Archive for January, 2009

Essex player snags state-record 45 rebounds

January 31, 2009

Essex’s Joscelyn Coleman set an Iowa five-on-five girls’ basketball record with 45 rebounds in her team’s 101-24 win over Clarinda Academy on Thursday.

The 5-foot-11 junior scored 25 points. Eighteen of her rebounds were on the offensive end. Coleman leads the state in rebounding, at 18.1 boards per game.

The 45 boards ranks fourth all-time nationally. The national record is 54, by Andrea Keehne of LaVerne (Calif.) Calvary Baptist in 1995.

For more on Coleman’s record night, take the following link to the Omaha World-Herald web site:


Perilous night awaits area unbeatens

January 31, 2009

In terms of enrollment, this is David vs. Goliath.

Hickory vs. South Bend Central.

Class 1A top-ranked Springville hosts 4A No. 5 Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a girls’ basketball game of immense interest tonight at 6:30. The Orioles (17-0) are defending small-school state champions and boast a 30-game winning streak. In the other corner, Kennedy (13-3) has won 11 of 12 and has a Division-I commitment in junior Jade Rogers.

Kennedy’s enrollment in grades 10-12 is  1,376. Springville’s is 118. Fortunately for the Orioles, it’s just 5 vs. 5 on the court at a time.

Four area girls’ basketball teams are still undefeated, and it won’t be a surprise if three of them fall tonight.

Elsewhere, 3A No. 3 Waukon (14-0) hosts 2A No. 1 MFL MarMac (16-1) while 2A No. 5 Sigourney (18-0) heads to No. 12 Knoxville (14-2). The Savages probably are the most likely to slip, followed by Springville, then Waukon.

The other area unbeaten, Linn-Mar, had to come from behind before prevailing, 47-39, last night at Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Lions faced a 37-35 deficit heading into the fourth quarter before finishing with a 12-2 run to move their record to 17-0. They play at Decorah tonight.

Speedos in the Kennedy parking lot

January 30, 2009

I was walking from my car to the front door at Kennedy, when out should appear but a group of four Kennedy boys’ swimmers, in green Speedos, sprinting in the parking lot and screaming about the cold, a trail of barefoot prints following them every step of the way.

It’s January, boys. It’s 15 above.

Reminded me of the Seinfeld “shrinkage” episode.

Costanza: “I was in the pool!”

Doubleheader, Hall of Fame night

January 30, 2009

I’m covering the girl/boy basketball doubleheader tonight at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, where the Cougars host Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Girls’ tip is 5:30.

Both games are biggies in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Kennedy swept the J-Hawks in their first meeting at Jefferson.

It’s Hall of Fame night, with 10 new members inducted. Hopefully it will give me time to write the girls’ story before the boys’ game begins.

MVC Mississippi: Sorting out the scramble

January 30, 2009

Two games separate the top five teams in the MVC Mississippi Division girls’ basketball race.

Here’s the remaining schedule for each:

IOWA CITY HIGH (13-3, 9-3): C.R. Washington tonight, at Iowa City West Feb. 6, Muscatine Feb. 7, at Dubuque Wahlert Feb. 10, at C.R. Xavier Feb 13.

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY (12-3, 9-3): hosts C.R. Jefferson tonight, at Springville Saturday, at C.R. Xavier Feb. 5, at Waterloo West Feb. 10, at C.R. Washington Feb. 13, Marion Feb. 14.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER (11-5, 8-3): Linn-Mar tonight, Waterloo West Feb. 2, C.R. Kennedy Feb. 5, C.R. Washington Feb. 9, Iowa City High Feb. 13.

DUBUQUE WAHLERT (11-5, 7-4): Waterloo East toinght, at C.R. Jefferson Feb. 2, Dubuque Hempstead Feb. 6, Iowa City High Feb. 10, at Dubuque Senior Feb. 13.

IOWA CITY WEST (11-5, 7-5): at C.R. Prairie tonight, Mount Pleasant Feb. 3, Iowa City High Feb. 6, Cedar Falls Feb. 10, Linn-Mar Feb. 13.

That being said, here are final projected records, through the end of the regular season, figuring all toss-up games go to the home team:

Cedar Rapids Xavier   12-4   15-6

Cedar Rapids Kennedy  11-5   15-6

Dubuque Wahlert   11-5   15-6

Iowa City High   10-6   15-6

Iowa City West   10-6   15-6

Xavier faces a brutal closing schedule, and you figure tonight’s game against Linn-Mar is a loss. But if the Saints protect the home court the rest of the way, they have the inside track. If Kennedy or City High are going to win it, a win at Xavier is pretty much a must.


January 29, 2009

(The front end of Friday’s girls’ basketball notes package)

MARION — The Linn-Mar Lions are unbeaten.

And, some say, unbeatable.

“When they’re all ready to play, they’re unstoppable,” said Dennis Roloff, coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. “They have so many talented kids, and they all know their roles.

“I really think the only team that can stop them is themselves.”

Don’t hold your breath. The Lions, 16-0 and rated No. 1 in Class 4A, appear to be immune to letdown. Only two teams — Davenport Assumption and Iowa City West — have stayed within 10 points of them.

In a showdown last Saturday with 3A top-ranked Ballard at the U.S. Cellular Center, the Lions built a 29-point lead and romped, 59-41.

Linn-Mar is averaging 67.8 points per game, allowing 34.4. For a team playing in a strong, balanced league like the Mississippi Valley Conference, that’s remarkable.

For lack of a better desription, the Lions have it, whatever it is.

For starters, it’s a got-your-back mentality.

“My teammates, I love ‘em, each and every one of them,” said all-state guard Jaime Printy. “We’re a true team. People don’t care who scores, as long as we get the W.”

Printy is a talent and the indisputable leader of the team, but doesn’t have to carry the load. Last week at Cedar Rapids Washington, she suffered through a 2-for-20 shooting mess. Linn-Mar still won by 19.

“Personally, I’d rather make a sweet pass than a sweet shot,” said Printy, who averages 6.5 assists along with her team-high 17.4 points per game. “Everyone else is unselfish.”

The Lions average more than 17 assists per game, and that unselfishness leads to open shots, reflected in the team’s 47-percent shooting, 35 percent from 3-point range.

In a 68-39 win over Dubuque Wahlert on Tuesday, the Lions made their first nine 3-point tries.

“The girls definitely have skills, things you can’t teach on the court,” Lions Coach Mike Brandt said.

Kiah Stokes, a 6-foot-3 sophomore post, is blossoming into a superstar. The daughter of former University of Iowa standout Greg Stokes, Kiah averages 15.3 points and 12.6 rebounds per game and shoots 69 percent from the field.

(SIDE NOTE NOT IN THE STORY… After Linn-Mar’s win over Ballard Saturday, Greg and Kiah embraced for a moment. He said, “Great game … you know there’s still room for improvement, right?”)

Stokes’ 6.6 blocks per game leads the state. Her development and presence at the back of the defense allows her teammates to take chances most teams couldn’t risk.

“You’ve got to have the desire and the drive to want to stop somebody,” and our kids have that,” Brandt said.

Guards Kayla Klopfenstein and D.J. Norman average 8.4 points per game, Rachel Kearney adds 5.6 per game, and four reserves add at least 2 points per contest.

In short, it’s a team that attacks, on both ends of the court, with ferocity.

“If you’ve seen our posters, you would see our motto is ‘Make it Happen,’ ” Brandt said. “You’ve got to go get it, because nobody’s going to give it to you.”

The Lions (12-0 MVC) have wrapped up a share of the Valley Division championship, and can clinch the title outright with a win tonight at Cedar Rapids Xavier.




9-for-9 from 3FG: What are the odds?

January 28, 2009

OK, here’s a fun equation for a journalism major who should’ve gone into math:

Calculate the odds of the Linn-Mar girls starting 9-from-9 from 3-point range, as they did Tuesday against Dubuque Wahlert.

Of the first nine shots, Jaime Printy (a 40-percent 3-point shooter) made four of them. Kayla Klopfenstein (41.8 percent) made two. D.J. Norman (34.4 percent) made two. Rachel Kearney (33.3 percent … 1-for-3 all year) made one.

So the equation reads:

x = (.40 to 4th power) x (.418 squared) x .(344 squared) x (.333)

x = .0256 x .174 x .1183 x .333

x = .000175476

x = 1 in 5,699 chance of it occuring. Pretty miniscule.

See, Mr. Goodman? I did learn something in algebra all those years ago.

Girls bkb Super Ten, through Jan. 27

January 28, 2009

1. LINN-MAR (16-0)

Last Week: 1st. Offensive average: 67.8. Defensive average: 34.4. Streak: Won 16. The week ahead: at Cedar Rapids Xavier on Friday, at Decorah on Saturday.


Last Week: 3rd. Offensive average: 55.8. Defensive average: 32.0. Streak: Won 29. The week ahead: Hosts Alburnett on Friday, hosts Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Saturday, at Edgewood-Colesburg on Tuesday.

3. MFL MAR MAC (15-1)

Last Week: 2nd. Offensive average: 64.1. Defensive average: 34.8. Streak: Lost 1. The week ahead: At West Central on Friday, at Waukon on Saturday, at South Winneshiek on Monday.

4. WAUKON (13-0)

 Last week: 4th. Offensive average: 61.9. Defensive average: 41.2. Streak: Won 13. The week ahead: Hosts Charles City on Friday, hosts MFL MarMac on Saturday, at Decorah on Tuesday.

5. MARION (13-1)

Last Week: 6th. Offensive average: 56.1. Defensive average: 39.4. Streak: Won 6. The week ahead: Hosts Waterloo Columbus on Friday, hosts Mount Pleasant on Saturday, at Benton Community on Tuesday.


Last Week: 9th. Offensive average: 57.2. Defensive average: 51.2. Streak: Won 4. The week ahead: Hosts Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Friday, at Springville on Saturday.

7. SIGOURNEY (17-0)

Last Week: 8th. Offensive average: 45.3. Defensive average: 27.8. Streak: Won 17. The week ahead: Hosts Iowa Valley on Friday, at Knoxville on Saturday.

8. TIPTON (15-1)

Last Week: 5th. Offensive average: 63.6. Defensive average: 40.8. Streak: Lost 1. The week ahead: At West Branch on Friday, at Midland on Saturday, hosts Mid-Prairie on Monday.

9. IOWA CITY HIGH (13-3)

Last Week: Not rated. Offensive average: 54.3. Defensive average: 45.5. Streak: Won 4. The week ahead: Hosts Cedar Rapids Washington on Friday.

10. IOWA CITY WEST (11-5)

Last Week: Not rated. Offensive average: 52.1. Defensive average: 45.6. Streak: Won 4. The week ahead: At Cedar Rapids Prairie on Friday, hosts Mount Pleasant on Tuesday.

Dropped out: Anamosa (7), Cedar Rapids Xavier (10).

Class-by-class top fives:

4A: 1. Linn-Mar (16-0), 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (12-3), 3. Iowa City High (13-3), 4. Iowa City West (11-5), 5. Cedar Rapids Xavier (11-5).

3A: 1. Waukon (13-0), 2. Marion (13-1), 3. Williamsburg (11-4), 4. Anamosa (13-3), 5. Decorah (11-5).

2A: 1. MFL MarMac (15-1), 2. Sigourney (17-0),3. Tipton (15-1), 4. Cascade (13-3), 5. Iowa City Regina (13-4).

1A: 1. Springville (16-0), 2. Valley Community (12-2), 3. Midland (12-4), 4. Highland (9-4), 5. Postville (9-7).

Linn-Mar, Sigourney stake their claims

January 28, 2009

Linn-Mar has wrapped up a share of the MVC Valley Division, while Sigourney has done likewise in the South Iowa Cedar League.

Linn-Mar (16-0 overall, 12-0 MVC), the top-ranked team in Class 4A all year, jumped all over Dubuque Wahlert in the first half, making its first nine 3-point attempts in a 68-39 rout. It was 42-13 at halftime. The Lions win the title outright with one win in their last four games (somehow, I think they’ll manage that) or a loss by Cedar Rapids Jefferson (10-5, 6-4).

The Lions play at Cedar Rapids Xavier on Friday.

**TRIVIA NOTE: Three Class 4A teams have finished their seasons undefeated since the state went to four classes in 1993-94 … West Des Moines Dowling went 26-0 in 1998, Cedar Falls 26-0 in 2001 and Ankeny 27-0 in 2005.**

As for Sigourney, the Lady Savages (17-0, 17-0) still haven’t allowed an opponent to hit the 40-point mark all season. They beat Tri-County, 50-28, at Thornburg and maintained a 3 1/2-game lead on Lynnville-Sully (13-4, 13-3).

Sigourney has three opportunities, starting with Iowa Valley at home Friday, to clinch sole possession of the SICL crown.

Tipton’s loss at home to Iowa City Regina drops the list of area unbeatens to four: Linn-Mar, Sigourney, Springville and Waukon. Springville and Waukon have difficult tasks Saturday, against Cedar Rapids Kennedy and MFL MarMac, respectively.

Linn-Mar seeks title share

January 27, 2009

The Linn-Mar Lions can become the first area girls’ team to get an asterisk by their name in the standings.

Linn-Mar can wrap up a title share if it defeats Dubuque Wahlert tonight at home. The Lions are 15-0 overall, 11-0 in the MVC and have a four-game lead in the loss column.

The game’s at home, so the Lions ought to be safe. Wahlert is 8-0 at home, 3-4 on the road.

I’m covering this one.