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)



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.



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.


One Response to “Midseason conference call: Wamac”

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

    […] Read full article […]

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