Ames Tribune area top high school sports performers for week of Feb. 14-20

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

Last week saw eight area wrestlers place at the state wrestling meet. The Ballard and Roland-Story girls basketball teams both had a player post a double-double in the regional finals. And an Ames forward put up two big games in boys basketball.

Roland-Story saw three wrestlers earn a spot on the medal stand at the state wrestling tournament last Thursday through Saturday in Des Moines. Ballard had two wrestlers place and Gilbert, Nevada and Collins-Maxwell one apiece.

The Ballard and Roland-Story girls basketball teams also qualified for state in Class 3A. Roland-Story kept up its outstanding boys basketball season by holding off Southeast Valley in the 2A district semifinals.

Here are the top Ames Tribune area individual performers for the week:

Kade Blume

Kade Blume

The Roland-Story sophomore claimed his second consecutive state wrestling championship. Blume took the title at 113 pounds with a 7-4 victory over Albia's Carter Anderson in the championship match Saturday.

Blume went 4-0 at the tournament with two pins and a 5-1 victory over sixth-ranked Carson Doolittle of Webster City leading up to the finals. He finished the season a perfect 36-0.

Fernando Villaescusa

Villaescusa became the first Gilbert wrestler to reach the state finals. He fell to top-ranked and undefeated C.J. Walrath of Notre Dame-West Burlington in the finals at 182 by a 12-4 major decision.

Fernando Villaescusa

Villaescusa beat West Liberty's Felipe Molina and Sioux Center's Zachery Rozeboom to reach the semifinals, where he knocked off New Hampton/Turkey Valley's Braden McShane by a 3-0 decision.

Villaescusa, an Iowa State recruit, ended his senior season at 38-2.

Gabe Christensen

Christensen placed fifth at 182 in 2A for Ballard at the state wrestling tournament. 

Christensen went 4-2 at state with 15-4 major decisions over Pocahontas Area's Deontez Williams and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont's Blake Jager, a 10-8 victory over Rozeboom and a 10-6 triumph over Harlan's Zane Bendorf in the fifth-place match.

He finished his junior season with a 40-5 record.

Brody Sampson

Brody Sampson

Sampson placed fifth at 182 in 1A during the state wrestling tournament for Collins-Maxwell.

The Spartan sophomore was 4-2 at state. He defeated North Linn's Landen Paul by an 8-5 decision, Iowa Valley's Brody Hoyt by a 5-3 decision, Lisbon's Jamien Moore by a 3-2 decision and Columbus Catholic's Carson Hartz by a 4-3 decision, the latter decision coming in the fifth-place match.

Sampson completed the season with a 32-5 record.

Logan Powers

The Roland-Story sophomore was 2-3 at the state wrestling tournament in placing sixth at 138 in 2A.

Powers won his first two matches then lost to eventual champion Carter Fousek of Crestwood in the semifinals and suffered two consolation losses. Powers beat Mount Vernon's Jackson Jaspers by an 11-9 decision and Forest City's Kellen Moore by a 7-5 decision in overtime to reach the semifinals.

He ended the season with a 43-8 record.

Eli Thorson

The Roland-Story senior ended his career with a seventh-place finish at state wrestling at 170 in 2A.

Thorson went 3-2 at state. He beat Center Point-Urbana's Collin Hoskins by fall and West Marshall's Austin Pfantz by a 4-3 decision in the consolation round and pinned Clarion-Goldfield-Dows' Mack Seaba in the seventh-place match to finish his final season at 29-7.

Kaden Weber

 The Nevada sophomore took seventh at 106 pounds in 2A during the state wrestling tournament.

Weber went 3-2 and overcame a controversial loss by disqualification to Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Ethan Skoglund in the quarterfinals to place in his first state tournament. Weber topped Crestwood's Mitchell Schmauss by a 10-2 major decision in the quarterfinals, Carroll's Dreylen Schweitzer by an 8-3 decision in the consolation second round and Grinnell's Dylan Heater by a 3-1 decision in the seventh-place match.

Weber went 39-2 during the season.

Henry Christensen

The Ballard freshman placed eighth at 195 pounds in 2A during his first state wrestling tournament.

Christensen went 2-3 during the tournament. He upset West Liberty's Jahsiah Galvan by fall in the first round and won a consolation second round match over Williamsburg's Jack Geels by a 4-1 decision.

Christensen ended his first season of varsity competition with a 32-13 record.

Brooke Loewe

Brooke Loewe

The all-state guard scored 20 points and had 11 steals, 6 assists and 4 rebounds for the No. 3 Ballard girls basketball team in a 72-29 drubbing of No. 15 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont during the 4A regional finals Saturday in Pleasantville.

Loewe's effort helped Ballard (21-3) return to the girls state basketball tournament for the third year in a row.

Meg Rietz

Rietz turned in another solid all-around performance against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont to help the Ballard girls get back to state.

Rietz produced 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal.

Lily Hillebrand

Hillebrand also was a key figure in Ballard's dominant win over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Saturday.

The sophomore guard tallied 11 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. 

Paige Noe

Noe had a monster game off the bench in an 82-33 regional semifinal win over Chariton Feb. 16 at Huxley.

Noe scored 20 points, 14 coming in the final 100 seconds of the first half. She made all six of her shots from 3-point range.

Reece Johnson

The senior point guard was huge for No. 9 Roland-Story in a dominant 63-35 victory over No. 8 West Marshall in the 3A regional finals at State Center on Saturday.

Johnson played great perimeter defense in helping Roland-Story return to the girls state basketball tournament for the second year in a row. She also had 16 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

Reagan Barkema

Reagan Barkema

The Bradley recruit was her usual outstanding self against West Marshall in helping the Roland-Story girls punch their tickets to state.

Barkema posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She made 7 of 13 field goals, including three 3-pointers.

Elizabeth Ihle

Roland-Story head girls basketball coach Maddie Gelber credited Ihle with playing a big role in holding West Marshall guard Bella Borgos to just 4 points in the regional final.

Ihle also had 3 points and 3 assists in the Norse victory.

Alyssa Jones

The Roland-Story freshman was productive off the bench in helping the Roland-Story girls blow out West Marshall in the regional final.

Jones scored 7 points. She made both of her shots from the field, including a 3-pointer and was 2 of 2 from the foul line.

Alexandria Arnaud

The Nevada guard scored 13 points in a 67-45 loss to Cherokee Washington during the 3A regional semifinals Feb. 16 at Fort Dodge.

Arnaud also had 1 assist and steal apiece. Nevada finished the season at 14-10.

Trevion LaBeaux

Trevion LaBeaux

The Ames forward gave his all for the Little Cyclone boys in a tough stretch against Waukee Northwest, Des Moines Roosevelt and Johnston last week.

As the Little Cyclones continue to play without injured all-state guard and Iowa State recruit Tamin Lipsey, LaBeaux had 31 points and 8 rebounds in a 57-54 double-overtime loss at Waukee Northwest Feb. 14, 24 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists in a 61-57 win at Des Moines Roosevelt Feb. 15 and 10 points and 7 rebounds in a 56-41 loss at Johnston Friday.

Corey Phillips

Phillips also played tough for the Ames boys in their three tough games without Lipsey last week.

Phillips tallied 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks against Waukee Northwest, 12 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block versus Des Moines Roosevelt and 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists against Johnston.

Kale Krogh

The Ballard senior and Iowa football recruit posted a double-double for the Bomber boys basketball team in a 59-52 loss to Dallas Center-Grimes Feb. 17 at Huxley.

Krogh finished with 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting. He also pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked 2 shots for the Bombers (15-6).