By John Burbridge email@example.com
CHARLES CITY — Through hard work and persistence for improvement, some high school basketball players may eventually move up through the ranks and make varsity by their senior seasons.
Some may even break into the starting lineup.
Jack Molstead was not that type of player.
A starting guard all four of his seasons at Charles City, Molstead was always his team’s leading scorer, eventually passing former Iowa Hawkeye star Greg Brunner as the Comets’ all-time leading scorer while amassing more than 1,800 points for his career.
Molstead also will leave school as the Comets’ all-time assist leader before continuing his career at Wartburg College.
Though Molstead always had a likely starting spot waiting for him from season to season, like those aforementioned gym rats trying to make varsity, he continued to work on making his game better.
A consummate scorer, Molstead dramatically upgraded his defense during his final seasons — playing against Blue Chip Division I talent during the summer likely spurred the improvement.
And now Molstead has finally made the starting lineup — or rather the Class 3A All-State Boys Basketball first team as selected by the Iowa Press Sports Writers Association.
This is Molstead’s third-straight all-state selection. Last year, he was selected to IPSWA’s Class 3A second team. The year before that, Molstead was one of two Class 3A sophomore all-staters as he was placed on the third team by the the Iowa Newspaper Association.
(The IPSWA is a revamped version of the INA all-state selection process.)
This past season for the Comets, which had their season ended in the substate final against then-undefeated Clear Lake, Molstead averaged a career-high 28.8 points per game while shooting better than 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Molstead also led the team in assists (150) and steals (48).
Listed at 5-foot-10, which may have discouraged Division I interest, Molstead still was able to retrieve enough missed shots to be second on his team in rebounding.
Other Class 3A first-team selections included senior Cole Henry and junior Xavier Foster from state champion Oskaloosa; Maquoketa senior A.J. Becker; Norwalk senior Bowen Born; Carlisle senior Collin Lister; Spirit Lake senior Owen Coburn: and West Delaware senior Derek Krogmann.
There were two Iowa Mr. Basketball selections — Jake Hilmer from Class 2A state champion North Linn, and Class 4A first-teamer DJ Carton from Bettendorf.