Boys end season #2 in the Conference
“Our memorable moments go hand-in-hand with the team goals we had set in the beginning of the season,” said Denver boys basketball head coach Kyle Matthias. “Our goal was to get better every day. With a very competitive conference schedule and a high level nonconference schedule we were able to do this.”

The team ended its season with a record of 16-7 and a conference record of 13-3. They finished second in the conference to Aplington-Parkersburg and ended their season against Dike-New Hartford (DNH) in the second round of districts. It was the third time that the team had faced off against their DNH conference rivals this season. In the previous two games, the Cyclones had taken home the victory.

“After finishing third last year our goal was to take another step forward in the conference, which we did with a runner-up finish to Aplington Parkersburg,” Coach Matthias said. “Every night is a battle in our conference. Four key wins over Wapsie Valley and Dike-New Hartford were definitely highlights and helped big in overall standings.”

“A very close road loss to solid 3A Decorah is where I feel we really started to take big steps forward together as a team leading us into some of the best basketball we played this year,” he continued. “I am very proud of how the team brought a great attitude and work ethic to practice or games every day. They challenge each other with their competitiveness, and their passion for the game helped our basketball culture thrive in season and off.”

The Cyclones hit a number of records this season. Junior Bryce Phelps set six school records this season: he was the 12th highest career scorer with 911 points, had the second highest career assists with 320, was first in career free throw percentage with 80.2%, second in season free throw percentage with 87.7%, second in career steals with 185, and tied for first for career three-pointers made with 133. Junior Kyler Matthias had the seventh highest career free throw percentage with 76.1% and tied for fifth for career three-pointers made with 116.

The team tied the school record for the most field goals made in a game in their Feb. 14 matchup against St. Ansgar with 38 and also hit another school record for the highest free throw percentage for the season with 73.5%. The team also had a number of 2A top ten records this season. They had the third highest free throw percentage, second fewest turnovers, sixth highest successful three-pointers, and ninth highest score for points per game.

Phelps and Matthias were named to the 1st Team All-Conference and Iowa Basketball Association All-Sub State Team. Junior Isaac Besh was named to the 2nd Team All-Conference. Senior Luke Prendergast and sophomore Caylor Hoffer received Honorable Mention All-Conference.

The Cyclones lose three seniors this season. “We will miss seniors Jared Minikus, Colton Rieter, and Luke Prendergast,” Matthias said. “All three have continued to improve each year. Jared was voted best teammate by the team, and that has fit since day one as he’s always looking for their best interest.”

“Colton brought a great intensity and competitive drive to every practice and game, raising the level of play to those around him,” the coach said. “Luke was voted most improved player by the team and that was evident by his hard work and determination as he improved every night on the floor earning him an honorable mention all conference selection. He played a major role for us down the stretch with some big games against some of our toughest opponents.”

“Many of the guys are already back in the gym and we are looking forward to a great off-season of development,” he added. “With a strong nucleus returning, our goals remain high for next year.”
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