Reactions to Ankeny’s substate draw: boys basketball

Senior sports reporter Paul Erredge gives initial reactions about boys basketball substate


Photo published with permission by Drue Wolfe

Ankeny esnior guard Ryan Crandall (#5) shoots a jump shot against Valley senior forward Ruot Bijiek (#22).

Paul Erredge, Sports Reporter

Iowa high school basketball substates just came out, which means it is playoff time. The Hawks are in substate bracket number one, which features Sioux City East, Sioux City West, Sioux City North, Council Bluffs Jefferson, and Waukee.

My Initial Reactions

This is without a doubt, one of the more favorable draws that Ankeny could have gotten. Here is why the combined record (combining all of the teams wins and losses) of the substate bracket is 50-49. Besides substate bracket number seven, this marks the worst combined record out of all the substates (except substate bracket number seven). I do not believe a single team in this bracket can match up with Ankeny’s speed and quickness. If I am a Hawk fan, I am pretty content with this draw, and Wells Fargo Arena does not look too hard to get to.

That being said: This is not a walk in the park by any means, Sioux City East has some high-level players, and Waukee is a team that can get hot from the three-point line and causes problems.

Notable Players in Ankeny’s Substate: 

Bie Ruei 6´4 Forward (Sioux City East): Ruei is a potent matchup. This season the Sioux City East forward has been highly effective at driving to the rim. He has a relatively good mid-range jumper. Ruei was named as a McDonald All American Nominee earlier this year. He averages 15.1 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, and 2.8 assists per game. One hole I noticed in his game is the three-point shot; Ruei currently shoots 17.2 percent from the three.

Brandt VanDyke 6´8 Forward (Sioux City East): VanDyke is a massive forward that can impact almost every shot on the court. While his size is admirable, VanDyke has struggled to shoot the ball efficiently this season. He currently is shooting 33.9 percent from the field and 20.0 percent from the three. But he does provide a towering presence on the court, and he potentially can match up with junior Ankeny’s big man, JJ Kohl.

Keavian Hayes 6´2 Guard (Sioux City West): Hayes was on my watchlist at the beginning of the season. While his team has not had much success, he is still putting up a solid year. Hayes currently averages 15.5 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. His athleticism is impressive, and he is excellent at finishing around the rim.

Cade Littlefield 6´1 Guard (Waukee): Littlefield is an impressive shooter that, when hot, can pose some serious problems. While that is true, Ankeny has already matched up against Littlefield, so they should be able to recognize that he had success and can shut him down if Waukee and Ankeny were to play again. In his game against Ankeny, Littlefield had 17 points and two assists. Overall, a solid shooter that can have big games if left open.

Vance Peiffer 6´7 Forward (Waukee): Peiffer is a big forward that can shoot the ball and finish around the rim. He can cause matchup problems for smaller teams due to his size, although there does not seem to be a team in this substate that has a problem with size. Against Ankeny, Peiffer totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists.

Familiar Draw: This draw is almost precisely the same as when Ankeny won the state championship in the 2019-20 season.