Jay Janssen has been playing at a high level for AGWSR over the past week. The 6-foot-3 senior guard averaged 19.5 points over a recent four-game stretch, including 23 points and nine rebounds during a win over West Marshall and 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals during a three-point loss to No. 4 Gladbrook-Reinbeck. Janssen leads AGWSR with 50 made 3-pointers, while ranking second on the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals. “He plays with great intensity on the floor,” AGWSR coach Russ Banzhaf said. “Due to offseason work, he’s really transformed from being a shooter as a sophomore and junior to a complete player.” Janssen also competes in golf.
The Predicament’s No. 3-ranked 170-pounder in Class 3A, Pilcher recorded his 100th career win Thursday as he improved to 36-6 on the season. The Cedar Falls senior enters the postseason with 19 of those 36 wins by fall. Coach Ethan Wiechmann credits Pilcher’s knowledge and mat awareness as keys to his success. “We always knew he had some skills with wrestling,” Wiechmann. “He’s put a lot of time into it. One of the things we were wondering is how is he going to develop as a leader? Not only did he take that challenge on, but he excelled in that role this year.” Pilcher also competes in football.
Westphal was a major contributor for the Waterloo Warriors last weekend during a pair of victories at Ames. The defenseman tallied two goals and an assist before scoring in a shootout of the first victory. He then added a pair of assists as the Warriors completed the sweep. Westphal has helped spark an offense that has been playing without its scoring and assist leader for the past eight games. He’s among the leaders on a defense that has surrendered the fewest goals in the Midwest High School Hockey League. “He’s given us a lot of offense from the defensive position,” Warriors assistant Dan Lichty said of the captain and fourth-year contributor. “Drew’s really helped us out with his scoring.”
Phillips has complemented strong defense with key offensive production as she worked her way into the starting lineup for Class 4A’s No. 10 Waverly-Shell Rock. Phillips scored 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and makes on all four free throw attempts Friday as W-SR handed Crestwood its first loss and moved into position for a share of the program’s seventh consecutive Northeast Iowa Conference title. Phillips is shooting 42 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free throw line on the season. “She’s a great defensive player, which has been a huge lift for us to have her guarding one of the best guards on the other team,” W-SR coach Greg Bodensteiner said. “Her growth has been taking care of the ball, making good decisions and then her ability to knock down shots.” Phillips also competes in tennis and volleyball.
Claassen is a fourth-year varsity contributor looking to help East defend its Class 2A state bowling championship. Claassen placed third individually at last year’s state meet and earned honorable mention honors in the Mississippi Valley Conference. “Alissa is averaging 182.8 for this season and is a huge part of the team’s success,” East coach Mike Weber noted. “Not only does she work part-time, she also participates in the Cedar Valley youth league with her varsity teammates.” Claassen is also strong academically. The 3.64 GPA student earned Academic All-Conference honors in the MVC last season.
Glaser won the 170-pound championship at last weekend’s sectional meet to help Class 2A’s No. 1-ranked New Hampton win a team title. After competing in heavier classes based on team needs a year ago, Glaser invested plenty of time in the weight room and with Elite Takedown Club over the offseason to become a strong 170-pounder. Glaser has improved from a near .500 record a year ago to 44-10 with 27 wins by fall this season. “He’s worked real hard to get where he’s at and I’m real proud of the progress that he’s made,” New Hampton coach Nick Hemann said.