Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 24, 2018

3A state basketball tournament by the numbers

Panthers sport field’s toughest defense, Sartorius is top scorer
Mar 02, 2018
MPN file photo Mt. Pleasant’s Jordan Magnani drives past Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Matthew Mims in the season opener this season.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


DES MOINES — We are just three days away from tip off at the 2018 state tournament in Des Moines, and four days from the beginning of the Class 3A field tipping off.

One of the eight qualifying teams (Mt. Pleasant, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Oskaloosa, Glenwood, Norwalk, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Waverly-Shell Rock or Marion) will be walking away with the state championship trophy on Friday night in what is one of the more intruiging 3A fields in recent memory.

Half of the field is returning back from last year’s state tournament, including the top three finishers. Xavier took home the Class 3A crown last season, their second in a row. Sergeant Bluff-Luton placed second and Waverly-Shell Rock won the third place game. Mt. Pleasant also returns after being knocked out by the Saints in the quarterfinals.

The top five teams in the Class 3A Associated Press poll are in the field. Xavier and Mt. Pleasant finished the year tied for the No. 1 spot. Oskaloosa was No. 3, and Norwalk and Glenwood were No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. Nobody else in the field finished the year ranked, though Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Waverly-Shell Rock did receive votes in the final poll.

The two top scoring teams in the field will play in the first round. Fifth-seeded Norwalk leads the 3A state qualifiers with 78.2 points per game and Glenwood is second, at 74.2 points per game. The rest of the field, in order shakes up like this: Oskaloosa (70 ppg), Mt. Pleasant (68 ppg), Sergenat Bluff-Luton (63.4 ppg), Xavier (63.3 ppg), Waverly-Shell Rock (55.4 ppg), Marion (52.7 ppg).

Mt. Pleasant has the top defense coming into the tournament. The Panthers have held opponents to 1,032 points this season. Marion and Glenwood have both allowed 1,140 points for second place. Waverly-Shell Rock is fourth, allowing 1,165 points this season. Norwalk is last on the list, giving up 1,486 points this season. All eight teams have played exactly 24 games.

Glenwood has beaten their opponents by more than anyone else in the field. The Rams have a +26.7 points per game differential. Mt. Pleasant is right behind them at +25 points per game. At the bottom of the list is Marion with a +5.2 ppg differential and Waverly-Shell Rock is right above them with a +6.9 ppg mark.

Glenwood and Norwalk are the top rebounding teams at 31.5 rebounds per game and 30.5 rebounds per game respectively. Mt. Pleasant (24.2 rpg) is seventh in the field, but that’s still better than their first round opponent. Waverly-Shell Rock sits at the bottom of the rebounding list with 23.8 rpg.

Oskaloosa leads the field in assists (478) and blocked shots (113). Marion is at the bottom of the assist list, with 276. Mt. Pleasant has blocked just 20 shots, the least of anyone in the field.

The Panthers do lead the field in a couple of key categories. Mt. Pleasnt’s 263 steals tops the group. They also lead the way in free throw percentage, hitting at 76.6 percent. Marion is at the bottom in steals, with 131, and Oskaloosa is the worst free throw shooting team, sitting at 60.9 percent.

Mt. Pleasant’s Brady Sartorius is the top scorer in the field individually. He has 23 points per game this season. Xavier’s Matthew Mims is second with 21 points per game. Norwalk’s Luke Vaske (19.6 ppg) and Bowen Born (18.9 ppg) are third and fourth, and Xavier’s Jackson Joens (16.4 ppg) is fifth.

Vaske has 207 assists this year to lead the field by a large margin. Cole Henry of Oskaloosa is second, with 128. Sartorius’ 68 steals lead the way. Mims is second, with 66.

Oskaloosa’s Xavier Foster has 85 blocks this season, over double that of second place Daniel Geistler of Norwalk (37 blocks). Foster and Henry give Oskaloosa a one-two punch in the rebounding numbers, sitting at 195 and 167 respectively.

All eight teams will be in action on Tuesday, March 6 for the Class 3A quarterfinals. Four of those teams will play in Thursday’s semifinals. The final two will meet in the championship game on Friday night and only one will walk out of Wells Fargo as Class 3A state champions.

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