Meskwaki boys basketball set to take the next step in 2015-16
After being crowned the Iowa Star-South conference champions in 2013-14, the Meskwaki Warriors looked like a team built to take the next step in 2014-15. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so smoothly. Despite having a back-court that averaged double figures a night, the Warriors ran into trouble down the stretch from a familiar foe. The Colo-Nesco Royals, led by forward Christian Reischauer (19.9ppg), defended their home court in the first of two head to head match-ups with the Warriors. The game proved rather meaningless for both squads as the division title would come down to the final match-up at Meskwaki. That game was a tale of two halves as the Warriors saw their first half dominance fade when Reischauer took the game into his own hands in the fourth quarter. In a series of events, the Royals stole a one point win when a last second shot from Allis Tahahwah just wouldn’t fall. Following the loss, substate action got underway with a demolishin of Waterloo Christian in the first round. However, the second round proved to be far less kind, as a hot shooting Jesup J-Hawk team ended Meskwaki’s season just one round away from playing the eventual 1A State Champions, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels.
Going into the 2015-16 season the expectations should once again be high. The Warriors return 3/5 starters including 1st Team All Conference small forward Allis Tahahwah. Tahahwah (19.3ppg), will be accompanied by fellow senior Terrell Grant (13.1ppg) in the back-court. The question will be who will replace varsity mainstay Royce Timberwolf? Sophomore Jairus Bear was thrusted into varsity action in the second half of last season and responded quite nicely. Bear provided a spark off the bench as a three point specialist and would appear to be first in line to fill the vacated starting shooting guard position. Also seeing an up-stick in minutes could be sophomore Sterling Tyon, who appears to be the point guard waiting in the wings for next season. Senior Kade Brown should factor into the equation as well having played most of his minutes at the JV level last season.
Down low, the Warriors will need to replace the size and physicality of center Eammon Tahahwah. Junior Orlando Kapayou would presumably get the first shot as he started a handful of games the season prior. The forward position comes with much more clarity with senior Jonas Bear (5.5ppg) once again penciled in at the position. Meswaki will need to be creative in making up for the lost (15.6ppg) that Timberwolf provided and increased offensive production from the front-court would go a long ways.
The outlook for the conference once again looks like a two team race. Colo-Nesco returns all five starters from last season as they look to rebound from their second round upset at the hands of Pleasantville. The Redhawks of North Tama will need seniors Ben Panfil and Caden Stuart to lead them with All Conference guard Paul Kaufmann gone. GMG looks to be one of the least improved teams of the conference, having lost 3/5 starters headlined by Bryce Newcomb and Bridger Claussen. Timothy Doering leads a Waterloo Christain team with his eyes set towards individual accolades after coming in second in points per game in the state last year, (27.2ppg). Lastly, the Dons of Don Bosco return all five starters and will look to build off the miniscule three wins they put up last season.
The Warriors will begin the 2015-16 season on the road with a conference match-up against Timothy Doering’s Regents of Waterloo Christian. The game will ensue at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1st.