The calendar has been turned to February, and two weeks remain in the girls’ basketball regular season. Precious few games remain before the postseason begins. A few league championships are secure. A few still hang in the balance. Here’s a primer on the stretch run:
MVC MISSISSIPPI DIVISION: It’s still a five-team free-for-all, but the inside track will belong to the winner of Thursday’s game between Cedar Rapids Kennedy (14-3, 10-3) and Cedar Rapids Xavier (11-6, 8-4), to be played at Xavier. All three of Kennedy’s remaining games are on the road while Xavier hosts all four of its final games, beginning Monday against Waterloo West. Dubuque Wahlert (12-5, 8-4) can move into prime position if it can win at Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Monday; the Golden Eagles will be favored in their final three games. The hopes of Iowa City High (13-4, 9-4) were damaged by a 49-48 loss to Cedar Rapids Washington on Friday. All of the Little Hawks’ final three games are on the road and it’s difficult to imagine them sweeping them. Iowa City West (12-5, 8-5) is still alive, but closes against No. 1 Linn-Mar.
MVC VALLEY DIVISION: Paint this division black and red. Linn-Mar (18-0, 13-0) ran away with it and leads by five games.
WAMAC EAST: DeWitt Central (14-3, 10-0) is in control. The young Sabers still play title hopefuls Anamosa (13-4, 9-2) and Mount Vernon (13-4, 7-3), but have a little room for error.
WAMAC WEST: Marion (15-1, 10-0) is on the verge of its second straight league title. The Indians lead by 1 1/2 games over Williamsburg (13-4, 9-2), and ought to finish unbeaten in league play if it can get past surging Benton Community (12-4, 8-3) on Tuesday at Van Horne. The Bobcats have won seven straight games.
CEDAR VALLEY: Co-leaders Tipton (17-1, 11-1) and Iowa City Regina (15-4, 11-1) both face challenges Monday. The Tigers host Mid-Prairie (11-7, 10-3) while the Regals travel to West Branch. Both also have a makeup date at Wilton to wrap up the league slate.
BIG EAST: It pretty much comes down to Tuesday night, when Bellevue Marquette (17-0, 9-0) travels to Camanche (15-2, 8-0).
NORTHEAST IOWA: A share of the title is secure for Waukon (14-1, 9-0), and the Indians have three chances to win it outright. They are at Decorah (11-6, 5-3) on Tuesday.
SOUTH IOWA CEDAR: Sigourney (18-1, 18-0) is the champion.
TRI-RIVERS: Its 30-game win streak was snapped Saturday by Cedar Rapids Kennedy, but Springville (17-1, 13-0) has a lot to play for. One win in its final three games — all on the road — wraps up a share of the title. Two wins mean an outright crown. Cascade (14-3, 12-2) is the closest pursuer.
UPPER IOWA: MFL MarMac (17-1, 13-0) is on the cusp of its sixth consecutive UIC title. Valley Community (14-2, 12-1) hopes to win out and get some assistance.