SUX Sports

Sioux City East 2017-18 Preview

Sioux City East Black Raiders 

Class 4A- Missouri River Conference

2016-17 Record: 23-3 (11-1 MRAC)

(Won State Consolation Game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy 58-56)

Head Coach: Ras Vanderloo

If there was ever a chance for the Black Raiders to take home the program’s first state title since 2002, this would be it. Besides the loss of point guard Jailen Billings, East returns all of its playmakers from a team that finished third in the Class 4A State Tournament a year ago.

Senior forward Van Rees and junior guard Aidan Vanderloo return to make up one of the most lethal tandems in the state. Rees, the 2016-17 SUX Sports Player of the Year and all-state pick, averaged 20.8 points per game and finished second in Class 4A with 306 total rebounds. Vanderloo, who is poised for another breakout season, was an All-SUX Sports pick last season after averaging 16.8 ppg and shooting 55.3 percent from beyond the arc.

While much of the focus lies on Rees and Vanderloo, the supporting cast for this team can only improve from last year’s 23-win season. Senior guard Cole Taylor is back in the starting mix, while junior Jack Peterson will fill the point guard role after coming off the bench last season. We saw a glimpse of what Peterson could do in last year’s state tournament consolation game when he scored a career-high 13 points. The front court will again look to 6-5 senior center Sam Hildahl and 6-4 senior forward Steve Siebersma as well. Hildahl came down with 134 total rebounds last season.

Expectations could not be higher for what will be one of Vanderloo’s best teams since he took the helm back in 2011. If all goes as planned, East should find itself playing for a Class 4A State Title when all is said and done.

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