Spotlight Turns to Postseason for Boys’ Basketball

Basketball players reaching for the ball.

The Hoover Huskies and North Polar Bears, seen here facing off on December 10, are two of Iowa’s top teams. Hoover leads Class 4A in defense while North is second in offense.

After a great showing by district wrestlers at last week’s state meet where all seven qualifiers from East, Lincoln and North medaled by finishing in the top eight of their weight classes, this week the postseason spotlight turns to boys’ basketball. The outlook is good for DMPS to send at least one team to represent in the big event at Wells Fargo Arena in March.

Perennial power Hoover (16-5) led the state’s Class 4A schools in defensive average, allowing less than 40 per game. The Huskies are led by senior Douglas Wilson, the top 4A rebounder at 14.4 per game. Hoover has earned a bye in the first round of sub-state action and will host the winner of tonight’s contest between Ottumwa and Roosevelt on Friday night. The chief obstacle in their bracket figures to be defending state champ Valley, a team Hoover defeated during the regular season.

The other prime contender for a berth at state is North. Unlike Coach Courtney Henderson’s Huskies, who are seeking a third consecutive trip to state, it’s been a while since the Polar Bears got that far, since 1991 in fact. They also have a bye as sub-state action gets underway tonight. On Friday night they’ll host the winner of tonight’s clash between Fort Dodge and East. The other favorite in their sub-state is Waukee. North traveled there for the season opener back in November and forced the Warriors to overtime before losing.

Since then Coach Chad Ryan’s team has raced to an overall record of 16-5. They are second in 4A scoring at just over 73 per game and third in average scoring margin at 14. The driveshaft of the team is sophomore point guard Tyreke Locure, a thrill-a-minute player who is second in state scoring with an average of nearly 26 per game and also among the leaders in assists, steals and turnovers. There is seldom a dull moment when Locure is on the court.

The Huskies and the Polar Bears split a pair of regular season matchups that required a total of four overtimes to decide, each team winning at the other’s gym. They present a classic contrast in styles, Hoover the defensive immovable object, North the irresistible offensive force. A rubber match in the state tournament – what better way to finally settle their tug of war for CIML Metro Conference supremacy?

In the other first-round sub-state matchup tonight involving district schools, Lincoln is at Johnston.

Visit the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s web site for more information about postseason basketball.

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