Can you say collision course?
Linn-Mar and Sioux City North have been ranked 1-2 all season, have demolished their opponents and are projected to meet for the 4A crown Saturday night.
Linn-Mar possesses, without debate, the state’s best inside-outside combination. Sophomore Kiah Stokes averages 15.7 points and 12.7 points and leads the state in blocked shots. Iowa signee Jaime Printy scores 17.8 points per game. The Lions outscore opponents by 32 points per game, but their first-round opponent — Cedar Rapids Xavier — knows them well and has played them close twice.
North is unbeaten against Iowa teams and outscores its foes by 29 points per game. All five starters average at least 7 points, led by Jalyssa Ceasar (17.7).
CIML rivals Ames and Ankeny are ranked fourth and fifth and meet in the first round. Ames has an Iowa signee in Trisha Nesbitt.
Quarterfinal foes Waukee and Cedar Rapids Kennedy overcame difficult regional-final hurdles to advance. Waukee took down No. 3 Des Moines East, and Kennedy rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 45 seconds of regulation to knock off defending state champion Iowa City High in overtime.
Sioux City North 71, Indianola 54
Cedar Rapids Kennedy 55, Waukee 50
Linn-Mar 54, Cedar Rapids Xavier 42
Ames 41, Ankeny 37
Sioux City North 61, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 52
Linn-Mar 48, Ames 36
Linn-Mar 66, Sioux City North 62