Sports, Thursday, February 25th

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

Girls’ Basketball: Nikes Fall Just Short of Return Trip to State:

For the second consecutive year the Notre Dame Nike girls’ basketball team fell short of their ultimate goal.

The Nikes shot just 5-of-21 from three-point land as the No. 8 Springville Orioles bounced Notre Dame 65-57 in a Class 1A Region Final last night at Muscatine High School.

The win propelled the Orioles to the Class 1A Girls’ State Basketball Tournament where they will play top-seeded Algona Bishop Garrigan.

The explosive Nike offense was held in check by the Orioles in the first half, as Springville limited Notre Dame to just 19 first half points.

Springville’s 10-4 second quarter run allowed them to hold an eight-point lead into recess.

Notre Dame came alive in the third quarter taking a two-point lead at the three minute mark of the quarter — only to see the Orioles jump a quick 8-0 run on the back of two made triples by guard Grace Matus.

The Nikes rallied again in the fourth quarter to pull within one at 41-40 after a pair of Megan Harrell free throws.

Yet it seemed that every time Notre Dame tried to spark a rally, the Orioles made a big play.

Making them for Springville last night was Lauren Wilson, who had a game-high 26 points.

Notre Dame did not have an answer for her inside presence.

Springville did their part down the stretch to put the game on ice, canning 5-of-6 free throws, with Molly Stamp hitting the final four of the game.

Regan Engberg and Karli Artman paced the Nikes with 15 points apiece, while Megan Harrell finished with 12.

Katy Stephens chipped in with nine.

The loss closes Notre Dame’s season at 19-2.

Boys’ Basketball: Mount Pleasant Hopes to Pull Off Upset Over Mount Vernon:

The Mount Pleasant boys’ basketball team will try to pull off another road upset tonight when they travel to take on Mount Vernon (16-5) in a Class 3A, Substate 5 semifinal at 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers, who held a 17-point halftime lead, held on to beat Keokuk Monday night to advance to tonight’s semifinal.

Mount Vernon cruised by Fort Madison 77-62.

Keaton Kutcher, a South Dakota recruit, leads the Mustangs with 22.5 points per game.

He hits 41% of his three-point shots.

Jayden Meeker is second on Mustangs with 15.5 points per game.

Nobody else is in double figures.

Mount Pleasant will need another strong performance from Dewon Trent this evening to pull off the road win.

Trent leads Mount Pleasant with 15.6 points per game while hauling in 7.4 rebounds per game.

Brevin Wilson scores 10.5 points and snags five boards per night.

Tonight’s game will tip at 7:00 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School.

You can listen on FM 105.5 and online at

Nathan Bloechl and Kent Bennett will have all the action beginning at 6:45 p.m. for the KILJ Tournament Trail Pregame Show.

Boys’ Basketball: New London-Easton Valley Moved to Afternoon Tip:

The New London-Easton Valley boys’ substate final game has been moved to a 4:30 p.m. tip according to New London Director of Athletics Ben Fry.

The game will still be played at Maquoketa High School.

New London, 19-4, knocked off Springville 71-68 in overtime to earn the trip to the final, while Easton Valley (22-0) defeated Wapello in double overtime 50-48.

You can listen to Saturday’s game on FM 105.5 and online at

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

College Football: Johnson Commits to Central College:

Mount Pleasant senior quarterback Jack Johnson has committed to play college football at Central College he has announced via social media.

Johnson follows the footsteps of 2019 quarterback Brody Bender as Panthers to head to Pella.

It is unclear if Johnson will play quarterback for the Dutch.

Johnson enjoyed a monster senior season for the Panthers accounting for over 2,000 combined yards and 22 touchdowns.

He ended his season with his best passing performance of the year in the team’s loss to eventual state champion North Scott, where he threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns.

Central will begin their spring regular season on April 3rd when they host Simpson.