After finishing the season with a 23-2 record, the Nodaway Valley Wolverines placed two players on the Iowa Newspapers Association’s Class 2A all-state teams.
Alex Welsch, a 6-7 senior post player, earned first-team honors, making the team at the utility spot.
Senior point guard Brad Baudler made the second team backcourt.
It marked the second straight year the Wolverines placed two on the INA all-state teams, after Welsch made second team and then-sophomore TJ Bower made third team in Class 1A last year.
“Players work hard, they’re very dedicated,” head coach Darrell Burmeister said. “They’ve been playing basketball for a long time. Hopefully we’ll keep it going and have players recognized. You have to have a good team.”
Welsch made the first team after leading the Wolverines in scoring at 16.4 points per game. He also led the team with 9.8 rebounds per game and 90 blocks.
He ranked ninth in Class 2A in rebounding and finished fifth in the class in blocked shots.
Burmeister said Welsch showed improvement this year after attending a post players camp at Dordt College.
“Alex’s footwork is really improved,” he said. “I think he’s one of the more improved post players. He’s very quick facing up to the basket from 15 out. Alex can step out and shoot the three, also.”
Welsch changed the complexion of games with his presence in the post on the defensive end.
He led the state in blocked shots in his sophomore and junior seasons, and made his presence known at the state tournament this year, finishing with eight blocked shots in a state quarterfinal loss to Kuemper Catholic this year.
Baudler, meanwhile, also made great strides with his game this year.
The 5-10 point guard improved his shooting percentage from 29 percent a year ago to 52 percent this season, while still playing the role of defensive stopper for the Wolverines.
“Brad improved on his offensive skills this year,” Burmeister said. “He’s a kid who improved on his shooting 33 percent, but continued to be our defensive stopper. He was able to finish more inside on his drives. He’s more of a pull-up shooter. He finished at a higher rate and was still number one in assists at the same time. He stopped a lot of kids, held them well below their season average.”
Baudler scored 16.0 points per game for the Wolverines this season, leading the team with 96 assists and finishing second in steals with 49. He also grabbed 3.2 rebounds per game.
Burmeister noted that Baudler often held the opposing team’s top scorer to about 10 points below his season scoring average.
According to Burmeister, Welsch will be playing college basketball next year, but has yet to decide where. He said Welsch is garnering looks from Division II schools.
Burmeister also said Baudler is now receiving looks from schools to play basketball, and that he is considering his options.