SIOUX CITY (KTIV) — There are just three undefeated boys teams left in Iowa’s Class 4A.
One of them is Sioux City East. The Black Raiders are 8 and 0 after wins over Le Mars and Johnston last week, coming from 17 points back to beat the Dragons on Saturday.
East moved up to number-3 in the Associated Press rankings this week, behind only Waukee and North Scott.
That’s a four spot improvement from where they were in the last poll of 2018.
The Black Raiders travel to Council Bluffs Abe Lincoln tonight, who’s won five in a row.
It’s another good test for East, who already has five wins by at least 19 points but there’s always room for improvement.
“I think rebounding and defense can get better year-round,” said East head coach Ras Vanderloo. “Kids always think it’s good enough. Well, good enough isn’t good enough. You got to play. You got to be solid on “D” and rebound well to beat good teams.”
“Our coaches really push us to make sure, one game at a time to play,” said senior Javonte Keck. “Play for just that one win and then focus on the next.”
East is one of the highest scoring teams in Class 4A, averaging nearly 80 points per game. The Black Raiders are giving up just 58 per game — and their point differential is 20 a night — second best in their class.
East is also balanced, with three players averaging in double figures, led by senior Aidan Vanderloo’s 25 per game — fifth best among big school players.
“We just got a lot of scorers,” said Aidan Vanderloo. “We’ve played in years past, like last year, we played with a lot of hard-working, fundamental guys who maybe weren’t basketball players. They were just hard workers and we won games that way. This year we play with guys who are talented basketball players. We got a lot of guys with a lot of different skills. We just space a lot of people out.”
After the trip to A-L, East hosts North on Friday