Tuesday night three CIML boys’ teams will punch their ticket to next week’s 2012 state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. All games will tip off at 7 pm.
Here is a closer look at each game:
Substate 2: No. 2 Ankeny (22-0) vs. Des Moines Roosevelt (17-5) at Ames High School
After losing to Des Moines Hoover on a Kelly Madison buzzer-beater in last year’s semifinals, the Hawks have been on a mission all season with one goal in mind- Win State.
Ankeny possesses one of the most balanced scoring attacks in the state with five players averaging between nine and 12 points per game (PPG).
The Hawks are led by senior guard Cole Myers’ 12 PPG. Junior big man Ted Friedman adds 11 PPG, while seniors Cory Myers and Connor Schabel chip in 10 points a night. One of the best junior guards in the state, Bryan Sumner, comes off the bench for nine PPG.
Roosevelt has surprised many all season long after losing the state’s top junior Peter Jok to West Des Moines Valley. The Riders have been led all year by the duo of senior center Sam Norman and junior Chris Bennett. Bennett averages a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds per game (RPG). Norman is not far behind with averages of 15 PPG and nine RPG.
The key to this game is the guard play. Ankeny is one of the few teams in the CIML who can neutralize Roosevelt’s inside presence. Norman had his worst game of the season the last time these two teams met with the 6-8 Friedman, who is being recruited by many division one schools, giving him trouble with his quickness and length.
And since the key is guard play, I think Ankeny will win this one by double digits. The Hawks have the best group of guards I have seen in the CIML all season in the Myers boys, Sumner, Trevor Egli and Schabel, who is a guard/forward combo.
Des Moines Hoover (17-4) vs. Waukee (16-6) at Dowling Catholic High School
The Huskies, who possess the best defensive team in the state for the second consecutive year, are looking for a return trip to The Well after losing last year’s championship game to Linn-Mar.
Hoover is led by senior point guard Dwight Sistrunk, who leads the Huskies with 11 PPG. Sistrunk also averages over five assists per game. Senior Louie Ingoli (10 PPG) and freshman Chris King (seven PPG) are also regular contributers for Hoover.
The Huskies’ defense is anchored by junior Gatlat Toang, who adds nine rebounds and over two blocks per game to go with his own eight point average.
Waukee, a 2011 state tournament quilfier, is led by Truman State recruit Chad Gutschenritter. The point guard averages 14 points and five assists. Fellow seniors Cole Pederson (11 PPG) and Jordan Stotts (seven PPG) also contribute for the Warriors.
The point guard matchup is worth the price of admission alone, but Gutschenritter has struggled throughout his career against the quickness of Sistrunk. Hoover’s defense controlled the game in the teams’ regular season meeting, and I think that will be the story again this time around.
The determining factor in this game will be which point guard gets more help. I expect both Sistrunk and Gutschenritter to get theirs, but whichever team has more contributions from everyone else will head to state. I expect that to be the Huskies, and I expect those players to be seniors Ingoli and Omar Lamar. Toang will also have a major impact on the game with his activity on the defensive end.
Valley (17-5) vs. Johnston (14-9) at Southeast Polk High School
Valley was one of the preseason favorites to win state after adding Jok to go with senior all-stater and Northwestern recruit Kale Abrahamson, but the Tigers struggled down the stretch of the season.
A game-winning overtime three-pointer from Abrahamson was needed to complete Friday’s comeback win over Des Moines Lincoln to advance to this game.
The 6-7 Abrahamson (18 PPG) and 6-6 Jok (10 PPG) will both create difficult matchups for the Dragons, who are led by their own big man in 6-6 sophomore Jay Knuth (16 PPG, eight RPG).
Abrahamson and Jok, who have combined for 72 made three-point field goals, are not the only perimeter threats for the Tigers though. Junior Clint Boffeli has drained 45 three-pointers of his own, and averages 11 PPG.
Valley got their wake-up call Friday night against Lincoln, and I think the Tigers will play a much more focused game against Johnston. I expect Valley to jump on the Dragons early, and cruise to a comfortable win to advance to The Well.
Johnston has a young team with a bright future, but the Tigers have too much talent and a determined Abrahamson to lose this one.
I will be at Hoover-Waukee, and you can follow live updates from my Twitter feed: @ChrisDouglas515.
I will also be covering all of 4A and some 3A, 2A, and 1A next week live from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.