Sports, Saturday, February 27th

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

Boys’ Basketball: New London Ready to Roar Against Undefeated Easton Valley:

The New London Tiger boys’ basketball (19-4) is aiming to head back to the 1A State Tournament for the first time since 2017 today when they take on undefeated Easton Valley (21-0) in a Class 1A Substate 4 Final today.

The game will be played at 4:30 p.m. at Maquoketa High School and can be heard on FM 105.5 beginning with Tournament Trail Tipoff Show at 4:15 p.m.

Both teams have taken the hard road to their meeting today.

For New London, it meant surviving a late flurry by No. 8 Springville, holding on for a 71-68 win Tuesday night at West Liberty High School.

Junior forward Devin Swanson was unconscious from the field for the Tigers in Tuesday’s tilt, pouring in a game high 32 points and 10 boards.

Sophomore guard Blaise Porter has seen his level play rise in each of New London’s first three playoff wins averaging 21.6 points per game in the postseason.

He had the game-clinching play against the Orioles — a steal with 6.8 to play in the game.

Meanwhile, Easton Valley (21-0) survived a double overtime thriller against unranked Wapello Tuesday night, 50-48.

The River Hawks hit a game tying shot at the end of the first overtime and did just not enough to overcome a hot night from Wapello junior Maddox Griffin.

Easton Valley is led by senior guard Kaleb Cornilsen, who is averaging a team-best 23.3 points per game.

He had 22 in the team’s win over the Indians, Tuesday night.

The Easton Valley win moved them to today’s substate final, a game they lost last year after starting the year similarly to this, at 23-0.

Again, this afternoon’s game will begin at 4:30 p.m. on FM 105.5 and

Nathan Bloechl and Kent Bennett will have the action beginning at 4:15 p.m.

Girls’ Basketball: Lopreato Headlines Panthers on All-Conference List:

Mount Pleasant sophomore forward Andrea Lopreato was recognized by Southeast Conference officials yesterday as a 1st Team All-Conference selection following her terrific campaign for Curt Watson’s group.

Lopreato led Mount Pleasant with 16.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, all while contributing two assists, three steals and a block per contest, as well.

Her capstone performance was a February 5th drubbing of Burlington, where Lopreato set the school record for points in a game with 37 (13-of-19 FG), while snagging 16 rebounds.

Joining Lopreato on the 1st Team were the Fairfield tandem of Danielle Breen and Hannah Simpson, Abby Wolter of Keokuk (Conference POY) and Fort Madison’s Malarie Ross and Brandy Walker.

Lopreato’s classmate Tristian Shull was named 2nd Team All-Conference by the coaches, as well.

Shull averaged 9.5 points her second year on the varsity floor, leading the conference with nearly four assists per game.

She finished second on the team in steals per game with 2.7.

Both Emma Huckabone and Kenna Lamm were named to the Honorable Mention All-Conference list.

Lamm, Huckabone, Ava Lowery, Karsyn Lamm and Emma Rugg were all Academic All-Conference selections for the Panthers as well.

Mount Pleasant closed their season with a record of 11-10.

Prep Wrestling: Irving Named 1st Team All-SEC:

Mount Pleasant 170-pounder Chayse Irving was recognized a 1st Team All-Conference wrestler, the league announced Thursday.

Irving helped guide the Panthers to a third-place finish in the team standings in conference bouts this year.

Ella McNamee (113-pounds), Gannon McNamee (120-pounds), Carson Coleman (126-pounds), Bowen Davis (132-pounds) and Sam Carrasco (220-pounds) were all named to the 2nd Team list.

Carrasco fell just short of a State Tournament appearance this year, falling in the district tournament as a third-place finisher.

Abby Blint and Gannon McNamee were both named to the Academic All-Conference list for the Panthers, as well.