The time to prove that they belong has come.
Both South Central Calhoun and Boyden-Hull have something to prove at this year’s class 2A State basketball tournament.
For South Central Calhoun, they are ready to prove to the rest of Iowa that their hard work put in throughout the season is proof that the Twin Lakes Conference is still a strong conference. The seniors of the Titans also are ready to show the rest of the State that South Central Calhoun isn’t just a football school.
Boyden-Hull virtually walked through its schedule this season, easily winning its conference and collecting an undefeated record along the way. The Comets seemed determined to show that their run to last year’s class 2A State title was just the beginning of the next great basketball dynasty in northwest Iowa.
Both teams share more than a feeling of trying to prove they belong. They also have been led by seniors this year.
For the Titans, they have been led on offense by senior Brennan Holder, who averages 16.5 points per game. He also averages three assists and two steals per game this year.
Joshua Dietrich, a junior for South Central Calhoun, has stepped up to be a presence in the paint this year, and is second on the Titans with 14.4 points per game. Cole Corey, a senior for SCC, has averaged 13.6 points per game this year.
Dietrich and Holder are the top-two rebounders for SCC. Dietrich averages eight per game, while Holder averages just under six per contest.
Boyden Hull is led by Tanner Te Slaa, a junior who averages 21.5 points per game. Marcus Kelderman is next in line for the Comets with 17.6 points per game. Dayton Brunsting averages just under 10 points per game for the Comets.
The leading rebounder for Boyden-Hull is Te Slaa, with 7.3 per contest, but Kelderman isn’t too far behind, with 6.4 rebounds per contest.
One note about the Comets: they have had 16 players record meaningful minutes in at least five games this year. The Titans have also had 16 players play meaningful minutes. So both teams are able to go to their bench for some help should they get into foul trouble.
The game will tip off at 6 p.m. on Monday.
BOYDEN-HULL VS. SOUTH CENTRAL CALHOUN
6 p.m. Monday, March 8, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
No. 1 Boyden-Hull
Head coach: Bill Francis
Boyden-Hull returns to the class 2A State tournament as the defending State tournament champions. Last year, the Comets were able to win the State title by besting North Linn, who had won the 2019 class 2A State title.
The Comets are undefeated on the season and haven’t tasted defeat since Feb. 11, 2020, when they fell to Sheldon.
Boyden-Hull finished the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the AP poll. They won their Siouxland Conference. Their trek to the Wells Fargo Arena included wins over Hinton (74-45); Unity Christian (68-48); and OABCIG (60-48).
No. 8 South Central Calhoun
Head Coach: Clive Clark
For the first time in school history, the South Central Calhoun Titans are making an appearance in the State basketball tournament. The Titans were close in previous years — they made the district final in 2019, and then fell to West Sioux in a class 2A substate final last season.
This year, the Titans were able to win their third-consecutive Twin Lakes Conference title.
Although the Titans never were able to crack the top-10 in the AP poll this year, they did receive votes several times throughout the season.
During their substate tournament run, the Titans started with a revenge win over South Hamilton (61-45). Next, they were able to win their district with a come-from-behind win over Roland-Story (53-50). In the substate final, the Titans controlled the fourth quarter to best Iowa Falls-Alden (64-56).
BOYDEN-HULL VS. SOUTH CENTRAL CALHOUN SEASON STAT COMPARISON
Points per game: 71.3
Average margin of victory: 23.2 points
Field goal percentage: 53 percent (656/1,240)
Three-point percentage: 40.5 percent (159/393)
Free throw percentage: 70.1 percent (241/344)
Offensive rebounds (season): 200
Offensive rebounds (per game): 8.3
South Central Calhoun Titans
Points per game: 67.3
Average margin of victory: 20.3 points
Field goal percentage: 42 percent (577/1,360)
Three-point percentage: 33.5 percent (226/675)
Free throw percentage: 66 percent (234/355)
Offensive rebounds (season): 253
Offensive rebounds (per game): 10.5
Points against per game: 48.2
Defensive rebounds (per game): 22.8
Blocked shots: 5 (0.2 per game)
Steals: 192 (8 per game)
Turnovers: 290 (12.1 per game)
Fouls: 322 (13.4 per game)
South Central Calhoun Titans
Points against per game: 52.3
Defensive rebounds (per game): 21.2
Blocked shots: 78 (3.3 per game)
Steals: 296 (12.3 per game)
Turnovers: 251 (11 per game)
Fouls: 336 (14 per game)
THE REST OF THE CLASS 2A STATE TOURNAMENT FIELD
8 p.m. Monday, March 8, Wells Fargo Arena
No. 4 Aplington-Parkersburg Falcons (21-3)
Last year, the Falcons were upset in the first round of districts. This year, they hold a seven-game winning streak going into State. They advanced to State by besting Denver.
No. 5 Van Meter Bulldogs (17-6)
A loss right before the start of the postseason seemed to charge Van Meter through its substate. The team upset Treynor by three points to make the State tournament.
12 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, Wells Fargo Arena
No. 2 Western Christian Wolfpack (19-5)
You have to dig all the way back to 2017 to find the last time Western Christian made the State tournament. They won it that year but haven’t returned to Wells Fargo since.
No. 7 Camanche Indians (18-6)
The Indians might be tired of playing teams from Hull at the tournament. Last year, the Indians fell to Boyden-Hull in the semifinals but recovered to place second overall with an 11-point win in the third-place game.
10 a.m. Tuesday, March 9, Wells Fargo Arena
No. 3 Des Moines Christian Lions (21-2)
The Lions are riding an eight-game winning streak into the tournament. In their two losses this season, the Lions fell to Dallas Center-Grimes by four and Panorama by one.
No. 6 Beckman Catholic Trailblazers (16-7)
The Trailblazers knocked off a 3-loss West Branch team to make the State tournament. Beckman Catholic is on a six-game winning streak, after falling one point short of the tournament last year.