Ames High Boys Basketball Team Crowned 2022 State Champions
The Ames High boys basketball team captured the 2022 Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) 4A State Championship in dominating fashion in a 68-37 win over the Johnston Dragons. The title capped off a historic season, added another title to an already storied program, and sent off the current high school gymnasium in style.
The Little Cyclones finished the regular season with a 21-3 overall record and entered the state tournament as the #1 seed and the clear favorite to win the title. The Ames crew had obvious offensive talent and athleticism, but their defensive prowess was often the key to their dominance. Throughout the regular season, the team would hold their opponents to their lower point total of the year. In their five postseason games, they accomplished remarkable statistical margins: +116 points, +40 rebounds, +38 assists, and had an average margin of victory of an astonishing +23.2 points.
The undisputed senior leader of the team was Tamin Lipsey. This season, he became only the fifth Ames High boys player to enter the 1,000-point club (he now ranks 3rd all-time) and became the program’s all-time career assist leader. The Iowa State recruit accomplished all of this while missing the entirety of his sophomore season. Once qualifying for the state tournament, Lipsey along with his senior teammate, Corey Phillips, became the only players in Ames High history to qualify for three state tournament appearances. In the championship game, Lipsey recorded a rare high school triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and was named to the all-tournament team along with Ames High senior Trevion LaBeaux.
This season adds to the legacy of the Ames High boys basketball program. This was the 23rd state tournament for the program and ninth state championship (most in 4A). Their three tournament wins also tallied their all-time tournament victories to 43, most in state history. For head coach Vance Downs, this was his 6th state tournament appearance and third state title in his 18-year tenure.