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Local Sports

Two area 1A players earn all-state honors

DES MOINES — With so many seniors graduating from most of the teams at the top of the South Iowa Cedar League this offseason, Lynnville-Sully junior Jesse Van Wyk and Colfax-Mingo junior Jarod Nichols are expected to put their teams in the conference title conversation next season.

They’ll take with them into their senior campaigns an all-state honor after the Iowa Newspaper Association selected its all-state boys basketball teams Saturday.

After leading his team to the state tournament, Van Wyk was named to the INA Class 1A all-state first team as a utility player.

Nichols averaged a double-double and ranked tied for third in 1A in rebounds per game at 13.2. That was good enough to earn third-team frontcourt recognition.

The INA voted three backcourt players, three frontcourt players and two utility players to each of the three teams. The meeting took place near Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday morning and the teams were released Tuesday.

Van Wyk will be one of four returning starters next season for Lynnville-Sully. This past season, he led the Hawks in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Van Wyk was one of four Hawks to score in double-figures at 12.5 points per game. He also grabbed 6.7 boards, 3.77 assists and 2.12 steals per game while blocking 27 shots.

The 6-foot-3 junior shot 54.4 percent from the floor, and nailed 74 percent of his free throws.

In the toughest games of the season, Van Wyk was at his best.

In the substate final against Martensdale-St. Marys (18-7), Van Wyk recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. He finished the year with his fourth double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the state tournament game against Gladbrook-Reinbeck (26-3), which went on to finish second in 1A.

Van Wyk’s two best scoring games of the season both came against SICL foe Keota (17-6). He had 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the first meeting and then had 21 points and grabbed five boards in the second meeting.

In one of the meetings against SICL runner-up Montezuma (18-6), Van Wyk scored 15 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out four assists.

The Hawks played four 2A schools this season. Against East Marshall, which finished 17-6 and made a substate final, Van Wyk scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four boards.

He had 14-6-6 against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and 13-9-6 against Collins-Maxwell/Baxter.

Nichols was the only returning starter from a Tigerhawk team that won 13 games last season. He will be one of five returning starters to take the floor next season.

The 6-4 junior averaged 17.6 points per game and had 15 double-doubles in 19 games played.

He missed four games due to injury or illness. The four games he did not record a double-double in came in the opener when he went down in the second quarter with an injury, the first two games he returned from injury and a fourth game against eventual 1A state champion Grand View Christian.

He shot 47.4 percent from the floor, made 66 percent of his free throws and finished with 36 assists, 13 steals and 19 blocks.

Nichols put in 20 or more points eight times this season, scored 26 points twice and poured in 27 points in a win over BGM.

Nichols played two games against SICL champ and state qualifier Lynnville-Sully and had 12 points and nine rebounds and 12 points and 11 rebounds in those contests.

He had 11 points and 10 rebounds against SICL runner-up Montezuma. In a win over Tri-County, Nichols finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds. He set a school record with 23 rebounds and added 17 points in a win over Sigourney.

The Hawks and Tigerhawks should both be very competitive next season. Montezuma and North Mahaska loses all five starters, BGM graduates five of its top six, Keota loses its top three scorers to graduation and Belle Plaine will have to replace three of its top five.

All of these teams finished in the top seven of the SICL this past season.

This year’s Mr. Iowa Basketball went to a 1A player, too. Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Joe Smoldt won the honor after leading the Rebels to a third straight state tournament. The Rebels were second this season, fourth a year ago and state champions in 2014-15.

Smoldt ranked second in the entire state at 29.8 points per game and added 145 assists and 77 steals.

Smoldt, who will attend Division II Upper Iowa next season, is the seventh all-time leading scorer in the state of Iowa.

Several other players from conferences involving area teams also earned all-state honors.

In 1A, Montezuma’s Dakota Strong was a second-team backcourt selection.

In 2A, South Hamilton’s Colin Hill was a first-team frontcourt player, while Marco Balderas earned third-team utility honors. Pella Christian’s Levi Jungling was a first-team guard and David Kacmarynski was picked to the third-team frontcourt.

In 3A, Pella’s Ryan Van Wyk was a first-team frontcourt selection, while Norwalk’s Luke Vaske was a first-team backcourt selection. Grinnell’s Cade McKnight (frontcourt) and Sam Allen (utility) were second-team selections as well Greene County’s Trey Tucker (backcourt). Dallas Center-Grimes senior Trevor Grove was a third-team frontcourt selection.

INA Class 1A All-State

First Team


Nicholas Ruden, jr., Remsen-St. Marys

Riley Van Wyhe, sr., Central Lyon

Brady Gavin, jr., Martensdale-St. Marys


Joe Smoldt, sr., Gladbrook-Reinbeck

Jake Hilmer, so., North Linn

Grant DeMeulenaere, jr., Grand View Christian


Jovonte Squiers, sr., Lone Tree

Jesse Van Wyk, jr., Lynnville-Sully

Second Team


Seth Weiland, sr., West Hancock

Nathan Karsjens, sr., AGWSR

Seth Moeller, sr., Prince of Peace


Christian Kyles, sr., Siouxland Christian

Mason Porter, so., New London

Dakota Strong, sr., Montezuma


Kaleb Anderson, sr., Lenox

Zach Martinek, so., West Fork

Third Team


Colby Seuntjens, jr., MVAO

Jarod Nichols, jr., Colfax-Mingo

Niko Gosnell, sr., Lone Tree


Paul Rundquist, so., Wapsie Valley

Ryan Miller, jr., North Linn

Dylan Eckels, sr., West Hancock


Brett Kelting, sr., Calamus-Wheatland

Stephen Glenn, sr., Grand View Christian

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