Three area senior boys basketball players were named to the inaugural Iowa Press Sports Writers Association all-state teams recently.
One re-wrote the scoring record books at Newton High School. Another used his versatility to lead Lynnville-Sully back to the state tournament. The third became the fourth player in Colfax-Mingo school history to surpass 1,000 career points.
Newton’s Garrett Sturtz was named a first-team all-state selection in Class 4A after leading the state in points per game.
Lynnville-Sully’s Jesse Van Wyk was a first-team selection in 1A after leading the Hawks in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks.
Colfax-Mingo’s Jarod Nichols was a second-team selection in 2A after averaging a double-double this season and ranking second in 2A in rebounds per game.
Sturtz and Van Wyk were both first-team selections in the Iowa Newspaper Association’s final all-state season. Nichols was a third-teamer in 1A last season.
The IPSWA formed after the Iowa Newspaper Association disbanded its all-state program this winter. In boys’ basketball, the first, second and third teams all consist of eight players for a total of 24 all-state athletes.
Coaches and media members met in downtown Des Moines to help select the teams on Saturday. The first-ever edition of the IPSWA all-state teams were released publicly on Tuesday.
Muscatine’s Joe Wieskamp won the annual Mr. Basketball honor. Wieskamp averaged 33.7 points and 13.5 rebounds in leading the Muskies to the 4A state tournament for the first time in 20 years.
Wieskamp, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Iowa, is a top-50 national recruit and will play collegiately for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Sturtz, Van Wyk and Nichols all made the all-substate teams in their respective classes by the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association, joined by Baxter’s Will Clapper and Prairie City-Monroe’s Andrew Van Ryswyk.
Sturtz was part of the 4A all-Substate 6 team, Nichols and Van Ryswyk were part of the 2A all-Substate 7 team and Clapper was part of the 1A all-Substate 6 squad. Van Wyk was the top vote getter on the 1A all-Substate 5 team.
Sturtz and Wieskamp were two of the eight players on the 4A first team.
Sturtz was part of Newton’s state tournament team in 2016-17 and re-wrote the record books at the school in his final season.
Sturtz led the entire state in scoring at 34.7 points per game and also led the Cardinals in rebounds (8.7), assists (3.8), steals (2.1) and blocks (1) per game. His 764 points scored this season set a new single-season school record.
Now the school’s all-time leading scorer, Sturtz shot 49 percent from the floor, made 29 3-pointers and hit 227-of-259 at the free-throw line. The 227 free throws made and 259 free throws attempted both led the state.
Sturtz scored 40 points or more in five games this season and surpassed 50 points twice, including the Cardinals’ postseason loss to Indianola. In that game, Sturtz had 54 of the team’s 62 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
His career-high and Newton school-record game high was the 56-point effort he scored in a win over 3A Winterset.
His only triple-double of the season came against 3A state qualifier Norwalk when he finished with 37 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. He had seven double-doubles on the season and only scored in single digits once.
Four of his seven double-doubles were games in which he scored 40 or more points in.
Lynnville-Sully advanced to its second straight state tournament, and Van Wyk was a big reason why.
Van Wyk averaged 14.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.27 blocks per game. He shot 55 percent from the floor, 79 percent from the free-throw line and 37 percent from 3-point range.
The Hawk senior was at his best in some of the bigger games this season.
In a loss to eventual 1A state champion Grand View Christian, Van Wyk finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He also had 15 points, 8 rebounds and six assists in the substate final win over Iowa Mennonite School.
In a 55-53 win over 2A Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Van Wyk finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals. EBF won 20 games this season.
Van Wyk, who surpassed 1,000 career points during the season, had a double-double against 2A Colfax-Mingo and a 24-point, 10-rebound performance against South Iowa Cedar League East Division champion Keota.
He finalized his career with 1,075 points, 624 rebounds and 296 assists.
Nichols is now fourth on Colfax-Mingo’s all-time scoring list after another stellar season on the hardwood.
Nichols averaged 18.8 points, 13 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor. He made 13 3-pointers, hitting outside shots at a 33-percent clip.
The Tigerhawk senior had 20 double-doubles in 21 games this season. The one game that didn’t end in a double-double had Nichols with eight points and 13 rebounds.
Nichols played at his best against the Tigerhawks’ toughest opponents. He had 16 points and 13 rebounds and then 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists against 1A state qualifier Lynnville-Sully.
Against a 19-4 Montezuma team, Nichols had 21 points and 11 rebounds and 16 points and 12 rebounds in the two games.
In the Tigerhawks’ only 2A postseason game, Nichols finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to PCM.
Nichols finished his career with 1,132 points and a school-record 846 rebounds. His 271 rebounds this season is a single season school record and his 395 points scored ranks sixth all time for a single season.
Clapper and Van Ryswyk will both have one more season with their respective schools. They both led their teams to a postseason win.
Clapper averaged a double-double at 17.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the floor. He also finished with 18 assists, 28 steals and 15 blocks.
Van Ryswyk scored 12.4 points and grabbed 9.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 57 percent from the floor. He made 21 3-pointers while connecting on 34 percent of his 3-point attempts. He finished with 46 assists, 25 steals and 26 blocks.
To see all the 2018 IPSWA all-state teams, go to iowasportswriters.com.