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March 27, 2004

SWI Classic boys game offers several storylines

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - Mar 27, 2004


Sunday afternoon some of the best prep athletes in southwest Iowa will square off in the Daily Nonpareil/Iowa Western Community College SWI Classic VIII Boys All-Star Basketball Game.

The game gives fans the unique opportunity to see SWI's finest seniors playing against each other on the same court, and gives players the opportunity to play with some of their longtime rivals alongside them in a Large School vs. Small School Format.

This year's contest provides several interesting storylines.

The Large School team features a pair of athletes who helped lead Harlan to this year's Class 3A state basketball title in Joel Osborn and Jeff Bissen. The two also played big roles in Harlan's historic run of four consecutive state titles in track and field, baseball, football and basketball.

Osborn, a 6-foot-2 point guard, averaged team-highs of 20.7 points, six assists and just over two steals to go along with nearly five rebounds per game while Bissen, a 6-foot-3 forward, added 13.2 points and 5.7 boards per game. Both can light it up from downtown, as they combined to sink 107 3-pointers.

The Large School team has plenty of muscle in the middle as well, led by 6-foot-8 Iowa School for the Deaf center Edlin Dorn, who boasts lofty averages of of 23.9 points, 16.7 rebounds and five blocks and was named the Co-National Deaf Player of the Year, and Adam Carper, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound forward from Clarinda who hauled in 13.2 rebounds per game to go along with 15.2 points.

The Large School team has a solid core of Council Bluffs standouts in 6-foot-1 point guard Matt Johnson (Abraham Lincoln), 6-foot-5 forward Wes Flores (Lewis Central) and a pair of 5-foot-10 guards in Brock Gentile (St. Albert) and Eric Fox (Thomas Jefferson).

Johnson, Gentile and Fox are all threats from behind the 3-point arc and display solid ball-handling skills, while Flores did a little bit of everything for the Titans, leading them in points and rebounds and tying for the team lead in steals.

Two Hawkeye 10 Conference players round out the Large School roster in 6-foot-1 guard Zach VanCleave (Atlantic) and 6-foot-3 forward Nick Lincoln (Glenwood), both of whom contributed heavily to their respective team's success this season.

Iowa School for the Deaf coach Dan Gradoville and Harlan assistant Julius Michalik, a former Iowa State standout, will coach the Large School squad.

A strong nucleus of Western Iowa and Corner Conference athletes leads the way for the Small Schools, as the WIC has five players on the team and the Corner has four. All nine of them were named to their conference's first team.

Griswold, which won the WIC tournament and tied for first in the regular season standings with A-H-S-T and Treynor, landed two players on the team in 6-foot-3 forward Jesse Franzen and 5-foot-11 guard Brett Johnson.

Franzen led the conference in scoring at 18.4 points per game, while Johnson added 11.7 points and a conference-high 6.4 assists per contest.

Six-foot-2 guard Steven Maguire represents Treynor on the team, and averaged 15.2 points this season.

Six-foot-4 Emil Gearhart (Missouri Valley), who led the WIC in rebounding with nearly 10 per game and was second in scoring at 15.6; 6-foot-3 Andy Hansen (Audubon), who averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and 6-foot-5 Marcus Leu of Malvern combine to form a fearsome threesome in the paint for the Small School squad.

The Small School team has four more talented backcourt players in Ryan Lents (Orient-Macksburg), Brandon Isaacson (Essex), Taylor Alley (Fremont-Mills) and Ben Pruss (Stanton).

A.J. Smith of Essex and Chad Rodgers of Griswold are the coaches of the Small School team.

Tip-off of the boys game is to follow the girls contest, which is scheduled for 3 p.m.

©Daily Nonpareil 2004