Mount Pleasant was knocked out of the state tournament by the champions Xavier in the first round. The Panthers lead Class 3A last year in point differential with 26.1 per game. Brady Sartorius, Jordan Magnani, Colin Mulford, Keegan Kohorst and Jonathan Ita all return for Mount Pleasant. 6’ Senior Brady Sartorius who was First Team All-State is back for the Panthers and is an electric scorer. Sartorius lead Mount Pleasant in scoring with 21.8 pts/g while shooting 46.6% from three point range and knocking down seventy-three from downtown. Mount Pleasant will be without their big-man in 6’9” Tom O’Connor who was a great down low presence for the Panthers. Watch out for this Mount Pleasant team because they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Pella who lost in the first round to Sergeant Bluff-Luton will lose their top four scorers off their 22-3 state qualifying team. Ten players graduated for Pella and the Dutch will look to reload once again this season. 6’6” Junior Nick DeJong will lead the way this season for Pella. DeJong averaged 5.2 pts/g and shot 62.5% from the floor.
The Trojans of Atlantic went 19-6 a season ago but did lose Garrett Franken who was First Team All-State by the Des Moines Register. 6’6” Senior Austin Alexander will look to take the Trojans back to the state tournament this year. Alexander is currently committed to play at Northwestern College next year averaged 11.9 points per game a season ago while shooting 45.5% from three point land. Scott Leonard could also cause some trouble in the Hawkeye Ten this season. The 6’6” Senior likes to use his height on the low block and is also a great rebounder for Atlantic. Junior guard Chase Mullenix will look to have a breakout year for these Trojans. Mullenix a season ago helped take down Glenwood after shooting 6-8 from the court and scoring nineteen points for the Trojans to advance onto the state tournament.
Dallas Center-Grimes is the last team we need to discuss from the 2017 Iowa Basketball State Tournament. The 15-10 Mustangs advanced to the state tournament after defeating Boone 54-43 in the regional final. DC-G will return three of their top five scorers from a season ago. Steve Borneman, Jordan Humphreys and Tanner Epple all return for the Mustangs. DC-G will miss Trevor Grove as he lead the Mustangs in points and rebounds last year. However, Dallas Center-Grimes will return eleven Seniors and will try to make a trip back to Wells Fargo Arena.
Sioux City Bishop Heelan is a team I would watch out for this season. Bishop Heelan Catholic returns eight of their top nine players from their 17-7 2017 season. Bishop Heelan lost to Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the regional final 53-51 (SB-L would go on and finish second in the state). Elijah Hazekamp will return for Bishop Heelan Catholic after a season where he made Honorable Mention All-State by the Des Moines Register. The 6’5” Senior lead the team in scoring, blocks, rebounds and assists. Look for Hazekamp to have a All-State type season for Bishop Heelan. Jack Boever is also back for Bishop Heelan. Boever scored ten points per contest a season ago and will look to help out Hazekamp on both ends of the floor.
Finally it’s time to talk Glenwood! The Rams lost 69-68 against Atlantic in the Substate Final but Glenwood returns ten of their top eleven scorers from last years 18-6 team. This Glenwood team will be one of the most electric teams in the entire state. Glenwood averaged 68.5 pts/g last year which was fourth best in Class 3A (Pella 74.2, Mount Pleasant 71.4, and LeMars 68.7). Nate Mohr, Andrew Blum, Christian Stanislav and company will look for revenge after falling a game short from state a season ago. Nate Mohr is a Senior and recently committed to play basketball for Wayne State College. Mohr averaged 19.6 pts/g last year and drained 76 three pointers. Senior Andrew Blum is Glenwood’s walking double/double. Blum averaged 16.9 pts/g and lead the team in rebounds with 199 and 31 blocks. Look for Andrew to guard the opposing team's best player once again this year. Christian Stanislav is Glenwood’s x-factor. While many teams will keep their eye on Mohr and Blum, Stanislav has the talent to take over a game with his great scoring capability. This team has quickness, athletes, three point shooters and players who can take an opponent off the bounce (something that is tough in high school basketball). The achilles heel for the Rams will be if they can stop opponents’ height in the low-post. If the Rams can block out and rebound this season look for the Rams to be ranked in the top five in the state early on. I truly believe the best thing that happened to this team was not making the state tournament a season ago. Glenwood will come into this season hungry with one mission on their mind. The late addition of Zach Carr a season ago will play a huge role this year for the Rams. Look for Carr to spark the Rams on the defensive side of the court.
Other teams to keep an eye on:
Mount Vernon - 17-5 a season ago.
Forrest City - Return top five scorers from their 19-5 2016-17 season (lost to Waverly-Shell Rock in Substate Final
Boone - Return three of their top five scorers. Finished 18-6 a season ago.
Spirit Lake - Return five of their top six scorers. Finished 17-6 a season ago. (Will have probably have a tough district) Watch out for 6’9” Owen Coburn who will be a Junior this season (averaged 18 pts/g a season ago).