Mt. Pleasant’s Faith Pope named first team all-state by INA
Mt. Pleasant’s Faith Pope is a Class 3A first team all-state selection for boys’ basketball, as announced by the Iowa Newspaper Association on Tuesday.
“He’s very deserving,” Coach Paul Rundquist said. “He’s got a lot of upside. If he can find the right program, he’ll be a very good college basketball player.”
Chosen as a utility player for the all-state team, Pope was an asset for the Panthers on both sides of the court this season.
He provided a big boost on the scoreboard, averaging 16.4 points per game on 68.8 percent shooting.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Pope was a threat inside, but he could also sink shots from beyond the arc: he made 17 3-pointers in 34 attempts (50 percent).
The Panther senior scored in double figures in all but one game he played this season, and his season-high 27 points came in a home game against Ft. Madison on Dec. 14.
“He’s a hard guard,” Rundquist said. “He can bring you away from the basket, but you have to honor his height, too.”
Pope was also a key contributor to the Panther defense this season.
“What he did on defense was huge for us,” Rundquist said.
He led the team in rebounding with 195 boards on the season; he averaged 8.9 per game, a number that ranks him 10th overall in Class 3A.
Pope was second on the team in steals with 54, behind only Cameron Frank’s 69.
He also tied the school’s single-season blocks record with 66 this year, which was an especially impressive feat considering that he missed the first three games of the season.
The record is also held by Bob Quayle, set in the 1991-92 season.
Pope’s 66 blocks ranked him sixth overall in Class 3A in that category.
Other first team all-state selections for Class 3A include Vinton-Shellsburg senior Grant Sagan (front line), Iowa Falls-Alden junior Casey Schlatter (front line), Waverly-Shell Rock senior Klinton Carlson (front line), Bishop Heelan Catholic senior Shane Graves (back court), Anamosa senior Spencer Barnes (back court), Nevada senior Tate Handsaker (back court) and Davenport Assumption senior Billy Daniel.