Back in the day, he checked in at 5-foot-10 and about 105 pounds. Let’s just say Bryan Forbes was not a physically imposing freshman.
“I was really just a shooter,” he said.
Three years later, Forbes is a solidly built 6-foot-3. He’s still a shooter, but a whole lot more, too.
He leads unbeaten Class 1A third-ranked Lone Tree in scoring (among the state leaders at 24.6 points), 3-pointers, free throws, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. OK, he leads in turnovers as well, but cut the kid a break.
No question he’s one of the top players in the area.
“A kid who has put in an unbelievable amount of time,” said Lone Tree Coach Tom Squiers. “I think he’s most improved this year on the defensive end. I really do. He’s also a great passer, trusts his teammates. He’s one of the very few players in the 25 years I’ve been here who led us in scoring as a freshman. He’s meant a lot to our program. He has really become a complete basketball player.”
Forbes will break Lone Tree’s career record for scoring sometime in the next game or so, surpassing Andy Pechous, who played for the school’s 1985 state championship team. These Lions are 15-0 and with those kinds of aspirations.
They own a pair of wins over Southeast Iowa Super Conference powerhouse Iowa Mennonite by a combined 42 points. This team is legit.
“Coming into the season, we had big expectations,” Forbes said. “We knew we would be good. We’ve had a lot of roadblocks along the way, but we’ve gotten through them.”
Forbes’ mom, Laurie, is a teacher at Lone Tree, so he always has had the keys to the school’s gym. His dad, Russ, always has been willing to go shoot around with him.
The gym-rat thing has paid off. College hoops will happen, with an Iowa Conference school a likely destination for him.
“He’s the first one at practice, the last one to leave,” Squiers said. “There will be times I’ll be driving through town and see the lights to the gym are on because he’s in there shooting.”
Around the hoop
– Vinton-Shellsburg is conducting a special breast cancer awareness promotion tonight for its game against Center Point-Urbana. Both teams will wear special pink warmup shirts that will be auctioned, with proceeds going to the mammopgraphy department at Vinton’s Virginia Gay Hospital.
– BGM’s Nate Beck had a whopping 13 steals in a game two weeks ago against Tri-County. That’s a state high this season.
– Watch out for West Central center Ethan Steinbronn in the next couple of years. The 6-foot-8 sophomore had 12 blocked shots in a game against Lansing Kee last week and 23 rebounds in a game two weeks ago against Cedar Valley Christian. He’s averaging 17.4 points and 11.5 rebounds a game.