Midseason conference call: Wamac

Editor’s Note: This is Day 7 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

Wednesday: Cedar Valley

Today: Wamac (East and West)

Friday: MVC (Mississippi and Valley)

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

WAMAC CONFERENCE EAST DIVISION

The frontrunners: Neither Mount Vernon (6-1, 3-0) nor DeWitt Central (4-2, 1-0) have done anything to damage their roles as the teams to beat. Both teams suffered their losses in interdivisional games. Central’s losses, to Benton Community and Marion, came by a combined three points.

Other contenders: Anamosa (6-1, 2-0) is on a six-game winning streak and has already played three one-point games, winning two of them. The Raiders have shown promise with success against some of the better West Division teams.

Potential spoilers: Western Dubuque (5-4, 2-1) has relied on a stingy defense (33.4 ppg) to compensate for heavy graduation losses, and has played Central and Marion close. Solon (2-2, 0-1) is more competitive than I thought it would be. Same with Maquoketa (3-2, 1-1).

Biggest surprise: Gotta be Anamosa. The Raiders are rolling with a young lineup (their top three scorers are underclassmen). Anamosa has held its last three opponents to 30 points or less. 

Biggest disappointment: West Delaware (1-6, 0-3) has lost six straight, all by double digits In four of those games, the Hawks have scored 32 points or less.

Leading scorer: DeWitt Central sophomore Lindsay Smith is averaging 16.0 points per game.

What to watch for: An extremely close race. Mount Vernon and DeWitt Central are quite good, but not dominant enough to get past the next layer of teams when they have a down night, particularly on the road. Anamosa could a wild card in all of this, and the Raiders can enhance their chances quickly — they host Central on Jan. 6, then entertain Mount Vernon on Jan. 13.

Who will win it: I picked Mount Vernon at the beginning of the year, and it would be hypocritical to stray now. I’ll take the Mustangs, just because Central’s best players are still young.

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

WAMAC CONFERENCE WEST DIVISION

The frontrunner: Marion (5-0, 2-0) has taken care of business, but you get the inkling that the Indians still haven’t hit their stride. Maybe volleyball was a factor. If and when the Indians hit the next gear, they’ll be extremely tough to beat.

Other contenders: Vinton-Shellsburg (5-1, 1-0) is Marion’s chief threat, and hosts the Indians on Jan. 6. The other game is part of Rivalry Saturday. Williamsburg (4-1, 1-0) has made a smooth transition from the EIHC.

Potential spoilers: Never rule out Benton Community (4-3, 3-2), though the Bobcats suffered through a rough spell just before the holidays.

Biggest surprise: Williamsburg lost a Division-I player in MacKenzie Westcott and was making the move from the Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference. But the Raiders continue to play at a high level. They beat a very good Washington (Iowa) team in their season opener and haven’t slipped since. 

Biggest disappointment: Benton Community was impressive out of the gate with a win over DeWitt Central, but has lost three of its last five. The loss at Waterloo Columbus just before the break is cause for alarm.

Leading scorer: Marion junior Morgan Paige is averaging 19.0 points per game.

What to watch for: All-state guard and long-range threat Brittany Fish injured a knee after last season, and is averaging just 7 points per game. Her production must improve for Marion to accomplish what it wants this season. Keep any eye on the bottom teams in this division. Three of them — Columbus, Center Point-Urbana and Clear Creek-Amana — are much better than projected. They’re capable of putting a tweak in the race.

Who will win it: If Marion can clear two hurdles in the next week (at Williamsburg on Saturday, at Vinton-Shellsburg on Jan. 6), you can probably color this division red. If not, things could get interesting.

Advertisements

One Response to “Midseason conference call: Wamac”

  1. Midseason conference call: Wamac | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

    […] Read full article […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: