The boys’ basketball season is poised to have an exciting second half.
Two teams are still undefeated, while two more have just one or two losses. Some teams broke for the holidays looking for answers before kicking off the second half.
Here is a look at where our local teams sit before returning to the court over this weekend.
Camanche, Easton Valley rolling
Both Camanche and Easton Valley remain undefeated, earning them top five rankings in their respective classes.
The River Hawks have dominated every game and stat category thus far this season. They’re being led by a senior group of guards and junior Kaleb Cornilsen, who is averaging over 19 points a game to open up the season.
Along with Cornilsen’s 19 points and double digit rebounds, senior Jessen Weber is looking impressive from the outside. He’s averaging over 18 points a game, draining 23 threes so far this year for a staggering 48 percent from beyond the arc. Seniors Nate Trenkamp and Cade Jargo also have hit 12 a piece, giving the team a nearly 40 percent average from the three.
The biggest problem for the River Hawks may be their lack of competition. Easton Valley looks poised on paper to run through the rest of their games with little to no problems – no ranked opponents are on tap for them. They won’t face their toughest opposition until they hit the postseason.
The Indians, however, are in a conference loaded with talent. They’ve taken down No.6 Regina already but will see the Regals again before the end of the year. They’ll also face powerful Cascade and Monticello teams.
They’ve already proved they have the bench. LJ Henderson and Caleb Delzell are averaging around 15 points a game, impressing in a lineup that’s still plagued by injuries.
The Indians are projecting they’ll have senior guard Cam Soenksen back before the end of the month, which will add just another piece to the puzzle.
Josh Davis certainly has plenty of man power to work with, a solid 8-10 players putting up quality minutes for the Indians. Even with a loaded schedule, if they can get healthy and get back into their rhythm, they’ll have an exciting postseason to say the least.
Central DeWitt, Northeast teeter on fringe
The Sabers and the Rebels have both been honorable mentions in the state rankings, and they’re waiting for a breakout game to push them into the lists.
The Sabers (5-1)lost their first game of the season to top-five Mount Vernon before the break ended. They’ve impressed so far this year, but it doesn’t get much easier after break.
They open up January with a contest against the No. 1 ranked Beckman Catholic team on their home court. Right after, they have to face a one-loss Marion team on the road.
As for the Rebels, their only two losses so far came to No. 4 Camanche and No. 5 Regina. They’re still looking to take down a powerful team to solidify their spot among the elite, but they have time.
Plus, they have personnel. First year head coach Brandon Eberhart has a deep bench with regular contributions from his first seven, plus more athletes filling the rest of the roster.
The Rebels have a couple of easier games before welcoming Monticello to their home court. The Panthers have just one loss and are also lingering on the outside of the rankings, making them a good target for the Rebels.
Irish, River Kings looking for answers
Both Clinton and Prince of Peace notched their first wins before the end of 2019, but are looking for more consistency before the second half.
Prince of Peace actually ended their first half with their first victories, first rolling Unity Christian and then picking up a Tri-Rivers victory over Cedar Valley Christian.
The Irish knew there would be a learning curve after losing four of five starters last season, and that’s proved true. Nathan Moeller is their leading scorer in the paint, but they’ve seen positive production from the likes of Kyler Wallace and CamRon Williams so far.
They’ve also had unexpecteds, like Marcus Blount, stepping up to score.
The Irish are struggling with turnovers. They have over 130 so far, sitting in the bottom three in the TRC. They’ll have to clean those up and get their defense in order before taking on some of the top in the conference.
That includes their very first game out of break, taking on No. 4 Easton Valley.
The River Kings are still looking for offensive answers. They downed Muscatine by three, but that lingers as their only win so far.
They did come within six of Bettendorf before falling to close out 2019.
The Kings are looking for offensive production, currently sitting at the bottom of the conference in field goal percentages (34.2).
They have made the second most threes in the Mississippi Athletic Conference, though, showing promise from their guard-heavy lineup.
They’ve only put up 293 points so far this year while allowing nearly 450 to their opponents. If they can’t find more offensive rhythm, they’ll have to cut the amount of points they allow.
They do have plenty of doable games coming out of the gates, including Davenport West, Maquoketa and Burlington.