Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
The Your Prep Sports boys basketball team honors five of the top players in the area for their performance on the court this season.
West High senior Patrick McCaffery is the captain of the 2019 Your Prep Sports squad after leading the Trojans to a 17-5 mark and a ninth consecutive state tournament appearance.
McCaffery is the captain of the Your Prep Sports team for the second consecutive season and becomes the first ever three-time selection to the Your Prep Sports squad.
The five-member team features all-state and all-conference players, two players that leave as the all-time scoring leader at their respective schools, division I recruits and state tournament qualifiers.
Long considered one of the top players in the state McCaffery put the exclamation point on prolific prep career with an impressive senior season.
McCaffery ranked 11th in the state and third in Class 4A averaging a career-high 25.1 points per game as a senior on his way to becoming the all-time leading scorer in West High history.
Ranked as a top-60 national recruit by ESPN McCaffery flashed his versatility this season averaging a team-high 7.7 rebounds to go with 2.5 assists per game.
McCaffery was as efficient and consistent as he was dominant during his final season as a prep.
The 6-foot-9 forward was the only player in the state to average better than 20 points per game while shooting at least 55 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range.
McCaffery shot 58 percent from the floor, 45 percent from 3-point range and 76 percent from the free throw line all while attempting career-highs from all three spots.
The Iowa signee reached double digit scoring in every game this season, scoring 20 or more points 18 times and putting up 30 or more points four times including a single-game school record 42 in a win over Cedar Rapids Washington.
McCaffery was the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division player of the year and earned all-state honors for the third straight season being named to the 4A first-team for a second consecutive season.
One of the biggest reasons Regina returned to the state tournament for the first time since 2015 and emerged as a state title contender in 2020 was the breakthrough performance from Miller.
Miller established himself as one of the top players in Class 2A and one of the premier shooters in the state this season averaging 20.4 points while leading the state in 3-pointers made.
The 6-foot-1 Miller shot 43 percent from 3-point range while connecting on 99 3-pointers, the fourth best single season total for any player in the past 13 seasons.
Miller did much more than just score while directing Regina to a 20-3 record and a spot in the Class 2A state quarterfinals.
The junior point guard led the Regals in rebounding (4.5) assists (3.4) and steals (1.9) per game and posted an assist to turnover ratio of 2.2 to 1.
Miller was a unanimous River Valley Conference Elite team selection and earned all-state honors for the first time in his career as a first-team Class 2A pick by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
The all-time leading scorer in West Branch history Cornwell showed he could do a lot more than just score during the final season of his illustrious prep career.
Cornwell averaged 19.4 points to finish with more than 1,700 for his career but also averaged a career-best 8.3 rebounds and led West Branch in assists (3.5) and steals (2.7) in an impressive senior season.
A four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection Cornwell ended his prep career with more than 560 rebounds and 285 assists.
Cornwell scored in double figures 19 times this season and had 12 games with 20 or more points while helping West Branch to a 16-5 record and runner-up finish in the River Valley Conference South Division.
The 6-foot-2 point guard led the Bears with seven double-doubles including a 19-point, 19-rebound effort in his final prep performance.
Cornwell was a unanimous selection to the River Valley Conference Elite team for the second consecutive season.
As the level of competition rose for Liberty High in its first season in the rugged Mississippi Valley Conference the leader for the Lightning continued to raise his level of play.
Brandon averaged career-highs in points and rebounds and was named to the MVC Valley Division first team in his first season in the league.
A versatile forward, Brandon averaged a team-high 14.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game helping Liberty High to an 8-13 record in its second season of varsity action.
Brandon shot 52 percent from the field and a career-best 75 percent from the free throw line as a junior as the Lightning matched their win total from their inaugural varsity campaign.
The 8.3 rebounds per game for Brandon ranked second in the MVC and seventh in Class 4A.
Brandon also averaged 1.9 assists per game and led Liberty High with 1.3 steals.
In his first season in Class 4A Brauns acclimated himself well ranking second on the team in scoring and rebounding while helping West High return to the Class 4A state tournament for the ninth consecutive season.
Brauns averaged 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in his first season at West High and led the Trojans by shooting 68 percent from the field.
A force on both ends of the court, Brauns had a team-high 30 blocked shots which ranked 14th in Class 4A.
A Mississippi Valley Conference first-team all-Valley Division selection, Brauns was at his best at the end of the season.
Brauns scored in double figures in six of the final nine games and had a pair of double-doubles during that stretch in which he averaged 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
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