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
Sunday: Upper Iowa
Monday: Northeast Iowa
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.