After a 17-day break over the Christmas holidays, nationally ranked Ames chalked up four lopsided wins.
On Friday, North Carolina-bound forward Harrison Barnes scored 34 points in a 73-44 blowout of state-ranked Waukee. Teammate Doug McDermott, a Northern Iowa recruit, chipped in 23 points.
Waukee big man Will Artino, who’s headed to Creighton, had 14 points.
Barnes followed that up with a season-high 36 points in Ames’ 102-73 blowout of Mason City on Saturday.
CURTAIN DROPS AT VETS: In a somewhat anticlimactic end to the venerable basketball history of Des Moines’ Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Saydel defeated Winterset, 56-39, in a boys game on Jan. 9. The matchup between teams who carried a combined 6-9 record into the game will be the last basketball contest ever played at the venue. After opening its doors in 1955, Vets hosted the boys and girls state basketball tournaments for more than 50 years.
KLINGE BREAKS RECORD: Waukon’s first game of 2010 will be remembered for decades to come. The Indians beat MFL-Mar-Mac, 48-38, in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 2. It gave coach Gene Klinge his 939th victory, putting him in first place all-time among Iowa girls basketball coaches. Klinge, now in his 48th season as a head coach, has 944 wins and 217 losses. His teams have reached the state tournament 15 times and, in 2004, won the 3A state title.
HOEHNS JOINS 2,000-POINT CLUB: Lindsay Hoehns of Twin Cedars became the 14th player to eclipse the 2,000-point mark since Iowa girls began playing five-on-five basketball in 1984. The senior forward accomplished the feat during a 30-point outburst in the Sabers’ 49-42 defeat of Lamoni. Hoehns also made history by becoming only the fourth Iowan to have more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
HOOPER NETS 54: Only twice has a player in Nebraska girls basketball history had a better scoring night than Jordan Hooper against Scottsbluff on Jan. 8. Hooper, a 6-foot-2 senior, tallied 54 points – and the Bulldogs needed every one of them as they won 70-64 in overtime. Hooper, who next year will play at Nebraska, also grabbed 22 rebounds and blocked five shots.
SEWARD ROLLS ON: Defending Class B champion Seward, considered by some to be the top Nebraska girls basketball team regardless of classification, extended its win streak to 34 games. Other than a five-point win in December against state-ranked Lincoln Pius X, the Blue Jays have barely broken a sweat, winning their eight other games by an average score of 75-32.
NEW NO. 1 IN CLASS A: Omaha Central, which won three consecutive state titles from 2006 to 2008, might be the team to beat again in Nebraska Class A boys hoops. Senior guard Deverell Biggs exploded for 31 points as the Eagles beat then-No. 1 Creighton Prep, 65-60, in the semifinals of the Metro Holiday Tournament at UNO. Central (9-2) went on to beat Benson, 79-70, in the tournament championship and moved into the No. 1 spot in the Omaha World-Herald’s state rankings.
LOCALS FALL AT QWEST CENTER: Defending Class A champion Creighton Prep and Millard North were unable to defend home turf at Monday’s Nebraska Prep Classic at Qwest Center. It was a reversal of fortune for the Nebraska teams, which went 2-0 versus against out-of-state teams at last year’s event. Creighton Prep saw a 10-point first-half lead evaporate and fell 72-64 to Bishop Miege (Roeland Park, Kan.). Miege is No. 3 in the Midlands region of this week’s National Prep Poll. Meanwhile, Millard North was also unable to hold an early lead in its 61-58 loss to Iowa state-ranked Harlan. The Mustangs were ahead 21-6 in the second quarter before Harlan erupted for a 29-4 run.
IOWA 3A POWERS NATIONALLY RANKED: Three Iowa teams were included in the latest national rankings compiled by Amateur Wrestling News. Iowa City West, which is 22-1 in dual competition this season, was ranked No. 22 in the country. Two-time defending 3A champion Waverly-Shell Rock came in at No. 23. Bettendorf was No. 35. Defending 2A titlist Ballard, despite being unbeaten in duals and the only team to defeat Iowa City West, has dropped out of the rankings.
ISLANDERS BREAK EVEN AT NATIONAL MEET: Grand Island went 3-3 and grabbed third place in the second bracket at The Clash National Wrestling Duals on Jan. 7-8 in Rochester, Minn. Nate Westerby, the defending state champion at 215, won his first three matches before losing due to injury to nationally ranked Cody Krumwiede of Waverly-Shellrock (Iowa). The Islanders are No. 29 in the latest Amateur Wrestling News Prep 40 national team rankings.
MILLARD SOUTH AMONG DECADE’S BEST: According to HuskerlandPreps.com publisher Bob Jensen, this past season’s Class A football champion, Millard South, was one of Nebraska's very best teams of the last decade. Jensen ranked the Mustangs No. 3 in his list of the Top 10 Class A football teams of the 2000s. Millard North, the undefeated 2003 champ, was No. 1 and 2000 titlist Lincoln Southeast was No. 2. Bronson Marsh, who is Class A’s all-time leading passer, was picked to quarterback the Web site’s Class A All-Decade team.
Jamie DeMoney has covered high school sports and recruiting for more than 15 years. He is editor and founder of PrepNation.com. You can reach him at PrepNation@aol.com.