Girls’ Basketball- The first round of Class 1A Regionals is set to kickoff tomorrow, February 8th, at 7 pm so it seems appropriate that we preview the upcoming matchups for our local teams and look at the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s final top 15 for classes 1A, 2A, and 3A for the season.
Class 1A Region 7
On KILJ 105.5 FM, kilj.com, it will be Danville (16-4) hosting Burlington Notre Dame (10-10). The Nikes have had a mixed bag of a season after experiencing the high of knocking Holy Trinity Catholic out of the top 15 earlier this season and taking their spot to the low of a harboring a 6-10 record.
Danville had a terrible start to the season, no mincing words. An 0-4 start and the Bears seemed to be destined to stay in hibernation for much of the season. However, the defense woke up ferociously as the Bears average 18.2 steals per game and have rattled off 16 straight wins.
It will be a battle of the guards with senior Jaeda Molle (14.4 points per game) of Danville facing off against fellow senior Lauren Krieger (17.8 points per game) for the Nikes. Danville has won both matchups this season, but Burlington Notre Dame has won 8 of the past 10.
Winfield-Mt. Union (4-14) will have the tough task of riding up to take on Lone Tree (18-3), the second-highest seed in the bottom half of the bracket. The Wolves and Lions will have to shake off the rust as they both enter the game with an albatross hanging around their neck of losing streaks (WMU-4, Lone Tree-2).
The Lions will have the advantage with a defense that generates 20.7 steals per game, while the Wolves turn it over an average of nearly 28 times per game. Madisen Kellogg, a sophomore for Winfield-Mt. Union, will have to step up and have a monster game as she nearly averages a double-double of 16.7 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game. Lone Tree will lean on Finley Jacque’s 15. 9 points per game as a sophomore.
Winfield Mt. Union showed a lot of improvement in their second matchup against Lone Tree this season but have still been outscored 131 to 72 in the two matchups.
Class 1A Region 8
On KILJ AM 1130, 98.5 FM, or kilj.com, you can tune in to hear Jeff Broeg call the matchup down in Fort Madison between #15 Holy Trinity Catholic (18-2) and New London (1-19). The Crusaders are back in the top 15 for the second time this season after a dominant win over Lone Tree, 50-26, to claim the Southeast Iowa Super Conference crown.
Senior Mary Kate Bendlage is a problem that Southeast Iowa has not had a solution for as she’s averaging nearly a double-double a night with 21.8 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. Natalie Randolph has stepped up with 13.8 points per game.
New London’s lone win of the season occurred back in mid-December in a narrow 50-48 victory over West Burlington. The only time the Tigers scored over 40 points in a game this season. They’ll depend on Mylee Miller as she is the only Tiger averaging double figures at 10.1 points per game to complement her 7.2 rebounds per game.
The Crusaders have won the past 22 games in this series, outscoring the Tigers 133 to 46 in their two matchups this season.
WACO (12-9) will get to host their first-round matchup against Hillcrest Academy (6-14). The Warriors have finished the year strong with a 6-1 record in the last 7 games as the defense has not allowed an opponent to score more than 43 points in a win.
The Ravens have picked up two wins at the end of the season to help snap a 6-game losing streak. Teams have found a way to shut off their offense with the most points the Ravens have managed to score in a loss is 42 (three times).
WACO has won both matchups this season by narrow margins of just six and seven. But this has been a trend since 2014 as the Ravens haven’t won in the past 12 games. Senior Emma Wagler will lead the Warriors with 12.8 points per game, while Claire Withrow, a sophomore, will look for an upset as she averages 14.3 points per game.
Nevertheless, as any coach will tell you a game is not won on paper, so we will find out tomorrow night who will advance to keep their state tournament hopes alive.