After a thrilling victory to punch their ticket to the Class 4A state tournament, the Waukee High School boys basketball team will be seeking a repeat performance in their state tournament opener.
Set within the confines of Wells Fargo Arena, the Warriors (21-2) enter as Class 4A’s fourth-seeded team preceded only by Iowa City West as the third seed, Cedar Falls as the second seed, and Ankeny Centennial as the top-seeded team in the bracket. For Waukee’s first-round match-up, they will be battling the fifth-seeded North Scott Lancers (22-1).
It will be a state tournament rematch as both these teams squared off in the consolation match-up from last season. This is a match-up that could very well be named the tournament battle as the only two times these squads have faced off in the past have been at the state tournament. Waukee ended up taking the most recent battle in last years’ state consolation contest.
The 2019-20 edition will feature a tale of two different styles of play. Waukee comes into the tournament averaging 71.7 points per game which ranks as the top mark in the Class 5A field. They will battle a North Scott team, who ranks second in the field in top defense with the second-fewest points allowed across the Class 5A field (904 points). Teams have averaged just 39 points per contest against the Lancers. That presents an intriguing round one match-up as one of the best Class 5A defenses goes up against the top scoring offense in the bracket.
Aside from the scoring totals, this battle seems pretty even on paper as Waukee’s shooting efficiency slightly out-draws North Scott, 53 percent to 49 percent. If you were looking for another edge in Waukee’s favor, it would come in the rebounding category, where the Warriors average 32 rebounds per contest compared to 25 for the Lancers.
Defensively, Waukee will have to focus on North Scott senior Tytan Anderson. The senior averages 18.5 points per game on 57 percent shooting from the floor while also posting up a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game. The Warriors will answer with junior sharpshooter Tucker DeVries, who enters averaging 21.8 points per game, which ranks second among all Class 5A scorers. DeVries also averages a team-leading 4.9 assists per battle.
The battle will take place on Tuesday, March 10 as the Warriors and the Lancers will tangle at Wells Fargo Arena beginning at 6:30 p.m.