The boys’ state basketball tournament fields in classes 2-A and 1-A will be determined following Saturday’s substate finals. Get the skinny on each matchup that will yield a berth at Wells Fargo Arena.
Top-ranked Western Christian hasn’t skipped a beat since star guard Kyle Fopma’s knee injury. The Indians won two district games by 69 points … Outstanding inside production helped Fort Dodge St. Edmond slip past East Sac in overtime on Tuesday. That size will come in handy against a South Hamilton squad riding a 13-game win streak and starting three guards … No. 2 New Hampton and No. 3 West Fork are state-quality teams, and the only loss between them is New Hampton’s win in the Jan. 18 meeting. One will be a harsh casualty of substate … MFL-MarMac is playing for its third consecutive state appearance … Scoring 18.4 points per game with 54 percent shooting, Cascade senior Haris Takes is one of 2-A’s top backcourt threats … Mount Vernon (18-5) starts just one senior and has yet to lose to a 2-A opponent … Southeast Iowa will get a fresh-faced representative, as unranked teams Burlington Notre Dame and Albia haven’t been to state since 2009 and 2007, respectively … Des Moines Christian’s only loss came to No. 1 Western Christian before winter break. The Lions have four players averaging at least 8.3 points per game … Multisport star Duncan Ferch leads West Marshall in scoring and rebounding … No. 5 Treynor is unbeaten since Dec. 10, but will have to work in the paint against Carroll Kuemper’s dominating senior frontcourt of Sam Brincks and Cole Neary.
All games at 7 p.m.
Sioux Center vs. Western Christian (Hull), at MOC-FV
Fort Dodge St. Edmond vs. South Hamilton, at Webster City
New Hampton vs. West Fork, at Cedar Falls
MFL-MarMac vs. Cascade, at West Delaware
North Cedar vs. Mount Vernon, at Cedar Rapids Jefferson
Burlington Notre Dame vs. Albia, at Ottumwa
West Marshall vs. Des Moines Christian, at Johnston
Treynor vs. Carroll Kuemper, at Harlan
Five losses have kept West Lyon unranked, but it’s likely the Wildcats are the best team undefeated LeMars Gehlen has faced all season. Gehlen hasn’t been to state since 1983, and West Lyon is seeking its first trip ever … It’s a fair fight between the hyphens, as Belmond-Klemme and Gladbrook-Reinbeck haven’t lost to another 1-A squad this season … Jesup has to take down Goliath for its first tournament berth in 15 years. Dunkerton’s 6-11 senior Kory Kuenstling is averaging 20.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game … Chase Zaruba leads Easton Valley in scoring at 24.3 points per game, good for fourth in 1-A. That won’t scare Danville, the highest-scoring team in the class for the fourth year running … Keota seniors Kolton Greiner and Luke Lyle form one of the state’s top duos. They’re each averaging 19 points per game … Pleasantville ripped through districts and is all that stands between Jeremy Deemer and the grand stage. Lamoni’s senior center became the fifth player in Iowa history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career, and three of the previous four played at state … Nodaway Valley is back to the substate final and still flying high. Top scorers T.J. Bower and Jackson Lamb are combining for more than 38 points per game and are shooting better than 50 percent … The only battle of unbeatens in the substate round pits No. 2 Newell-Fonda against fifth-ranked ArWeVa. Fans of both teams will (and probably should) expect something fairer, but 157 teams in 1-A means the cream has to earn its rise to the top.
All games at 7 p.m.
LeMars Gehlen vs. West Lyon, at LeMars
Belmond-Klemme vs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck, at Hampton-Dumont
Dunkerton vs. Jesup, at Independence
Easton Valley vs. Danville, at Iowa City West
Keota vs. Van Buren (Keosauqua), at Oskaloosa
Pleasantville vs. Lamoni, at Indianola
Nodaway Valley vs. East Mills, at Atlantic
ArWeVa (Westside) vs. Newell-Fonda, at Denison-Schleswig