Your Prep Sports
Coach: Brennan Swayzer (4th season)
Assistant coaches: Fred Newell, Charles Hopkins
Last season: 7-16
Returning starters: Shamar Benton, 6-3, Sr.
Other returning letterwinners: Evan Lampe, 6-4, Sr.; Matt Schaeckenbach, 6-3, Sr.
Newcomers to watch: Samuel Mbingazo, 6-10, Fr.; Nolan McDonald, 6-0, Jr.
Top returning scorers: Shamar Benton 11.4; Matt Schaeckenbach 1.8
Top returning rebounders: Shamar Benton 3.6; Evan Lampe 2.1
Headliner: Senior Shamar Benton will look to build on a breakthrough junior season in which he ranked second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game and was third on the team with 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Keep an eye on: Senior Matt Schaeckenbach saw limited time a year ago, averaging 1.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, but has the length at 6-foot-3 and athleticism to be a major contributor in the Little Hawk front court.
Circle the date: December 16 at Liberty High. The fourth consecutive road game to start the season is a short trip across town for a meeting with cross-town rival Liberty High. This rivalry has grown quickly with the two teams splitting a pair of tight games last season and Liberty High holding a 5-3 all-time advantage against City High.
Breakdown: City High is coming off a 7-16 season a year ago and is seeking its first double digit win total since the 2015-2016 season.
The Little Hawks will build around Benton who was one of the biggest breakthrough stars of the season a year ago.
Look for Schaeckenbach and fellow senior Evan Lampe (1.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg) to step into larger roles in the City High front court after seeing limited action a year ago.
City High fourth-year head coach Brennan Swayzer also expects solid contributions from 6-foot junior Nolan McDonald and 6-foot-10 freshman Samuel Mbingazo.
Coach: Steve Bergman (32nd season)
Assistant coaches: Paul Rundquist, Gordon Rundquist, Ryan Lee
Last season: 13-9
Returning starters: Kareem Earl, 6-4, Jr.; Jacob Koch, 6-2, Jr.; Jack McCaffery, 6-8, Soph.
Other returning letterwinners: Ben Hoefer, 6-0, Sr.; Brady Simcox, 5-11, Sr.
Newcomers to watch: JuJu Manson, 6-4, Fr.; Sou Soumaila, 6-5, Sr.; Taeveon Stevens, 6-0, Jr.; Mason Woods, 6-3, Soph.
Top returning scorers: Jack McCaffery 9.9; Jacob Koch 8.6
Top returning rebounders: Jack McCaffery 5; Kareem Earl 3.2
Headliner: Sophomore Jack McCaffery will look to build on an impressive freshman season in which the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 9.9 points, 5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Keep an eye on: Like McCaffery, junior guard Jacob Koch made a splash with a stellar debut season a year ago. Koch earned second-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference divisional honors after averaging 8.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while leading the Trojans with 42 3-pointers.
Circle the date: January 8 against City High. The first of two regular season meetings between the two long-time cross-town rivals comes on a Sunday afternoon at Xtream Arena in Coralville.
Breakdown: West High followed a four-win 2020-2021 season by going 13-9 last season but missed the state tournament for the second consecutive season following a 63-53 loss to Burlington in a Class 4A second round district contest.
The Trojans must replace their top two leading scorers from a year ago but bring back a talented trio in McCaffery, Koch and junior Kareem Earl.
Earl is already a two-year varsity starter coming off a season in which he averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
Seniors Brady Simcox (1 ppg) and Ben Hoefer (1.6 ppg, 1 rpg) will be in the mix for an expanded role this season along with newcomers JuJu Manson, Sou Soumaila, Taeveon Stevens and Mason Woods.
Coach: Ryan Kelly (2nd season)
Assistant coaches: Seth Schroeder, Brian Motley, Mark Lowe
Last season: 10-13
Returning starters: Da’Shon Fisher, 6-0, Sr.; Luke Ramsey, 6-0, Sr.; Graham Beckman, 6-2, Jr.
Other returning letterwinners: Gage Kampman, 6-9, Jr.; Trey Hughes, 6-3, Jr.
Newcomers to watch: Shea Sanders, 6-5, Jr.; Cooper Webb, 6-7, Jr.; Cael Schramm, 6-9, Jr.; Jailyn Buchannan, 5-9, Jr.
Top returning scorers: Da’Shon Fisher 17.4; Luke Ramsey 8
Top returning rebounders: Gage Kampman 4.1; Da’Shon Fisher 3.6
Headliner: Senior guard Da’Shon Fisher emerged as one of the top players in the Mississippi Valley Conference last season when he averaged 17.4 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor while and averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Keep an eye on: While Fisher was busy bursting onto the scene as one of the state’s most dynamic scorers his backcourt mate Luke Ramsey was enjoying his own breakthrough season. Ramsey averaged 8 points per game a year ago while leading the Lightning with 44 3-pointers last season while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc.
Circle the date: December 9 against West High. After dropping the first six meetings against cross-town rival West High the Lightning got in the win column against the Trojans with a 58-55 victory at West High last season. Liberty High hosts West High in the first of two regular season meetings this season.
Breakdown: Liberty High is coming off one of the best seasons in program history as the Lightning matched the program record for single season wins while advancing to the 4A substate semifinals.
With three starters returning from last season’s 10-13 squad expectations are at an all-time high for Liberty High.
Fisher headlines the list of returners after emerging as a go-to scorers from the Lightning last season.
Ramsey also returns in the Liberty High backcourt along with 6-foot-2 junior Graham Beckman who averaged 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season.
Gage Kampman, a 6-foot-9 junior will look to take a step forward in the front court after averaging 4.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game last season.
Junior Trey Hughes returns after averaging 5.1 points and 1.5 rebounds and ranking second on the team with 27 3-pointers last season.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Brandon Clubb (7th season)
Assistant coaches: Mark Stern, Nick Neuendorf, Chuck Wolfe, Carol Russell
Last season: 16-8
Returning starters: Brody Clubb, 6-4, Soph.
Newcomers to watch: Cale Berry, 6-2, Soph.; Brock Hilsman, 6-0, Soph.
Top returning scorers: Brody Clubb 4.8; Brock Hilsman 3
Top returning rebounders: Brody Clubb 4.5; Cale Berry .8
Headliner: A standout football player, sophomore Brody Clubb is also coming off an impressive debut basketball season after averaging 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from the floor as a freshman.
Keep an eye on: Like Clubb, sophomore Brock Hillsman will look to build on the success of a solid freshman season after averaging 3 points per game in a limited role last winter.
Circle the date: December 13 at Solon. The Clippers snapped a four-game losing streak to their cross-division WAMAC rivals last season with a 56-48 win in Tiffin and make the short trip to Solon for what should be another close game this season.
Breakdown: Clear Creek Amana continued a stellar recent run last season posting a third consecutive season with at least 15 wins, going 16-8.
Now the challenge for the Clippers is continuing that string of success with what will be a young and inexperienced squad.
Clear Creek Amana must replace its top five scorers from last season and Clubb is the one returning player with starting experience.
Expect Clubb and Hillsman to carry much of the weight for the Clippers as Clear Creek Amana gets its newcomers up to speed.
Sophomore Cale Berry is a player that veteran Clear Creek Amana coach Brandon Clubb expects to fit in nicely.
Coach: Jared Galpin (3rd season)
Assistant coaches: Matt Messenger, Chris Knight, Marc Foster, Lee Cusick, Dylan Sloan
Last season: 15-10
Returning starters: Oaken Foster, 6-3, Sr.; Sean Stahle, 5-11, Sr.; Jake Benzing, 6-3, Jr.; Gehrig Turner, 6-1, Jr.
Newcomers to watch: Rylen Stiegelmeyer, 6-1, Jr.; Vince Steinbrech, 6-2, Jr.; Brett White, 6-1, Jr.
Top returning scorers: Jake Benzing 9.7; Oaken Foster 4.6
Top returning rebounders: Jake Benzing 3.1; Oaken Foster 2.5
Headliner: Junior guard Jake Benzing came on late during a breakthrough sophomore season leading the Spartans in scoring with 9.7 points per game and 3-pointers with 28 triples to go with 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
Keep an eye on: Senior Oaken Foster is seeking a breakthrough final season after showing flashes of potential a year ago when the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while ranking second on the team with 25 3-pointers.
Circle the date: December 16 vs. Marion. Solon hosts 2022 3A state qualifier Marion in a key pre-holiday WAMAC East Division contest after the Wolves swept a pair of games from Solon last season.
Breakdown: Solon is coming off back-to-back impressive seasons under third-year head coach Jared Galpin.
After consecutive seasons under .500 Solon has gone a combined 36-13 over the past two seasons under Galpin advancing to the 3A substate title game in each year.
The Spartans were 15-10 last season falling to eventual 3A runner-up Central DeWitt in the substate finals.
Solon returns four players with starting experience from last year’s substate final squad in Foster, Benzing, senior Sean Stahle and junior Gehrig Turner.
Stahle averaged 2.9 points 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game a year ago while Turner averaged 4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Galpin expects juniors Rylen Stiegelmeyer, Vince Steinbrech and Brett White to all work their way into the rotation this season.
Coach: Jason Kern (5th season)
Assistant coaches: Kaleb Duwa, Luke Posivio, Brian Boelk
Last season: 12-10
Returning starters: Holden Arnaman, 6-2, Jr.; Andy Henson, 6-3, Sr.; Reese Trepanier, 6-0, Jr.
Other returning letterwinners: Carver Boelk, 5-10, Sr.
Newcomers to watch: Jack McCullough, 6-1, Sr.; Jayden Harris, 5-8, Fr.; Cole Crosthewaite, 6-0, Soph.; Trenton Schutte, 6-0, Jr.; Nate Hills, 6-1, Soph.
Top returning scorers: Holden Arnaman 15.7; Reese Trepanier 7.3
Top returning rebounders: Andy Henson 6.9; Reese Trepanier 6
Headliner: After a strong freshman season Holden Arnaman emerged as one of the top players in Class 2A as a sophomore averaging 15.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.5 rebound and 1.5 steals per game.
Keep an eye on: Senior Andy Henson is an all-state and future college football player but gets the job done in the hardwood as well. Henson averaged 6.8 points and 2.9 assists per game and led West Branch with 6.9 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per game last season.
Circle the date: January 27 against Regina. West Branch hosts long-time rival Regina in the second of two regular season meetings between the two teams and has won six in a row in the series dating back to 2020.
Breakdown: West Branch is coming off a 12-10 season from a year ago but has its sights set much higher this season with three starters returning.
Arnaman gives the Bears a legit go-to player and one of the best overall talents in Class 2A and has plenty of options around him this season.
Henson is more than just a banger in the paint, the 6-foot-2 senior can shoot the ball from the perimeter and pass, averaging 2.9 assists per game a year ago.
Junior Reese Trepanier emerged late last season in his first year at West Branch as a key paint player, averaging 7.3 points and 6 rebounds per game and should improve on those numbers this season.
Carver Boelk (1.8 ppg) also returns with varsity experience and head coach Jason Kern will look for senior Jack McCullough and junior Trenton Schutte to step into key roles along with sophomores Nate Hills and Cole Crosthewaite and freshman Jayden Harris.