The Iowa high school boys basketball season tipped off this week. Here is a capsule look at area prep teams for the 2019-20 season.
Coach: Chet Knake
2018-19 record: 3-19
Key returners: Paxton Felderman (sr., G), Colby Sieverding (soph., G), Andrew Swartz (sr., F), Jackson Wagner (sr., G), Cole Heim (soph., G), Ethan Klemme (soph., G), Max Jackson (jr., G), Liam Dunne (soph., F)
Outlook: Paxton Felderman is the Comets’ top returning scorer as Bellevue looks for improvement. The Comets return a lot of nice pieces in Andrew Schwartz and Jackson Wagner, as well as some youth that earned some serious PT a year ago.
Coach: Joel Sieverding
2018-19 record: 5-16
Key returners: Matthew Brinker (sr., F), Carson Michels (jr., G), Nick Hager (sr., G), Parker Mueller (sr., F), Jake Anderson (jr., G), Aza Berthel (jr., F)
Outlook: The 6-foot-4 Matthew Brinker should be a focal point for the Mohawks on both ends of the floor as Marquette’s top returning rebounder and scorer.
Coach: Jacob Brindle
2018-19 record: 15-7
Key returners: Michael Trumm (sr., G), Carter Green (sr., F), Alex Aitchison (sr., G), Cooper Rausch (jr., G), Caden Reinke (sr., G), Will Potter (sr., F)
Outlook: The Cougars missed out on the state tournament for the first time since 2013 last year, but that shorter-than-normal ending overshadowed another sound season in Cascade. A bulk of last year’s team is back and if there’s one thing we know it’s that the Cougars ought to be one of the soundest defensive teams in Northeast Iowa yet again.
Coach: Kyle Sperfslage
2018-19 record: 7-13
Key returners: Caleb Helle (soph., G), Nathan Helle (sr., G), Brent Wahls (sr., F), Caden Palmer (soph., G)
Outlook: As a freshman, Caleb Helle saw meaningful minutes for this squad last year. That should pay dividends in Guttenberg with a team that has a nice-looking young core forming.
Coach: Mike Molony
2018-19 record: 16-6
Key returners: Michael Keegan (sr., F), Luke Goedken (sr., G), Tom Jaeger (sr., G), Jack Westhoff (sr., F), Jack Gehling (jr., F), Isaac Schlarmann (sr., G), Bryce Boekholder (jr., G), Evan Schlarmann (sr., F), Sean Kluesner (sr., F), Mason White (jr., G)
Outlook: There is a ton to like about what the Trailblazers are bringing to the table. Michael Keegan is a do-it-all forward who rebounds, dunks, shoots, passes and swats shots. He’s certainly one of the top players to watch around these parts. The rest of Beckman has the experience and range to make the Blazers one scary team if everything comes together come postseason time.
Coach: Justin Olind
2018-19 record: 16-7
Key returners: Parker Rochford (jr., G), Riley Ashline (sr., G), Spencer Staner (sr., F), Keegan Hansel (jr., G), Quintin Hess (jr., G), Jack Wiskus (soph., F), Brayden Stannard (sr., G), Jake Jones (jr., G), Weston Rowcliffe (soph., F), Ethan Staner (jr., F)
Outlook: Two years removed from the program’s first-ever state tournament trip, the Vikings have a solid mix of youth, athleticism, height and veteran leadership that spell another strong season for Ed-Co. As a sophomore, Parker Rochford scored 51 points in a game against MFL-Mar-Mac last season, the second-highest total of any player in Iowa for 2018-19.
Coach: Matt Hartman
2018-19 record: 20-3
Key returners: Connor Becker (jr., G), Caiden Atienza (jr., F), Clayton Widel (sr., F), Kannon Coakley (jr., G), Chase Gruenwald (sr., F), Brady Digmann (jr., G), Emmett Sheets (jr., G)
Outlook: The Cardinals made a somewhat surprising turn as one of the top teams in Iowa Class 3A last year, coming within a few seconds of reaching the state tournament. Their three top scorers are gone, but two returning starters in Connor Becker and Caiden Atienza means there’s still some promise in Maquoketa.
Coach: Scott Kriegel
2018-19 record: 8-13
Key returners: Andrew Holtz (jr., G), AJ Ambundo (soph., G), Owen Mensen (jr., G), Mason Lubben (sr., G), Isaac Zirtzman (jr., F), Andrew Hildebrand (jr., F), Miguel Bojorquez (jr., F)
Outlook: Andrew Holtz led the Wildcats in scoring a year ago. Joined by several young pieces, this could be a year of growth for Maquoketa Valley.
Coach: Tony Tjaden
2018-19 record: 17-7
Key returners: Kyle Kelley (jr., F), Logan Woellert (jr., G), Mitch Krogmann (jr., F), Blake DeMoss (soph., G), Jamison Smith (jr., G), Eric Salow (jr., F), Lonnie Davis (sr., G), Zach Stratton (sr., F), Raub Loecke (soph., G), Isaiah Rich (sr., F). Jaxson Woellert (soph., F)
Outlook: The Hawks will sorely miss the likes of all-state big-man Derek Krogmann, a Northern Iowa redshirt freshman this year. But there’s still an awful lot of talent, height and scoring coming back for the Manchester club, with Kyle Kelley and Logan Woellert averaging 19.6 points per game together as sophomores in 2018-19.