Your Prep Sports
Football season is only a few days behind us but basketball season is right around the corner.
The first day of practice for boys basketball teams around the state was Monday with season openers for teams looming a little more than a week away.
When the season opens every team is seeking the same thing, a trip to the state tournament that is schedule for March 7-11 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Before the hardwood action heats up here is a look at 10 players to watch this season in the Your Prep Sports area.
Senior, West High
In his first season at West High Moe made an immediate impact leading the Trojans in scoring and rebounding on his way to earning Class 4A third-team all-state honors.
The 6-foot-9 Moe ranked third in 4A in scoring at 21.9 points per game to go with 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 81 percent from the free throw line.
Moe had six double-doubles in 13 games and scored in double figures 12 times including eight games with 20 or more points.
Senior, City High
A three-year starter Newson is coming off the best season of his career when he ranked second on the team in scoring and assists and led the Little Hawks in steals and rebounds a year ago.
The 6-foot-2 Newson averaged a career-high 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season to go with 2.5 steals and 2.5 assists per game.
Newson shot 40 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the free throw line last season.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
Schrepfer excelled in his first season in the starting lineup last season and will take on a larger role this season as Clear Creek Amana replaces four senior starters from last year’s 17-6 squad.
The 6-foot point guard shot a team-leading 43 percent from 3-point range last season while hitting a team-high 51 3-pointers on his way to averaging a career-high 11.1 points per game.
Schrepfer also posted 2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season.
Pusteoska emerged as an efficient post presence in his first season as a full-time starter for the Spartans averaging 8.8 points and ranking second on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-5 Pusteoska shot a team-high 65 percent from the field last season helping Solon to a 21-3 record and a spot in the substate final and should see an increased role in the offense with the Spartans top three scorers from a year ago lost to graduation.
Senior, West Branch
A four-year varsity contributor Gould is coming off his best season as a prep when he ranked third on the team with 9.6 points per game last season.
Gould shot 45 percent from the floor and 32 percent from the 3-point line last season while ranking third on the team with 18 made 3-pointers.
The 6-foot-1 guard also averaged 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and a team-leading 1.9 steals per game.
The sharpshooting senior guard averaged a career-high 11.6 points per game last season in his first year as a full-time starter.
Kerschen shot 40 percent from 3-point range while hitting a team-high 61 triples on his way to averaging 11.6 points per game last season.
The 6-foot-2 Kerschen also averaged 2.5 rebounds per game for Regina.
Senior, Liberty High
Kraft averaged 4.5 points per game off the bench last season but will be a focal point this season for a young Liberty High team that must replace its top five scorers from a squad that advanced to the 4A substate finals last season.
The 6-foot-3 Kraft averaged 2.3 rebounds per game as a junior and shot 44 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the free throw line last season.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
A four-sport standout Swails provides an athletic presence and valuable leadership for a Clear Creek Amana team replacing four starters from a year ago.
The 6-foot-2 Swails was a spark off the bench for the Clippers last season averaging 7.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while shooting a team-high 60 percent from the floor.
Senior, West High
Barnes took a big step up in production last year in his first full season in the starting lineup ranking second on the team in scoring while leading the Trojans in assists.
The 5-foot-10 point guard averaged 10.5 points and 3.7 assists per game a year ago while shooting 41 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free throw line.
Barnes also averaged 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
Sophomore, West Branch
Among the top freshman in Class 2A a year ago Arnaman will look to take his production up a notch this season with West Branch losing three of its top four scorers from last season to graduation.
Arnaman averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 assists per game during his debut season and should see those numbers climb this year.
The 5-foot-11 point guard shot 35 percent from 3-point range while connecting on 28 3-pointers as a rookie.