It’s hard to believe, but the high school basketball season kicks off in less than a week. The Colo-Nesco girls face West Marshall on Friday, November 22 in State Center to begin their quest for a return visit to the state tournaments. The Royals return most of their roster from last year’s 23 win team. I haven’t seen any preseason rankings yet, but here is how I think they may shake out based on last season’s records and key returning players:
1. Newell-Fonda 24-3 4 starters return Renee Maneman 17.4
Last year’s State Runner Up is the overwhelming favorite, returning one of the top players in the state in Renee Maneman, their best post player in Claudia Larsen, and three other girls that combined to make 96 three pointers last season.
2. Burlington, Notre Dame 22-4 3 starters return Taylor Hickey 12.3
A deadly three-point shooting team, the Nikes return three players that combined for 136 three-pointers during last year’s state tournament run. The Nikes defeated Colo-Nesco in the first round of the state tourney.
3. Belle-Plaine 15-7 2 starters return Kameo Pope 19.3
Kameo Pope is one of the best returning players in Class 1a. Last year, the six-footer averaged 19.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 6.4 blocks per game. The outside shooting presence of Victoria Gritton (49 three-pointers last year) gives Belle Plaine one of the best inside-out duos in Class 1a.
4. Murray 16-6 5 starters return Kate Patton 17.3
Murray defeated its opponents by an average of 14 points per game last year and returns all five starters.
5. Colo-Nesco 23-3 4 starters return Caitlyn Riese 11.2
The Royals return 4 starters from one of the top defensive teams in Class 1a, led by the quick hands of Shayla Dean who finished #2 in the state in steals a year ago. The Royals boast one of the best and most experienced post tandems in Class 1a with Caitlyn Riese (6-1) and Madison Farren (5-9).
6. Janesville 19-4 5 starters return Anna Backstrom 10.2
Janesville returns its top 8 scorers and every player but one from last year’s 19 win team. Two of their four losses last season were by a combined total of 7 points. Sylvia Amlie provides a solid inside presence, averaging 13 rebounds per game, while Victoria Leyh led the team with 113 steals last season. The girls are fresh off the school’s first-ever state volleyball championship, so the athletic talent is clearly there.
7. Harris Lake Park 14-7 4 starters return Noreen Morrow 15.2
HLP returns every player but one from last year’s roster, led by Noreen Morrow, the 6-1 senior.
8. North Iowa 17-6 3 starters return Paige Hassebroek 14.9
North Iowa won its games by an average of 10 points per game last season, led by Hassebroeks near double-double average in points and rebounds.
9. Ar-We-Va 21-4 1 starter returns Paige Danner 18.1
Ar-We-Va loses four of five starters, but the lone returnee, Danner, is one of the best players in Class 1a.
10. Central Lyon 26-2 2 starters return Sarah Halse 8.2
The defending state champions from last season lost its three best players, but return the entire rest of its team in defense of its state title.
7 OTHERS TO WATCH:
11. Freemont-Mills 17-7 3 starters return Macy Williams 16.4
12. Exira EHK 18-6 3 starters return Rachel Smith 15.3
13. Keota 15-9 4 starters return Kelsi Sieren 10.9
14. Lynnville Sully 15-8 5 starters return Cassie Cullen 9.6
15. Stanton 16-6 2 starters return Carmen Subbert 15.5
16. Adair-Casey 21-2 2 starters return London Vais 17.3
17. Kingsley-Pierson 15-8 3 starters return Marina Keck15.7
By Andrew Gogerty
By Andrew Gogerty