Girls’ State Basketball: Seedings and Matchups

Des Moines, IA- The Regional Champions have been decided for all five classes and here are the seedings and matchups for each class.

Class 5A

On Monday, February 25th, Classes 5A and 3A will kick off the tournament with #1 Johnston taking on the #8-seed Valley at 10 am. The Dragons went a perfect 23-0 and won all of their games by double digits while averaging 72.6 points per game, which ranks 2nd amongst all classes. Valley narrowly pulled off the upset against Ankeny to get to the state tournament as they enter the tournament 13-10. The Tigers will be led by senior Elise Jaeger, who averages 13.3 points per game along with 8.7 rebounds per game.

#4 Waukee and #5 Ankeny Centennial will follow the matchup. The Warriors clobbered Iowa City West 83-58 in their regional championship game to enter the tournament with an 18-4 record. Waukee has four players averaging double figures on the season with a 36.8% clip from three-point land. Ankeny Centennial has fallen to Waukee twice this season, 57-31 and 60-53. Overall, the Jaguars are an even 8-8 against ranked teams this year with a 14-8 overall record. Mya Crawford will look to lead the team with her 15.7 points per game.

At 1:30 pm, #2 Davenport North will face off against #7 Cedar Falls. After losing the first two games of the season, the Wildcats have won every game since including a perfect record against other Iowa teams. Divine Bourrage and Journey Houston will lead this team as Bourrage averages 19.6 points per game and Houston puts up 18.6 per game. Cedar Falls’ only loss came against Ankeny, 60-55, in the third game of the season. The Tigers will lean on their defense that’s allowing only 37.4 points per game.

Lastly for Class 5A, #3 Dowling Catholic will take eon #6 Pleasant Valley. Both teams sport 19-4 records on the season. Dowling Catholic has allowed only 48 points in the last two games, while scoring 179. Pleasant Valley took down a fellow ranked squad in Waukee Northwest, 52-43, to advance to the state tournament.

Class 3A

Class 3A will start play at 5 pm on Monday with #1 Estherville Lincoln Central facing off against #8 Forest City. With a 22-2 record, Estherville Lincoln Central is dependent on Haylee Stokes as the junior puts up 24 points per contest and nails nearly 80% of her free throws. Forest City (21-3) will hope their defense that permits only 36.1 points against can contain Stokes.

#4 Mt. Vernon versus #5 Harlan Community will commence at the conclusion of the opening game for Class 3A state play. The Mustangs tout a stout defense that allows only 37.2 points per game, while the Cyclones will attempt to get Mt. Vernon in trouble with turnovers with 13.5 steals per game.

At 8:30 pm, #2 Des Moines Christian will square off against last year’s runner-up #7 Benton. These two teams met in the first-round last season and the Bobcats nearly squandered a 15-point lead entering the second half, winning 40-34. Expect a similar low scoring affair between these two teams that depend on their defenses that give up less than 40 points.

To round out the night, #3 Solon will face off against #6 Dubuque Wahlert. Both teams pride themselves on generating steals with the Spartans nabbing 15.5 per game and the Golden Eagles netting 13.1 per game. Callie Levin will be the superstar for Solon, averaging 22.4 points per game along with 7.2 rebounds. Claire Lueken will look to soar with 17.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for Dubuque Wahlert.

Class 4A

Classes 4A and 2A will compete on Tuesday, February 27th, with #1 Clear Creek-Amana attempting to finish the year perfect taking on #8 Gilbert. The Clippers will attempt to log second-chance opportunities as they average 12.2 offensive rebounds per game, while allowing only 31.2 points per game. Gilbert will look to Ella Henningsen’s 13.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game to sink the Clippers.

Following that matchup, #4 Dallas Center-Grimes will face off against #5 North Polk. The Mustangs have won the past three matchups against the Comets, including last year’s state championship matchup that went to overtime in a 57-50 thriller. This game is as even as it gets, intuition predicts another overtime thriller.

There’s another team looking to end the season undefeated in #2 Waverly-Shell Rock as they’re matched up against #7 Sioux Center. Waverly-Shell Rock plays tough defense and shoots well from beyond the arc, 36.2% from three-point range. Sioux Center will have to avoid turnovers and have one of their three players averaging double figures take over the game to pull off the upset.

At 5 pm, #3 Bishop Heelan will square off against #6 Lewis Central. The Crusaders have won the past four games against the Titans, including a 14-point win back in late November of this season. The Crusaders are surprisingly led by a freshman, Melina Snoozy, who shoots 44.1% from beyond the arc and averages 18.1 points. Brooke Larsen and Lucy Scott combine to score nearly 30 points per game for the Titans, they will need a big game to come out with the win.

Class 2A

Class 2A will play three of their first-round games on Tuesday and the last game will start the Wednesday, February 28th, slate of games. #1 Dike-New Hartford will face off against #8 Cascade at 6:45 pm. Cascade only scores 45.8 points per game but will look to get to the free throw line with a higher percentage compared to the Wolverines, 64.5% versus 61.6%. Payton Petersen averaged nearly a double-double for the Wolverines with 17.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

#4 Sioux Central will take on #5 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont. Both teams average over 64 points per game while giving up just 34 points per game. The Rockets will look to score from inside the arc with a 50.7% field goal clip, while the Rebels will attempt to get the three-point ball going, 37.1%, and to the free throw line, 69.8%.

To round out Tuesday, #2 Panorama will compete against #7 Grundy Center. The Spartans struggle offensively with less than 50 points per game and a three-point percentage of just 26%. The Panthers will look to get their defense out and running as they average 15.8 steals per game and 5.1 blocks per game.

Lastly for Class 2A, #3 Westwood and #6 Central Lyon will face off against each other. The Rebels are hoping to end the season undefeated as their defense allowed only 31 points per game. The Lions will look to generate second chances with 13.8 offensive rebounds per game to help average 58.3 points per game.

Class 1A

The regional championships wrapped up yesterday and the matchups are set. #1 North Linn will take on #8 Montezuma. The Lynx come in as the favorite with their only loss coming against Clear Creek-Amana 45-44 back in November. Since then, they have reeled off 22 straight wins. Montezuma will lean on their three-point shooting ability as they have made 29 triples in their three regional games.

#4 St. Albert will compete against #5 Bishop Garrigan. Both teams have only lost one game this season heading into their matchup. Both teams average 63 points per game, so it appears fitting that these nearly identical teams will knock the other out of the postseason.

#2 Newell-Fonda will take on #7 Calamus-Wheatland. Newell-Fonda has allowed just 31 points so far through the postseason. The Warriors have the issue of not competing against ranked opponents throughout the season and in their one game against North Linn the Warriors lost by double figures. But they know how to press and are great at the free throw line, two dangerous combinations in the postseason.

Lastly, #3 Remsen St. Mary’s will face off against #6 Martensdale-St. Marys. The Hawks have yet to lose this season, while the Blue Devils enter with an 18-6 record. Remsen St. Mary’s allow less than 30 points per game, while the Blue Devils put up 61 points per game. Martensdale-St. Marys will have to box out, while the Hawks cannot get into foul trouble.