2005-2006 ALL-AREA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
It was a watershed year for Alta High boys basketball, as the 2005-2006 Cyclones broke down numerous barriers on its way to a record-setting season.
Alta broke through by winning the Northwest Conference title with a perfect 14-0 mark. It waltzed through the district tournament before beating 24-0 and fifth-ranked West Bend Mallard at substate. Alta's season ended with a hard-fought loss to Bellevue-Marquette in a Class 1A, first round tournament game, finishing at 21-4.
"They (Alta) had a lot of talented kids who knew their roles and played them well," said Newell-Fonda coach Paul Loos. "Some of their bench players could have been starters for other teams in the conference."
Because of their outstanding season, the Cyclones landed three players on this year's Pilot-Tribune's All-Area Boys Basketball team, including two players on the first team and one on the second.
Talent-laden Storm Lake also claimed three on the team with two first-teamers and one second teamer.
Newell-Fonda landed one player on the first team and one on the second, as did Schaller-Crestland.
This year's group is characterized by multi-talented guards, including five on the first team and four on the second. Three of those guards were all-state honorees.
Here's a look at this year's All-Area team:
Brad Payne, senior guard, Alta - Payne was the Cyclones' heart and soul in many ways this season. An experienced point guard, he ran an offense that averaged 64 points per game.
Individually, he led the Cyclones in scoring, averaging 14.5 ppg. He also led the team in assists (4.63 pg.) and steals (1.92). He was opportunistic on the boards for a guard, averaging 4.13 rebounds per game. Payne was a weapon from beyond the arc, making a league-high 40 three pointers on 110 attempts for 36 percent.
"He was also a solid defensive player," said first-year Alta coach Bart Smith. "He was our team leader and could do a lot of things offensively for us.
"Brad could penetrate the defense, and he perfected a move in which he drove into the lane, pulled up and hit a 15-foot-jumper. He was also very good at getting the ball to our bigger kids in the lane."
A 5-foot-9 senior, Payne was named to the Iowa Newspaper Association's Class 1A All-State team earlier this week.
Though the Cyclones lost to Bellevue-Marquette and its 7-foot-1 center Jordan Eglseder at state, Payne was outstanding in that game. The senior scored a team-high 22 points, including four three-pointers and seven rebounds.
Logan Masters, senior guard, Storm Lake - Masters was one of the most athletic basketball talents in the state this season.
A Class 3A, third team all-state pick, Masters led the area in scoring this winter, averaging 20 ppg. With his great leaping ability and speed on defense and in transition, Masters averaged 3 steals, three assists and 4.44 rebounds per game.
The Tornadoes beat LeMars 58-50 at home Feb. 27 in a region quarterfinal game, and Bulldog coach Dave Irwin talked about Masters' ability.
"He's such a great all-around athlete and he does so many things for his team on the court," Irwin said. "When you add that competitiveness to that type of natural talent, you're going to get a great basketball player."
Masters was an accurate shooter from two point and three-point range. He hit 120 of 227 two-pointers for 53 percent and led the Tornadoes in three-pointers with 47 in 134 attempts for 35 percent. Masters led SL in free throw attempts with 128.
"Masters has great talent, but he was also one of the toughest competitors we played all season," Irwin said.
Chad Buchholz, senior guard, Newell-Fonda -
Buchholz hurt opponents in a number of ways this season, according to Mustangs coach Paul Loos.
At the point, he ran the offense and led the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 ppg. He averaged nearly four rebounds per game and dished out an average of 5.4 assists per game.
"Chad was a solid, consistent player at both ends of the floor," Loos said. "Offensively, he had the ability to go to the basket and he was 'bulldog tough' on defense."
Loos added that his senior point guard was instrumental in the Mustangs' ability to handle full and half court defensive pressure.
An all-state football pick for the Class A district champion Mustangs this past fall, Buchholz duplicated that feat this winter. Earlier this week, he was named to the Iowa Newsaper Association's (INA) Class 1A All-State Second Team.
Derrick Randall, senior post player, Storm Lake High - Randall was one of the taller players in the Lakes Conference this year at 6-6, but he had the agility and athleticism of a smaller player.
A senior post player, Randall averaged 15.6 ppg. and led the Tornadoes in rebounding, averaging 6.35 boards per game.
"Randall was similar to Masters in his desire to compete," LeMars' Irwin added. "He was tough inside, but also developed a nice touch on 12-to15-foot jumpers."
On defense, Randall averaged over 1.5 blocked shots per game.
"Any time you have a 6-6 player who moves well in the middle, he's going to alter how the game is played," Irwin said.
Randall was also a high-percentage shooter, hitting 148 two-pointers in 248 attempts for 52.1 percent. He also got to the line 92 times.
"Randall had a very good understanding of the game, but it was his competitiveness that really made him the player he was," Irwin added.
Justin Pyle, senior guard, Schaller-Crestland - A three-year starter for the Wildcats and a two-time All-Northwest Conference pick, Pyle led the Northwest Conference in scoring this season, averaging 18 ppg.
A 5-foot-10 senior off-guard, Pyle's ability to slash to the hoop was his trademark
"Other teams knew that Justin was going to try to penetrate their defenses, but they still couldn't stop him," said first-year Schaller-Crestland coach Brandon Jensen. "I think that says a lot about his quickness and overall ability."
Pyle also was a regular at the free throw line, making 117 of an area-high 177 attempts this season.
"Justin was also one of our top defensive players," Jensen said. "We always had him defend the other team's top-scoring guard, and he was still able to put up strong offensive numbers."
Tyler Walker, junior forward, Sioux Central - Walker, a 6-4 junior, led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding.
By the end of the season, he was averaging nearly a double-double, including 13.6 ppg. and 8.2 rebounds per game.
A first-team All-Northwest Conference pick, Walker was extremely versatile for a 6-4 player. He made 22 of 58 three-point baskets for 38 percent from beyond the arc.
"Tyler was our most consistent player," Sioux Central coach Chris Wildeman said. "He has a lot of athletic ability. When we really needed to score, we either went to him or used him as a decoy."
Walker also averaged 2.24 assists per game and was a force in the blocks defensively, where he blocked 2.6 shots per game.
Walker shot well from two-point range, hitting 89 of 188 shots for 47 percent.
"Tyler was tough for other teams to defend," Wildeman added. "If he had a smaller guy on him, he could score in the blocks. If he was guarded by a bigger player, he could force a mismatch on the perimeter."
Tyler Boyd, junior guard, Alta - A 6-foot junior with a long reach, Boyd was one of the reasons the Cyclones had one of the top backcourts in Iowa.
A shooting guard and All-Northwest Conference pick, Boyd averaged 11.7 ppg. this season, second only to Payne. He also averaged nearly three assists per game and 2.5 rebounds.
Coach Smith said Boyd had the ability to drive to the basket and either get a high percentage shot or dish off to one of the Cyclones' post players.
"Tyler also drew a lot of fouls with his slashing ability," Smith said. "He had a long reach and that made him good at pressure defense."
A first-team All-Northwest Conference selection, Boyd hit 20 of 65 three-point baskets for 31 percent.
He shot a team-high 122 free throws, making a team-high 92 for 75 percent.
Alex Spielman, junior guard, Storm Lake High - A 6-1 point guard, Spielman is another outstanding all-around athlete.
He was Storm Lake's third-leading scorer, averaging 13 ppg. He also dished out an average of 3.17 assists per game and on defense, averaged 3 steals per game and 1.3 blocked shots.
"I thought Spielman had the ability to do a lot of good things on the court," LeMars' Irwin said. "He could attack the basket off the dribble, and he's a very good long-range shooter.
"He was the guy that got the ball to Randall inside or to Masters," he added.
"To me, (Spielman) was willing to do whatever was needed for his team to win.
"He's only going to get better next year, and he'll be an extremely tough player to go against next year."
Paul Allerdings, junior forward, Alta - Though listed as a forward, Allerdings had long-range shooting ability that coach Smith says was "scary" for opponents.
"He could go off and make four or five three-pointers," Smith said. "In our first game, he made three of four three-point shots against Pomeroy-Palmer, and during the season, he made six of seven in one game and five of nine in another."
The 6-2 junior was the Cyclones' third-leading scorer, averaging 8.23 ppg. He knocked down 31 of 68 three-pointers, shooting an area-high 46 percent from beyond the arc.
Smith added that when Allerdings hit a hot streak from three-point range, things opened up for the Cyclones' post players.
"Paul was also one of our top defensive players," Smith said. "We had him guard the other team's leading scorer on most nights."
Allerdings also averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and dished out an average 2.2 assists per game.
Andy Dahm, senior post player, Storm Lake-St. Mary's - A three-year starter, Dahm was the Panthers' top scorer and rebounder this season.
"He was our most consistent player," added first-year coach Brad Wilkening. "When he was having a good game, we always had a chance to win."
Dahm averaged 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He also averaged two blocks per game and 1.3 steals per game.
"Andy was a strong force inside for us," Wilkening said. "He was an outstanding rebounder on both ends of the floor."
Dahm hit 47 percent of his field goal attempts, and led the Panthers in free throw attempts with 89.
Brian Bode, senior post player, Schaller-Crestland -Schaller-Crestland coach Brandon Jensen said Bode wasn't blessed with natural basketball talent, but was the team's anchor at a post position this season.
An all-state linebacker in football, Bode averaged 10.25 points per game, second to Wildcat guard Justin Pyle.
A space-eater underneath, the 6-1 Bode led the team in rebounding, averaging 7.75 boards per contest. He hit 87 of 137 three-point shots for a blistering 64 percent.
"Brian was our vocal leader all season," Jensen said. "He led by example with his great work ethic.
"Brian scored a lot of his points on putbacks after offensive rebounds," the coach said. "He just plain outworked opponents on the boards and playing defense this season."
Jacob Bruce, junior guard, Aurelia - Bulldog coach Grant Peckenschneider described off-guard Jacob Bruce as "true scorer.
"He scored in a variety of ways," Peckenschneider said Friday. "He was good at getting to the hoop, scored a lot in transition and also was a good outside shooter.
"He was pretty much our go-to scorer this season," Peckenschneider said.
Bruce was one of the top scorers in the area this season, averaging 17.8 ppg. He also grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game and dished out 2.62 assists per contest.
Jacob was an accurate shooter from the field, hitting 129 of 170 shots for 75 percent. He hit 21 three pointers on 59 attempts for 35.6 percent. Bruce also got to the line 88 times, second on the team.
Brad Anderson, sophomore post player, Newell-Fonda -When long-time Newell-Fonda coach Paul Loos talks about the 6-4 Anderson, he talks about this sophomore's potential.
"The sky's the limit for him right now," Loos said. "It's just a matter of how hard Brian wants to work, both during the offseason and during the regular season."
This winter, Anderson burst on the scene by averaging 11 points per game, 3 rebounds per game and two assists per contest.
Though a post player at 6-4, Anderson was also a three-point threat. He led the Mustangs in three-point attempts with 101 and made 34 for just under 34 percent.
"Brad has the ability to slash to the basket, or score on the inside," Loos said. "He's a good outside shooter and is getting some recognition for the year he had.But he has the potential to be better in every facet of the game if he works hard at it."
Jared Bruce, sophomore guard, Aurelia - Jared Bruce, the younger brother of Jacob, was the Bulldogs' point guard this season.
He got his first taste of varsity sports competition last fall as Aurelia's starting quarterback. Bulldog basketball coach Grant Peckenschneider said that experience helped Jared run the point this winter season.
"If I could pick one word to describe Jared, it would be 'toughness,'"Peckenschneider said. He wasn't afraid of any situation or any opposing player. He'd often take the ball inside and score against bigger players.
Jared was second to his brother in scoring, averaging 10.6 ppg. He averaged 5 rebounds per game, 2.6 steals and 2.6 assists per game. Jared also attempted 100 free throws, making 76 of them for 76 percent.