Sports, Tuesday, February 23rd

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

Boys’ Basketball: Panther Boys Hold Off Late Keokuk Rally:

The Mount Pleasant boys’ basketball team led by 17 at halftime, only to see Keokuk rally back in the second half — eventually taking a 45-44 lead — but the Panthers scored six of the game’s final seven points to squeak past the Chiefs 50-46 in a Class 3A Substate First Round matchup at Keokuk High School last night.

The win advances the Panthers to the Round of 32 this Thursday, when they travel to battle Mount Vernon.

Dewon Trent put the game on ice with 5.4 seconds left in the game.

Trent, with the Panthers clinging to a two point lead, stole the ball from Keokuk’s Abbot Haner and was immediately fouled.

The junior, who has morphed into the Panthers’ top scoring option, drilled both foul shots to give the Panthers a four point lead.

Trent finished with 19 points, while sophomore Owen Van Sickel had 11.

Brevin Wilson added nine for the Panthers who nipped Keokuk for the first time in their last four matchups.

Isaiah Seay paced Keokuk with 19 points, while Anthony Potratz chipped in with 15.

The Panthers, now 13-10, will travel to Mount Vernon on Thursday.

Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.

Other scores from Substate 5:

  • Davenport Assumption 65, Fairfield 48
  • Cedar Rapids Xavier 51, Marion 33
  • Mount Vernon 77, Fort Madison 62

Boys’ Basketball: New London Ready for Showdown with Springville:

The New London boys’ basketball team has a chance to exercise some demons tonight.

Last year, they found themselves in the district final only to fall to Pekin.

Tonight they’re right back in the same spot, ready to take on top-seeded Springville (22-2) at West Liberty High School for a chance to move to Saturday night’s Substate Final.

New London has beaten Lisbon and Notre Dame on their way to tonight’s district final, while Springville knocked off WACO and Danville.

The Tigers are led by all-everything sophomore guard Blaise Porter, who’s scoring at a 22.5 per game clip.

Classmate Kade Benjamin scores 18 per game, while hauling in nine boards per night.

Camden Kasel and Devin Swanson play third and fourth banana for New London — and they’ll need to play to well tonight for New London to spring a win on the Orioles.

Springville was a tournament qualifier a year ago, defeating Pekin — who again, ousted New London — but lost in the quarterfinals to Algona Bishop Garrigan 55-52.

They’re paced by senior guard Alex Koppes, who scores 19.6 points per game.

Juniors Luke Menster (15.3 ppg) and Rhenden Wagaman (15.8 ppg) are also in double figures for Springville.

Their only two losses have come to arguably one of the best teams in the state regardless of class in North Linn.

Tonight’s game will be a later 8:00 p.m. tip.

You can listen on FM 105.5 and

Nathan Bloechl and Kent Bennett will have all the action.

College Basketball: Garza Honored Nationally

For the third time this season, University of Iowa men’s basketball All-American Luka Garza has been recognized by the Big Ten Conference Office for his weekly performance.

Garza and Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr. shared Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Monday.

Garza, who was also tabbed the Naismith Trophy Player of the Week, helped lead the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes to a pair of victories last week over No. 21 Wisconsin (77-62) and Penn State (74-68). The All-American averaged 26.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, two assists, and one block in the two contests.

The native of Washington, D.C., became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer in its last outing against Penn State on Sunday.

Garza broke the school’s 32-year old record held by Roy Marble.

The Iowa men will play Thursday night on the road at No. 3 Michigan.

Women’s College Basketball: Clark Honored Again

University of Iowa freshman Caitlin Clark was named Big Ten Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Week and Player of the Week Honor Roll, the conference announced Monday.

Clark has tallied 18 Big Ten Weekly honors on the season, including a Big Ten record 11 freshman honors, four Big Ten Player of the Week honors, and three Player of the Week Honor Roll nods.

Clark recorded her fourth consecutive and eighth total 30-point game of the season in Iowa’s, 96-78, win over Penn State. Her eight 30-point games are the most this season by any student-athlete in NCAA Division I women’s basketball and most by a freshman since the 2009-10 season when Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne accomplished the feat.

The Iowa women are next in action tonight when they travel to No. 8 Maryland.