Archive for December, 2008

Midseason conference call: Cedar Valley

December 31, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is Day 6 of an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude Friday, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the plan:

Friday: Big East

Saturday: SICL

Sunday: Upper Iowa

Monday: Northeast Iowa

Tuesday: Tri-Rivers

Today: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CEDAR VALLEY CONFERENCE

The frontrunner: Tipton (6-0, 4-0) has been destructive thus far: The Tigers are averaging 70.3 points per game, allowing 37.7. Their closest game thus far was their opener, a 22-point nail-biter against Monticello. Two of their more legitimate tests, on the road against Mid-Prairie and Iowa City Regina, were snowed out.

Other contenders: West Branch (7-1, 3-0) won its first seven games before tripping against Washington (Iowa), a 3A team. The Bears steal the ball in bunches. Other than a puzzling loss to Clear Creek-Amana, Iowa City Regina (4-1, 3-0) has been strong. The Regals have a 42-point win over Mid-Prairie under their belts.

Potential spoilers: A veteran team from Mid-Prairie (2-3, 2-1) probably is the best of the rest. Wilton (2-5, 1-3) dropped a one-pointer to West Branch and a three-pointer to Mid-Prairie. A break here, a break there, and the Beavers could trip someone.

Biggest surprise: No doubt, it’s West Branch. The Bears’ full-court mayhem defense has turned around this program, which — with a few exceptions — had sputtered in recent years. 

Biggest disappointment: North Cedar figured to make a splash in its first year out of the Big East. Instead, the Knights are 1-7.

Leading scorer: Tipton senior Missy Miller is averaging 22.3 points per game.

What to watch for: Can anyone push Tipton? The Tigers will be favored in each of their conference games. They’ll have non-league challenges against Washington (Iowa) and Midland. Can West Branch keep it up? The Bears open 2009 with a pair of toughies — against 3A heavyweight Davenport Assumption and Tipton, and it will be interesting to see how they rebound after that difficult patch. Regina ought to be able to keep pace in the league race for the time being, and the Regals will challenge themselves with some out-of-league foes that include former EIHC foes Williamsburg, Mount Vernon and Solon.

Who will win it: Tipton, by plenty. And an unbeaten regular season is a serious possibility.

Midseason conference call: Tri-Rivers

December 30, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is Day 5 of an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude Friday, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the plan:

Friday: Big East

Saturday: SICL

Sunday: Upper Iowa

Monday: Northeast Iowa

Today: Tri-Rivers

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

TRI-RIVERS CONFERENCE

The frontrunner: Springville (6-0, 4-0) has the state’s longest winning streak – 19 in a row – and stands alone, a step ahead of  a crowded pack. The Orioles haven’t gone crazy offensively, but are allowing only 30.5 points per game.

Other contenders: It’s a crowded,confusing scene behind the Orioles. Three teams have one loss apiece: defending champion Cascade (5-1, 4-1), Edgewood-Colesburg (6-2, 4-1) and Maquoketa Valley (5-2, 3-1). It’s too early to count out Monticello (3-4, 3-2).

Potential spoilers: North Linn (4-3, 3-2) is capable, despite dropping three of four after a 3-0 start. Starmont (2-4, 2-3) beat Ed-Co and has played Maquoketa Valley and Cascade close.

Biggest surprise: Partially because it hasn’t played many of the other contenders yet — and partially thanks to a victory against Monticello – Ed-Co has fashioned a fast start. 

Biggest disappointment: Monticello seemed to have resisted a downfall after getting hit hard by graduation, starting 3-1. But the Panthers dropped their last three before the break, including an 18-point home setback against Maquoketa Valley.

Leading scorer: Ed-Co senior Samantha Rolfes is averaging 20.8 points per game.

What to watch for: Saturday’s game between Cascade at Springville is THE key game in the second half of the season. Win that game, and the Orioles ought to sprint to 10-0 in the league before they play their next biggie, Jan. 23 against Maquoketa Valley. Who will emerge as the Orioles’ chief threat? Starmont beat Ed-Co, which beat Monticello, which beat Cascade, which beat Maquoketa Valley. Any of those teams could compete with Springville on a given night under the right circumstances, but can any of them be consistent enough to stay with them over a 16-game haul?

Who will win it: If it prevails Saturday, the smart money is on Springville. If not, stay tuned.

Midseason conference call: NEIC

December 29, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is Day 4 of an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude Friday, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the plan:

Friday: Big East

Saturday: SICL

Sunday: Upper Iowa

Today: Northeast Iowa

Tuesday: Tri-Rivers

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NORTHEAST IOWA CONFERENCE

The frontrunners: For the time being, it’s a two-horse race between Waukon (8-0, 4-0) and defending champion Crestwood (6-0, 2-0). The first meeting between the teams is Jan. 9 at Waukon.

Other contenders: The next layer consists of Charles City (5-2, 1-1) and Decorah (6-3, 2-2).

Potential spoiler: Oelwein (6-2, 1-2) played the role to perfection Dec. 23, tripping Decorah, 63-52, on the road. The Huskies didn’t fare as well when they met Crestwood and Waukon, but they’re capable of springing another shocker.

Biggest surprise: Decorah, when it jumped to a 6-0 start, a run that included a win over Cedar Falls of the MVC. The Vikings were extremely impressive through Dec. 12.

Biggest disappointment: Decorah, through the last three games. The slide began at Waukon. And what happened against Oelwein?

Leading scorer: Decorah senior Karissa Shindelar is averaging 21.0 points per game.

What to watch for: Jan. 9, at Waukon; Feb. 10, at Cresco. Those are the two get-togethers for the Waukon Indians and the Crestwood Cadets. The countdown is on for Waukon Coach Gene Klinge, who needs 20 wins to catch the late Bob Mullen as the state’s all-time winningest girls’ basketball coach. At the beginning of the season, I thought Klinge might catch Mullen late next season. Instead, it’s looking like early next season (unless, of course, the Indians finish 28-0 this year).

Who will win it: The sensible route would be to predict a Waukon-Crestwood co-championship. I do think the teams will split their home-and-home. I also think one, if not both, of them will drop another game somewhere along the line. Just a hunch: Waukon goes 11-1, Crestwood 10-2.

Midseason conference call: UIC

December 28, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is Day 3 of an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude next Friday, Jan. 2, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the plan:

Friday: Big East

Saturday: SICL

Today: Upper Iowa

Monday: Northeast Iowa

Tuesday: Tri-Rivers

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

UPPER IOWA CONFERENCE

The frontrunner: Once again, it’s MFL MarMac. The Bulldogs (7-0, 6-0) are well on their way to their sixth consecutive Upper Iowa title.

Other contenders: Valley Community (3-1, 2-1) and Turkey Valley (5-1, 3-1) are the most legitimate challengers.

Potential spoilers: Postville (3-4, 3-1) already has played the role, knocking off Turkey Valley on Dec. 12. Sumner-Fredericksburg (3-3, 2-1) and Lansing Kee (4-4, 4-2) are capable of knocking off the teams above them if the conditions are right.

Biggest surprise: I’d say Postville, based on the win over Turkey Valley.

Biggest disappointment: West Central is 0-5 and hasn’t been very competitive. On the other hand, the top two scorers are juniors, so better days might be ahead.

Leading scorer: Postville senior Kelsey Heins is averaging 16.7 points per game.

What to watch for: MFL MarMac’s biggest challenge may be behind it. The Bulldogs escaped Elgin with a 47-39 win over Valley Community on Dec. 5. They still have a challenge at home against Turkey Valley on Jan. 23, and face the top three teams in the Northeast Iowa Conference (Waukon, Crestwood and Decorah), two on the road. Those games, plus a date with defending 1A champion Springville (Jan. 24, at Rivalry Saturday), should keep the Bulldogs sharp. Valley and Turkey Valley have been postponed twice. Their encounter, whenever it is played, should play a role in the race for runner-up.

Who will win it: MFL MarMac. For the sixth year in a row.

Midseason conference call: SICL

December 27, 2008

Editor’s Note: This is Day 2 of an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude next Friday, Jan. 2, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the plan:

Friday: Big East

Today: SICL

Sunday: Upper Iowa

Monday: Northeast Iowa

Tuesday: Tri-Rivers

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SOUTH IOWA CEDAR LEAGUE

The frontrunner: It’s Sigourney. The Lady Savages (6-0, 6-0) haven’t exactly rip-roared through the competition, but they’ve been more than good enough. Sigourney is allowing a skimpy 28.2 points per game.

Other contenders: Lynnville-Sully (6-2, 6-1) and Keota (5-1, 5-1) are the primary challengers.

Potential spoilers: Belle Plaine (5-2, 4-2) and HLV (4-2, 4-2) are at the top of the next tier, and could move to contender status with some key wins.

Biggest surprise: Without a doubt, Keota. The E-Gals are a two-point loss to Iowa Valley from being an unlikely unbeaten. They legitimized themselves with a 15-point win over Lynnville-Sully in their last game before the break.

Biggest disappointment: I thought English Valleys was ready to rebound this year, but three close losses (56-54, to Lynnville-Sully, 46-45, to Keota and 41-39, to Belle Plaine) have kept the Bears low in the standings.

Leading scorer: Sigourney junior Carolyn Holm is averaging 20.7 points per game.

What to watch for: The most intriguing game through the rest of the season is a non-conference game. Sigourney travels to Knoxville, a ranked 3A squad on Jan. 31. If the Lady Savages can win — or at least compete — you can safely say that they’re a strong 2A team and ready to make some postseason noise. Other than that, the race appears to be for positioning. Can Keota keep it up? They’ve had a wonderful ride, but their margin for error remains slim.

Who will win it: A rival coach said he expects Sigourney to run the table in the SICL. If they don’t suffer injuries, the Lady Savages will win it, possibly by three or four games.

Midseason conference call: Big East

December 26, 2008

Editor’s Note: I’m going to provide an eight-day midseason tour around the area conferences in girls’ basketball. If all goes as scheduled, it will conclude next Friday, Jan. 2, the day that the season resumes.

Here’s the tentative plan:

Today: Big East

Saturday: SICL

Sunday: Upper Iowa

Monday: Northeast Iowa

Tuesday: Tri-Rivers

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Thursday: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BIG EAST CONFERENCE

The frontrunner: Simply because it has played two conference games, Preston (6-2, 2-0) leads the pack.

Other contenders: There are four — Bellevue Marquette (6-0, 0-0), Camanche (5-1, 1-0), Clinton Prince of Peace (5-1, 0-0) and Midland (4-1, 0-0) have established themselves as teams that will be in the race for the long haul.

Potential spoilers: Calamus-Wheatland (1-4, 0-0), Northeast (3-4, 0-1), Olin (3-2, 0-0).

Biggest surprise: Camanche. The Indians’ only defeat came at the hands of DeWitt Central, a strong 3A team. They notched an impressive 70-56 win over Preston in a non-conference game.

Biggest disappointment: Probably Northeast. The Rebels started 0-2, righted the ship for a while and won three straight, then lost their last two before the break.

Leading scorer: Camanche junior Ashtyn Dixon is averaging 19.8 points through five games.

What to watch for: An extremely tight race between the top five teams. A couple years ago, the Big East title race ended in a four-way tie. It could happen again. Keep an eye on road wins between those teams. A team that can break serve on the road will be sitting pretty come early February. What will happen with Marquette? The Mohawks started the season 6-0, but hasn’t played since Dec. 5. Marquette hosts Midland on Jan. 5 while Camanche travels to Prince of Peace on Jan. 2. Those are big tone-setters for the rest of the season.

Who will win it: I picked Midland at the beginning of the season, and I’ll stick with the Eagles. However, I don’t think they (or anyone else) will get through the league season without a scratch.

Missing makeup dates

December 26, 2008

My list of girls’ basketball games unaccounted for stands at 34 as we head into Christmas break.

In some cases, school officials haven’t gotten back to me with a makeup date. In most cases, a date will be selected after break. In a few, there won’t be a makeup date.

Here are games I need. If anyone can help, please comment.

From Tuesday, Dec. 16

East Central at Bellevue

Tri-County at HLV

Monticello at Central City

South Winneshiek at Postville

Turkey Valley at Sumner-Fredericksburg

Jesup at Cedar Falls NU High

From Thursday, Dec. 18

Central City at Olin

From Friday, Dec. 19

Dubuque Hempstead at Waterloo West

Independence at Vinton-Shellsburg

Solon at Anamosa

Tipton at Iowa City Regina

Midland at Lisbon

Belle Plaine at Keota

Iowa Valley at Tri-County

MFL MarMac at Turkey Valley

Postville at Sumner-Fredericksburg

South Winneshiek at West Central

Valley Community at Elkader Central

Lone Tree at WACO

South Tama at Saydel

Walnut Ridge Baptist at North Tama

From Saturday, Dec. 20

Anamosa at Maquoketa

Durant at Clinton Prince of Peace

Midland at Monticello

Montezuma at North Mahaska

New Hampton at North Fayette

Pekin at Lone Tree

Sigourney at Iowa Valley

Solon at West Liberty

Tipton at Elkader Central

From Monday, Dec. 22

Midland at Bellevue

Valley Community at Turkey Valley

Tri-County at Belle Plaine

Crestwood at Charles City

Girls’ basketball standings, through Dec. 23

December 24, 2008

Here are updated area girls’ basketball standings, through games played Tuesday:

MVC MISSISSIPPI DIV. Conf All

Dubuque Wahlert 3-1 5-1

Cedar Rapids Xavier 3-1 5-2

Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4-2 5-2

Iowa City High 3-2 6-2

Iowa City West 2-2 4-2

Waterloo West 0-3 4-3

Dubuque Hempstead 0-3 1-5

MVC VALLEY DIVISION Conf All

Linn-Mar 5-0 8-0

Cedar Rapids Washington 4-0 5-1

Cedar Rapids Jefferson 2-2 5-3

Dubuque Senior 1-3 4-3

Cedar Rapids Prairie 1-3 2-4

Cedar Falls 1-3 2-5

Waterloo East 0-4 0-7

WAMAC EAST DIVISION DIV All

Mount Vernon 3-0 6-1

Anamosa 1-0 5-1

Maquoketa 1-0 3-1

DeWitt Central 1-0 4-2

Western Dubuque 2-1 5-4

Solon 0-1 2-2

Dyersville Beckman 0-3 1-6

West Delaware 0-3 1-6

WAMAC WEST DIVISION DIV All

Marion 2-0 5-0

Vinton-Shellsburg 1-0 5-1

Williamsburg 1-0 4-1

Waterloo Columbus 1-1 2-4

Benton Community 1-2 4-3

Center Point-Urbana 0-1 2-4

Clear Creek Amana 0-1 2-5

Independence 0-1 0-4

CEDAR VALLEY Conf All

Tipton 4-0 6-0

West Branch 3-0 7-1

Iowa City Regina 3-0 4-1

Mid-Prairie 2-1 2-3

Wilton 1-3 2-5

West Liberty 1-4 2-5

North Cedar 1-4 1-8

Durant 0-3 1-7

BIG EAST Conf All

Preston 2-0 6-2

Camanche 1-0 5-1

Bellevue Marquette 0-0 6-0

Clinton Prince of Peace 0-0 5-1

Midland 0-0 4-1

Calamus-Wheatland 0-0 1-4

Andrew 0-0 1-6

Bellevue 0-0 0-4

Lisbon 0-0 0-4

Olin 0-1 3-2

Northeast 0-1 3-4

East Central 0-1 0-5

NORTHEAST IOWA Conf All

Waukon 4-0 8-0

Crestwood 2-0 6-0

Charles City 1-1 5-2

Decorah 2-2 6-3

Oelwein 1-2 6-2

New Hampton 0-2 1-5

Waverly-Shell Rock 0-3 1-7

SOUTH IOWA CEDAR Conf All

Sigourney 6-0 6-0

Lynnville-Sully 6-1 6-2

Keota 5-1 5-1

Belle Plaine 4-2 5-2

HLV 4-2 4-2

Tri-County 2-3 2-3

Iowa Valley 2-4 2-4

BGM 2-5 2-6

English Valleys 1-4 1-4

North Mahaska 1-5 1-5

Montezuma 0-6 0-7

TRI-RIVERS Conf All

Springville 4-0 6-0

Cascade 4-1 5-1

Edgewood-Colesburg 4-1 6-2

Maquoketa Valley 3-1 5-2

North Linn 3-2 4-3

Monticello 3-2 3-4

Starmont 2-3 2-4

Central City 1-4 2-5

Alburnett 0-5 2-6

East Buchanan 0-5 1-7

UPPER IOWA Conf All

MFL MarMac 6-0 7-0

Turkey Valley 3-1 5-1

Postville 3-1 3-4

Lansing Kee 4-2 4-4

Valley Community 2-1 3-1

Sumner-Fredericksburg 2-1 3-3

Elkader Central 2-2 2-5

South Winneshiek 1-3 1-4

North Fayette 1-4 1-6

Clayton Ridge 0-4 0-7

West Central 0-5 0-5

OTHERS All

Washington (Iowa) 5-1

Jesup 4-1

Union 6-3

Highland 3-2

Iowa Mennonite 2-3

Lone Tree 2-3

South Tama 2-4

North Tama 1-6

Rogers debut: 11 points in a win

December 23, 2008

I wasn’t there … just taking this off the boxscore provided by Kennedy.

Jade Rogers scored 11 points in her season debut, and the Cougars handled Iowa City High, 51-40.

Kennedy led 46-25 heading into the fourth quarter and moved into a virtual tie for first place with Cedar Rapids Xavier and Dubuque Wahlert.

Roloff: Rogers will play vs. City

December 22, 2008

Kennedy Coach Dennis Roloff said this afternoon that all-stater Jade Rogers will play “about two minutes each quarter” in the Cougars’ game tonight against Iowa City High.

Rogers did not play against Cedar Rapids Xavier on Friday, but the Cougars managed a 52-44 win.

The MVC Mississippi Division race is a five-team blur. City, Dubuque Wahlert and Xavier are tied for the lead at 3-1. Kennedy is 3-2, Iowa City West 2-2.


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